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Good Birthday Spot in SM?

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Looking for an inexpensive dinner spot in Santa Monica to go with about 10 friends or so on a Sunday night. Something with good atmosphere, good food, and cheap drinks... Its a tall order for Santa Monica I know, but I just moved there from Hollywood and I am eager to try some new spots.

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  1. Gaucho Grill - Argentinian food.
    http://www.gauchogrillrestaurant.com/

    Border Grill - Mexican food.
    http://www.bordergrill.com/

    Moonsoon Cafe - ok, inexpensive Japanese food.

    Yankee Doodles - American food and bar. Great place for cheap drinks.

    1. Lilly's - but outside on the patio. You'll have a great time. Primativo is another idea, so is Beechwood's patio. but order off the bar menu.

      1. I had a birthday party at Musha (Wilshire/5th in Santa Monica) a couple of years ago. We had a private room in back with a low table. You sit on the floor (there's a place for your feet; you don't have to sit Japanese style). It's a little crowded with that many people (fits 8 very well) but it's a lot of fun there and won't set your bank account back much at all (or your friends'). You could also take over a couple of tables in the front room. The manager there is a great guy and very accommodating. It's not a sushi place (altho' they do have sashimi), it's izakaya--small plates/tapas--and there are lots of different kinds of sake (and full bar I guess; I don't drink much). It was a perfect place for a birthday; everybody loved it.

        1. I'd go to the Crepe Cafe on Broadway and Third. The drinks are SO cheap and the crepes are tasty. If it's warm enough tonight, it'd be fun to sit out in the front and people watch while you eat and drink.