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Hip Restaurant For Star Struck in Santa Monica

A friend has asked for help in finding a restaurant for a Norwegian family who are coming to town. They are already confirmed at The Ivy, Mr. Chow's and Koi and want something in Santa Monica. I'm stuck because the places I like to eat in LA don't fit this mold.
They're two adults and two teens...

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  1. Whist at the Viceroy.

      1. What about JiRaffe or Michael's? Both are very close to Third Street Promenade, which makes for great apres-dinner strolling.

        1. You can often see stars at Chinois on Main, but the food is too good to be in the same comparison as the others mentioned in the original query.

          1. Giorgio Baldi isn't really in Santa Monica and is far from hip and ridiculously overpriced, but they will probably see a celebrity in there.

            1. I have been going to Giorgio' Baldi for 12 years and I've seen major celeb's 75% of the time. It's right on the Santa Monica/Pacific Palisades border. The food is excellent but overpriced but if your looking for celebrities you really can't miss here especially on a week night. Spielberg, Cameron Diaz, Hanks, Goldie and Kurt, Billy Crystal and on and on and on. I've seen them all. They all live within a two mile radius in Santa Monica Canyon and Pacific Palisades. It's their neighborhood hang.

              1 Reply
              1. re: PaliBruin

                Add rock stars for the kids: I've seen Springsteen, Jagger, Madonna, Jeff Lynne, Jay-Z, Beyonce, Melissa Etheridge, Julio Iglesias, Christina Aguliera, Lionel Ritchie, Luis Miguel and many others in that tiny place. And after eating at The Ivy, Mr. Chow's and Koi they ought to be ready for GOOD food which Baldi's has in abundance! The lobster special, any ravioli, shitake/pecorino appy, and fish entrees can't be beat

              2. I rarely see celebs out and about in SM restaurants. You would think they would be at The Ivy on Ocean, but not really. I saw Tom Cruise at Ocean Ave once, but it's not what you're looking for.

                There are a lot of B-listers at Buffalo Club on Olympic. Try that place.

                1. Lunch at Fred Segal Cafe.

                  Dinner at The Lobster, Whist at the Viceroy, or Giorgio Baldi.

                  Honestly though, I'd persuade them to look towards Bel Air, and go to the Hotel Bel Air Dining Room -- an A-list celeb there almost every night. [plus, A+ star treatment, free valet, and exquisite scenery and food] Or, the Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

                  1. Michael's and The Ivy at the shore have their share of celebrity patrons. But I have never failed to spot a handful of celebrities when I go to Orso's in Beverly Hills, especially sitting in the garden. And great food too without shocking prices.

                    1. I once saw Bob Sagget at the Border Grill. And it is fairly unique place for out of town people.

                      1. Might be worth a drive up the coast to Malibu. Stop for a drink at sunset at Duke's Barefoot Bar or one of the other ocean side spots, then head to Nobu for dinner.