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New restaurants in Santa Monica?

Have a friend coming to town & staying in Santa Monica -- she's a gourmet foodie & wants recommendations of interesting new places in the Santa Monica area to check out. (She already knows some of the usual suspects: Jiraffe, Violet, Lincoln). I live on the east side and am a little behind on what's going on over on that side of town... anything newish worth checking out?

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    1. If you can head out to Beverly Hills, CUT opened pretty recently and has (generally) been raved about.

      -AquaW
      http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com

      1. Punch (on SMB) is newish and has garnered a few positive reviews recently for chow, ambiance and bar. Also, Literatti II is right on the SM/WLA border, and while not new, may satisfy such a visitor's needs.

        1. Lincoln Steakhouse actually underwent a remodel and emerged as Holly's West, a bar/lounce with a small plates menu. Haven't heard much about it.

          Valentino has a new chef (actually he worked at Valentino for years before moving back to Italy to open his own place, but now he's back!) so that might be work checking out.

          I hear Whist has had a resurgence in terms of the quality of food ... it's in the Viceroy. Might want to check that out.

          Best,
          J.

          1. Has she been to Josie? Not new, but still pretty terrific.