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Watching a Sunset in Santa Monica

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  • erinl Mar 26, 2007 08:17 PM
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I want to have dinner and actually see the sun set. When I was in Malibu you couldn't actually see the sun setting. Any suggestions of places in Santa Monica that aren't too expensive?

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  1. The Lobster and One Pico are options.

    7 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      The Lobster
      Casa del Mar
      Penthouse at The Huntley
      Gladstones (north of Santa Monica)
      the end of The Pier (can't think of name of the restaurants)
      Back at the Beach stays open late in summer, I think

      1. re: yogachik

        Just from the height factor, the Penthouse makes for one of my favorites.

        You could even just have a drink in the bar, then head to another restaurant after the sun goes down.

        1. re: Swoshmn

          That's probably what I would do to save money. Have a beer at the Penthouse and then walk over to Musha on Wilshire.

          1. re: mollyomormon

            is the penthouse super expensive for dinner

            1. re: erinl

              I would say that apps run $15 and up, entrees run around high 20's and up (BF's surf and turf last time was around 50 or 60, though), desserts (or happy endings as they call them there) are all 9, I think. Cocktails are probably 12 and up.

              1. re: erinl

                All entrees are between $30 and $40. All of them. Drink prices went up over the weekend, all are now $15 (something about the old Toppers managers ran the place, and there's a whole new team now, and they raised the initial prices, or so the GM told me last night when I commented/complained that my usual drink [gimlet] was $10 the other night, and all other nights, but was now $15)

                1. re: yogachik

                  I definitely recall that the roasted chicken was in the $20's the last time we were there around a month ago so that must mean they've raised the prices on entrees as well. Annoying. And that really sucks about the drink prices since all the drinks I've tried there have been very weak.

      2. The Lobster is very expensive. There is a Bubba Gump on the pier now. Gladstone's patio is nice too.

        1. The restaurant at the end of SM Pier is Mariasol. It's so-so Mexican food, but the view is terrific. Gladstone's is also so-so food-wise, but is right on the water. The Lobster will be out of your price range.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Ogawak

            I wish there was a great flagship restaurant on the pier. You are very kind to call Marisol "so so". I'd much rather have a Poquito Mas on the pier than Marisol, for goodness sakes.

          2. A couple of Godmother's, Anti Pasto and Bottle Rootbeer from Bay Cities and a Blanket from home. So basically a picnic on the park along the beach...

            --Dommy!

            3 Replies
            1. re: Dommy

              Great idea!

              1. re: Dommy

                Yes, great option!

                And maybe tack on a ride on the Ferris wheel on the pier right at sunset, if you want a higher-elevation view of the sunset (and the city). My favorite date "spot"...

                1. re: LicketySplit

                  Question: How much do you have to tip the guy running the ferris wheel to stop the ride while your at the very top right when the sun is setting?

              2. It's not exactly in Santa Monica, but the Reel Inn (up the PCH just beyond Topanga Canyon Blvd) is just across PCH from the ocean, and they have reasonably priced seafood.

                I think one can watch the sun set from the inside booths near the window and from their outside tables. Someone else would have to confirm the actual lines of sight, as I haven't been there in awhile. I should note that when busy, the place is somewhat zoo-like, with lines and no guarantee of getting the seat you want.

                Parking can also be difficult when it's busy (I've heard there are valets now, and I'm not sure one can still park along the road or near the nearby convenience store). But the place is fun and cheap.

                3 Replies
                1. re: emmy

                  what about i cugini on Ocean

                  1. re: emmy

                    The Reel Inn has lovely ambience but the food is bad enough to cancel that out - and that takes some BAD. Gladstones is an example of mediocre food being overcome by a lovely setting; at the Reel Inn the food is so excruciatingly bad the setting just can't win out. FWIW, the Reel Inn's setting is more rustic patio-like - I don't think you can watch the sunset from there.

                    Just a couple doors down PCH is Cholada Thai - if you get a window seat you have the same view as the Reel Inn, and the food is fantastic.

                    The Charthouse is also a good place for drinks and apps and the sunset.

                    If you watn to go high end, Shutters and Casa Del Mar are good for drinks and sunset.

                    I like Dommy's idea best, though!

                    I like the idea of the Penthouse at the Huntley - someone else just told me about this place, and I'm going there soon!

                    1. re: emmy

                      Can't recommend it and it does not seem to me likely to promise a great view.

                    2. Keep in mind that the sun sets over the water during the winter months. In the summer time, the sun sets over Malibu. Il Cugini, as all the restaurants on Ocean, are across the street from the beach, so a sunset view would have to be seen through cars, people walking, the pier or Palisades Park.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: Ogawak

                        so would the Lobster work? Does Duke's work? Not looking to spend a lot of money and I don't eat fish.

                        1. re: erinl

                          The Lobster would NOT work - too $$$$$$! Best bet is a happy hour till the sun actually sets then dine elsewhere. High elevation view is the Penthouse at The Huntley, low elevation option could be on the Pier at:
                          http://www.rustyssurfranch.com/gallery/

                          Lots of "affordable" dinner options very close. One option is you could pig out on Oaxacanic with beverage for under $20 (out-the-door) within a 5 minute drive time from RSR:
                          http://www.eltexate.com

                          1. re: erinl

                            Can't say about Duke's; the Lobster would work, but might be expensive for your budget. You may have to "bite the bullet" and pick either "more expensive" i.e. The Lobster, or "mediocre to bad food" i.e., Gladstones or Mariasol. Unfortunately, that's the price of a view in LA.

                          2. re: Ogawak

                            the sun has been setting over Point Dume for the past several weeks as viewed from SM it is moving close to the mountains by now. you would probably have to go as far south as Playa del rey or even Manhattan Beach to get a true sunset over the water view right now.. Even then you have the Channel islands, so good luck if you want th see the "green flash".

                          3. Any place that's actually at the beach is going to be either poor quality and expensive or good quality and muy muy expensive. Also, it's true what others are saying- you won't see it set over the water this time of the year. Having said that, my husband and I walk to the beach during sunsets and they've been very beautiful and dramatic lately regardless of where it actually sinks into the horizon.

                            I totally love the picnic idea. What I've done before is grab stuff fom Bay Cities or Cha Cha Chicken (their Carribean style chicken or ropa viejo), some wine/beer/champaign and do a little picnic at the beach. yeah, yeah, I know you're not supposed to drink at the beach but the SM cops are very nice about it if you look like decent people and chances are you won't see them anyways most of the time. One time, a cop actually came up to me and my group of picnicking friends and asked us to just keep the wine bottles a little less conspicous and then joked that he'll come back when he gets off to share our picnic spread.

                            If you don't want the hassle of gathering picnic supplies, I second the other suggestions about eating elsewhere and then watch the sunset. Maybe you can pick up icecream and enjoy it while watching the sunset.