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Restaurants in Santa Monica

I recently moved to Santa Monica (around 10th and Santa Monica Blvd.) Everyone always tells me there are such great restaurants down there, but I haven't been able to fin any! The promenade is terrible, there are a few places on Main...am I missing something??

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  1. Welcome to the hood. There certainly is a high concentration of good restaurants in Santa Monica, as well as a wide variety:
    Melisse, Akwa, Capo, Giorgio, Valentino, Michaels, One Pico, Boa, The Hump, Chinois, The Lobster, The Ivy, Whist, Buffalo Club, Sushi King, Josie, Sushi Roku, Tengu, Casa del Mar, Ocean and Vine, Ocean Ave Seafood, La Serenata.

    Start with those.

    The Promenade DOES suck for restaurants, as do Main and Montana.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Frank_Santa_Monica

      You're kidding right? All three locations: Promenade, Main and Montana have some pretty good places.

      Promenade: .

      1. The two crepe places are pretty good (one is on Arizona, the other is on Broadway).

      2. Houston's is a chain -- but some of their stuff is more than passable.

      3. Ye Olde Kings Head -- it is touristy and full of Brits -- but the food is damn good.

      4. Gelato place -- across from the movie theaters on Arizona. Not bad.

      5. Fred Segal -- very healthy lunch options.

      Main:

      1. Sunday farmer's market.

      2. Chinois

      3. Chaya Venice

      4. Pizza place -- whose name I don't remember

      Montana

      1. Babalu

      2. Blue Plate

      3. Italian ice place on 13th & Montana. Get the blood orange.

      4. Cafe Montana

      1. re: jhulla

        double exclamation marks on Musha! the owner is hilarious and the food is awesome! Good luck getting a table on Friday and Saturday nights though.

        1. re: jhulla

          Well, Chinois I like and it's on Main. Chaya is in Venice, technically.

          There's one crepe place on the Promenade, and I don't think it's all that great. It's open late, which is nice. Kings head is on 2nd and not 3rd. The Gelato place is like buying store gelato-- some company ships it from San Francisco. Fred Segal is on 5th. Houston's is on 2nd.

          And on Montana, I go to Father's Office, Cafe Montana all the time, but I think they are very mediocre. Babalu, Blue Plate-- very, very mediocre.

          Speaking of Montana, there's some new place opening called "Montana".

          1. re: jhulla

            I'd add the 17th Street Cafe to the discussion of restaurants on Montana, good, not great salads and sandwiches. Nice place for a lunch. I seem to remember that they made a pretty good cioppino as well.

          2. re: Frank_Santa_Monica

            Um... have we ever been to Main and/or Montana? Both are fabulous scenes for food and drinks.

            1. re: WORX4FUDE

              Where's fabulous for food on Main or Montana? Father's Office on Montana and Via Veneto on Main, but where else?

            1. What places have you tried on Main St. that you like?

              1. I would also say that you should go to Father's Office. Since you're local, it'll be easy for you to stop by when it isn't awfully crowded. And you get to partake in the ever popular Best Burger in LA debate.

                1 Reply
                1. re: SauceSupreme

                  Definitely stop by now that it's open on the weekends for lunch!

                2. It takes a while to discover the gems in Santa Monica. Here are some recommendations for a local for good local grub.

                  1. Bay Cities Deli (Broadway & Lincoln): This place will become your goto sandwich place. Go there. Immediately. They bake their bread fresh throughout the day. The sandwiches are delicious. And while you wait for your number to come up, peruse their amazing selection of European groceries. (And you can walk there.)

                  2. Blue Plate (Montana & 14th): A great lunch/brunch restaurant. Excellent healthy sandwiches, salads.

                  3. Babalu (Montana & 9th): Excellent fish specials. Americanized Caribbean food. Delish.

                  4. Cha Cha Cha (Pico & Ocean): Get the jerk chicken enchiladas with the fried plantains on the side.

                  5. Fritto Misto (Colorado & 6th?): Great neighborhood italian place. Food is good. Staff is friendly.

                  6. Ye Olde Kings Head (Santa Monica & Ocean): This touristy British Pub actually serves some damn good food.

                  7. Sunday Farmers Market (Main & Ocean Park): Grab yourself a plate of eggs or pancakes and some fresh squeezed oj and sit down in the grass along with a hundred other people. Sundays only.

                  Start with those.

                  You can then work up to Melisse, Josie's, Locanda Portofino, Jiraffe, etc.