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montana of santa monica: is there a best?

epop Apr 10, 2007 06:11 PM

haven't hit on a place to rely on for a great dinner. any ideas for one on montana? (i've tried 17th st cafe, pradeep's, rosti, blue plate and found none of them to be adequate.

  1. gomagoma Apr 12, 2007 06:21 PM

    Father's Office for sure. However, if you can hop into a car and drive 3 minutes, I suggest Amici on the corner of San Vicente and 26th.

    7 Replies
    1. re: gomagoma
      Emme Apr 12, 2007 07:51 PM

      Good wine selection and good food at Amici; however, they ticked me off last time when they read the specials including a "lovely filet of sole..." and neglected to mention it was DOVER sole... and was a bit peeved to get charged 38 dollars unexpectedly. Had i known it was dover, I would have anticipated a higher charge and thought maybe to ask about the pricing. I just felt duped, and I don't like eating dover sole out b/c i can't justify the high price for something I can generally do at home. I don't *need* Dover, so I probably wouldn't have ordered it. Nonetheless, it's always frustrating to eat something, then be shocked by the sticker price. I would have done better to know exactly how much I was ingesting...

      1. re: Emme
        epop Apr 12, 2007 10:53 PM

        yes the northwest end of santa monica is the area i was looking for some advice on. i hadn't had the courage to try Amici, Portofino, Cafe Montana and even Rustic Canyon (i can't chew or eat or think in a noisy place). usually i go to melisse or to brass cap and i hate to leave a place disapppointed. Mimi's is sort of satisfactory, given the setting, but i was hoping to find something delicious near my friend's place off montana (father's office is too much of a bar, i like to sit). cafe luxxe is wonderful but isn't a place for food/dinner.

        1. re: epop
          Frank_Santa_Monica Apr 13, 2007 12:11 AM

          Montana is mezza mez by design. There's only one place with a liquor license; the rents are so ridiculous a burger is $15 (and people love it!). I hope Luxxe sticks around, because places like that are what Montana needs. My wish is for a Susina type place or a Boule opens one day.

          1. re: Frank_Santa_Monica
            epop Apr 13, 2007 09:25 AM

            that'd be great... but so long as people think places like blue plate are great we're in trouble

            1. re: epop
              Wolfgang Apr 13, 2007 09:40 AM

              I went to the Montana Lounge last night around 9:30 to specifically try the chilidog. It's pretty darn good and well priced. You get a 1/4 lb. Hebrew National dog split down the middle and topped with Tommy's like chili cheese, with fries for $4.50. For a lounge, the music is way too loud, but since it's right around the block from me, I'll be back sooner than later for a late night chilidog.
              I've heard that Montana Lounge will only be open a few months and then it will be redone again and open as a breakfast, lunch and dinner place.

              1. re: Wolfgang
                yogachik Apr 13, 2007 11:18 AM

                I've been there almost every night since they opened, and my favorite thing on the menu is that chili dog.

                Might not true about only being open a few months. The real story: SBE (owners) got, or have, an offer from Banderas/Houstons group to turn it into a cafe a la something they own in Costa Mesa. So they opened up Montana Lounge (SBE owned the terrible Yu) to make the transfer/sale of the full bar liquor license easier. What they didn't expect was that this little spot on the Westside would do bigger numbers than their own Hyde. So now, they're saying that if it continues to do well, they're not selling. But who knows.

                It would be such a shame to only have Montana Lounge for just a few months.

                1. re: yogachik
                  Wolfgang Apr 13, 2007 02:31 PM

                  Hillstone Restaurant Group (Houston's, Bandera) claims to already own the lease under Montana Lounge and supposedly had to open the place for 90 days so the liquor license wouldn't go dormant.
                  Interesting that SBE says they still have the ball in their court.

    2. Senor Popusa Apr 12, 2007 11:10 AM

      I like Father's Office a lot. Ever since they got cited by the fire marshall, they limit the number of people inside, so there is less of a crazy crowd inside bumping you. I do however smuggle in ketchup, as I scrape off the bacon and blue cheese on the burger and want the ketchup for the burger and fries. The lamb is also a good choice there.

      Cafe Montana is a safe bet on Montana too. Their turkey burger with grilled onions (ask for the onions to be grilled) is pretty tasty.

      1. aching Apr 11, 2007 04:32 PM

        I agree with the other who recommended Father's Office. Their burgers and fries are awesome - and I agree that you certainly couldn't call anywhere else on Montana awesome!

        1. y
          yogachik Apr 11, 2007 09:32 AM

          Portofino is one of my favorite restaurants in all of LA. Their penne vodka is fantastic.

          Marmiton is always great. And they have ready-made dinners that you take home and heat up - gourmet meals to go.

          Montana Lounge isn't a restaurant, per se, it's a bar that serves food. Everyone is nuts for the bacon wrapped scallops (which I don't eat), I love the kobe burger. I had a chili dog there last night that was suprisingly really good! And only $4.50.

          1 Reply
          1. re: yogachik
            Emme Apr 11, 2007 06:30 PM

            Agree w/ Le Marmiton. Also like Cafe Montana and Babalu.

          2. m
            MrShoop Apr 10, 2007 07:26 PM

            I think Vincenzo is often overlooked when people talk about Montana. Definitely a cut above Rosti (which I like for a quick bite) and not as cramped as Locanda Postofino. If you aren't totally locked into Mpontana, it is only 3 blocks down 11th St to Wilshire where you could try Rustic Canyon.

            5 Replies
            1. re: MrShoop
              epop Apr 11, 2007 06:56 PM

              still no posts on Rustic so I haven't been. + not sure if it is quiet. i'm not one for the loud

              1. re: epop
                mollyomormon Apr 11, 2007 07:02 PM

                I have posted on Rustic before and it is indeed loud, although I've heard that they plan to install sound panels which should help. I've never seen children there, so I'm not sure how that would be.

                1. re: mollyomormon
                  LisaStitch Apr 12, 2007 10:38 AM

                  Kids would be fine at Rustic, especially if you score a booth, and I love their burger, but it is a loud place.

                  1. re: LisaStitch
                    yogachik Apr 12, 2007 10:47 AM

                    I would definitely recommend Rustic Canyon, but it is loud. However, it's not on Montana, which was the specific question.

                    1. re: yogachik
                      mollyomormon Apr 12, 2007 12:11 PM

                      OP said he would be open to Rustic several posts above and asked about the noise level and whether kids would do well there.

            2. techbod Apr 10, 2007 07:02 PM

              Locando Portofino. It's not "every day," but it's always good. The pasta portofino keeps me coming back. Also, it requires some work, but Patty's Pizza (take home and bake yourself) is very reliable and higher quality than expected. Desserts from Babalu or Cafe Montana are good - banana brownie pie is great.

              1. f
                Frank_Santa_Monica Apr 10, 2007 06:42 PM

                Really? Me too. There just isn't a great place on Montana, unfortunately. And, take it from me, I can walk to all those places.

                Have you tried Locando Portofino and Father's Office? There's also that new place Montana Grill. There are some strong supporters of Blue Plate, but I'm not one of them.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Frank_Santa_Monica
                  epop Apr 11, 2007 06:54 PM

                  yes, forgot about father's office, which is decent. but i wanted somewhere to go to with children.

                  i'll try locando portofino--- just wishing someone would open a recommendable place.

                2. mollyomormon Apr 10, 2007 06:34 PM

                  How about Father's Office or the new Montana Lounge (where Yu used to be)?

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