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Santa Monica -- Saucy dinner restaurants for the boss

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I've got a new boss to book meals for in Santa Monica. I know everything East of Robertson but almost nothing over here. I would love any suggestions / lists for dinner spots -- old or new. In terms of his tastes, I think he preferes swanky (based on Boa & Via Veneto which I know are faves.)

Would really appreciate some ideas. Thanks SO much.

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  1. Josie, Michael's, Chinois, Joe's, Melisse, Ocean Ave Seafood, Capo, Piccolo, Chaya Venice, La Vecchia, Valentino, Giorgio Baldi, Brass-Cap -- that's what comes to mind. I'm surely missing some. You can find plenty of references to these places on chowhound (and elsewhere), so it should be easy to figure out the cuisine, style, price, etc. of each of them.

    1. In no particular order, I would add The Lobster, Whist at the Viceroy, Ivy, ICugini, IlForniao, Wilshire, Drago, Vincenti, Tanino.

      1. I would add Violet, Jiraffe and Primitivo to the list, and the Culver City spots, Wilson, Ford's et al.

        1. I second LaVecchia Cucina, one of my favorites when I lived in Santa Monica (now back in NYC)

          Also, James Beach in Venice...

          1 Reply
          1. re: nycla3

            Sadly, the food at James Beach is no longer anywhere near as good as it used to be. It is still a fun place for cocktails, but the food has been very disappointing the last few times I was there.

          2. You can also do a search on opentable.com by ethnicity of food and location and look at some of the menus there to see what your boss might be partiala to.

            1. Melisse, Drago, La Botte

              1. To those already mentioned, I would add ONE PICO (at Shutters Hotel), LILLY'S FRENCH CAFE and WILSHIRE.

                1. Buffalo Club might appeal to him. Great food but very dark and noisy.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: New Trial

                    I second Buffalo Club, but ONLY on the patio, the inside is dark and depressing.

                    1. re: markn

                      That's why I like it sometimes.

                  2. Great list, but a lot of diversity. The Buffalo Club and Michael's are both excellent, but very different experiences -- especially if your boss is doing business at lunch. Is he going for the food and fun, or hoping to impress a client?

                    1. Might be sacriligeous, but Houston's on 2nd and Wilshire ain't half bad...

                      Sorry to hear about James Beach going downhill...sadly there is no 72 Market to throw on the list anymore....

                      Thanks for the reminder on Buffalo Club and Michael's...been a while for me...excellent choices.