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Looking for a great restaurant in Santa Monica for Sat night

  • c

My boss is looking for a restaurant for Saturday night in Santa Monica. Any suggestions. He's very picky. Thanks.

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  1. I am guessing you want high end--

    Axe (on abbot kinney in venice)
    Via Vennetto
    Piccolo Capriani ( 5 dudley in venice)

    2 Replies
    1. re: Amanda Enclade

      Personally, I don't think Axe is on par with the other restaurants on that list. Lots of pretension, uncomfortable chairs, deafening noise, and hit-or-miss food. I've given them many shots to prove me wrong, but alas I remain disappointed.

      To that list, I would add Joe's in Venice, Chinois on Main Street, and Michael's in Santa Monica. All are excellent, reliable restaurants.

      1. re: glutton

        I would add Chaya Venice, Whist, and Capo to that list

    2. for more mainstream fare and good drinks/wine list, I'd say:

      Josie (a bit more inland in SM)
      Cafe Del Rey


      1. Personally, I think Jiraffe is the way to go -- they have a really good selection, pricing wise it's pretty safe for an upscale meal (i believe capo, chinois and michael's is more expensive) and it's not too overly hip. That said, I haven't been to Whist yet or Josie for that matter -- heard excellent things about Josie, just never have made it over there.

        Here's Jiraffe' website --


        2 Replies
        1. re: Silverlaker

          Have been to both Jiraffe and Josie recently, and while I like Jiraffe fine, I think Josie is better. It's a more sedate decor-wise (quietly comfortable, sort of Hancock Park private home traditional) and the food is really wonderful. Best trout I've ever had.

          1. re: ThatPat

            I'd pick Josie for the food alone too - but Jiraffe is much more accessible to the Promenade, the Mall and the Pier, in case the boss wanted to engage in some activities before or after dining.


        2. I really like both Melisse and Jiraffe, but if your boss is the kind of person who wants to spend A LOT of money for GREAT food and feel EXCLUSIVE, he should go to Capo.

          1. Drago is always a solid Santa Monica Choice.

            If he is from the real old-fashioned, fuddy-duddy school of "picky," I would recommend The Pacific Dining Car in Santa Monica. It feels like a restaurant right out of the "Leave It To Beaver/Father's Knows Best" Fabulous 50's with prices that are just above modern-day Tokyo.

            1. If you're looking for a raucous good time, I'd say Border Grill. Not sure how festive your boss feels, but Mexican tends to appease many picky eaters in my circle.

              1. At the risk of getting hit by rock and bottles, I would recommend BOA. Make sure your boss is buying, and order the Kobe steak.

                1. I think that Josie and Jiraffe are the best bets in Santa Monica. Both are excellent. They both have menus online, so I would suggest taking a look at what both have to offer and pick whichever is more appealing to you.


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Nicole

                    I like Josie, but I think it's worth mentioning, that their wine list is way overpriced. It's also on the sedate side, which can be nice for intimate dinners, but you need to know that going in - not always appropriate for every business dinner.

                  2. Jiraffe. Great food, classy but not too stuffy (as bosses imagine themselves to be) good lighting, good tablewatching. And in my own experience, generous with the foie gras portions.