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May 1, 2007 10:59 AM

santa monica blvd x 10th street?

been at my new gig here in santa monica for a week. i usually bite my tongue and go out with coworkers to lame sandwich shops but i still need to go out periodically for something good.

i still have to hit up bay cities deli. made the drive out to santouka for lunch once. probably will hit yabu. but is there anything in walking distance or very close i can convince my coworkers to try out?

does jiraffe or other nice restaurants open for lunch?

any good happy hours? anyone been to warsawa happy hour?

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  1. Tacos Por Favor -- Olympic at 14th. Hefty tacos for about $2 -- some rave about the chorizo and cheese, i like the al pastor and carnitas. Good salsa roja at the salsa bar. Also have goodlooking tostadas, and I've taken out a burrito or six.

    You will enjoy Bay Cities, but it is ridiculous to wait in line for the deli sandwiches at lunch -- the lines can be 20-min to half-hour long. And until you sample the place you won't know the secrets (mild pepper spread or spicy olive spread) to order ahead. Go the first time and survey the scene, snatch up some takeout menus, and order a meatball sub or one of the hot dishes -- none or very short line there. The secret is the bread -- their sandwich roll is superlative.

    1. I love the happy hour at Warszawa and the food there generally, but i know it's only open for dinner. Same with Musha in terms of food. Melisse is open for lunch, but I would imagine that it's probably more than you'd want to spend. I've heard good things about Sham, but have never tried it.

      You've probably already found the Wahoo's Tacos and Baja Fresh nearby. Le Pain Quotidien is not only several blocks from there too.

      Oh, and you can email in your order to Bay Cities which saves so much time!

      2 Replies
      1. re: mollyomormon

        do they serve food at their happy hour? i've always wanted to check this place out to practice my polish...

        1. re: modernist

          I don't know if they have discounts on food, but I assume they serve it since they're open for dinner at that time. They have a really cool back patio, very fun to sit back there with a beer and hang out. Also, our waitress last time was an awesome Polish girl so you'd probably get a chance to try out your Polish. Either way, it's totally worth checking out. The pierogis, borscht and duck are great.

      2. I have had good sandwiches at Jack n Jill's near 5th. Damon and Pythias is on Wilshire, and Houston's too.

        4 Replies
        1. re: hrhboo

          Jiraffe is open for lunch. You can walk to 4th and try out Border Grill, Le Seranata Girabaldi (not sure of spelling or exact location-think it is on 4th), Benihana-it would be fun to recreate THE OFFICE lunch!, the area also has PF Chang's (lot's of people like it), Fritto Misto, Back on Broadway (both good for lunch). Also if you drive down 26th toward San Vicente, there is the Marketplace with tons of eateries for a farmers market type of lunch, Kate and Daves (authentic healthful gringo Mexican), and a ton of other places-Mimi's, Louise's Sushi, etc.

          1. re: Densible

            The last time I walked by Jiraffe a week or two ago it was NOT open for lunch. It has not been open except for dinner in a few years as far as I know. However, if you know that it's just started doing lunch again, I'd be happy to learn that.

          2. re: hrhboo

            Sad to say, but this location of Damon & Pythias already closed!

            1. re: mollyomormon

              Unless they've changed, Warszawa offers the appetizers from the restaurant menu for 1/2 off during happy hour. Happy hour, if you believe their sign, is only on Thursday and Friday from 6:30 to 8:30.

          3. Port Royal Jamaican food on Broadway and 15 is pretty good

            1. I'm trying to think of high ends (as in Jiraffe) open for lunch--Michaels is open (not walkable unless you have a long lunch), The Lobster is open (haven't been there in years). Oh yeah--La Botte is open for lunch (or was a while back). That is walking distance from where you work (it's at 7th/SM Blvd.) --very expensive, however. Drago is at Wilshire/26th or so; it's open for lunch. Wilshire is a block or two west; does lunch (or did last year). There's a good lunch buffet at Nawab of India (this is not high end but has always been decent) --Wilshire & 16th I think (or 15th). East on SM Blvd. from 10th there is Bistro of Santa Monica at 21st (I haven't been there in years so can't vouch for it). If you want to get in your car and drive a little bit there's Le Petit Cafe on Colorado around 30th St. It's a pretty authentic French roadside cafe. The prices aren't bad at lunch. In that vicinity (Bundy/Olympic), there's Lemon Moon on the ground floor of the Media Bldg. It's the Citrin/Lunetta place that is cafeteria style and has a large deli case and great hambugers. A little farther east is Nook on SM Blvd. They have great lunch options. Let's see what else--4th and SM is Sushi Mon--pretty nondescript sushi but they have a lunch special at 3 prices (12/15/17 I think roughly)--with your choice of many rolls and 5 large pieces of sushi (not the best but good enough and filling). There's one other place close to you that's a decent little cafe called Buon Giorno. It's at 1431 SM Blvd. You can walk from 10th (parking is bad).

              Hope this will keep you busy for a while. I should say, by the way, that I've been very appreciative of your several lists over the last few years. You're a real asset to this board!

              6 Replies
              1. re: ThatPat

                glad to be of service, and thanks for the info. :)
                i havent been too adventurous and have been making the drive to santouka. the little italian cafe may be the place that my office mates call "cheap italian" for the 5 dollar take away lunch specials, which actually is a really good deal although i have yet to try their pasta. i had a meatball sandwich there that was loaded with cheese. i would say it was so so at best. maybe ill take a crack at lemon moon. any comments on this crepe place called acadie?

                my office mates always go to el cholo on fridays for margaritas but i hate the food, especially after spending 6 days in mexico city... any other good friday long lunch, get wasted kind of places?

                1. re: modernist

                  Acadie can be pretty... authentic.

                  It's possible to sit in their fairly cold and uncomfortable shop, be glared at by a very hip young french wait staff with Canal+ news blasting on the television, and eat an authetic Breton buckwheat krampouz (Breton/Celt for pancake) filled with locally produced goat cheese, eggs, and spinach. Most of their other crepes are less authentically filled, and overly cheesey (in both concept and execution).

                  Cafe Crepe, up the Promenade, is a Francophone/Canadian chain... and tries to be as Parisian as humanly possible. It's more environment is more comfortable, it's overall execution is more fun (possibly too fun), and it's menu is far more diverse... but it lacks that essential Breton hostility that I miss so much from cafes back home.

                  1. re: Moomin

                    Cafe Crepe actually would be a decent suggestion for a place to go get wasted in the afternoon because they have a full bar. You could sit out and people watch on their patio on the promenade and the drinks they're ridiculously cheap drinks.

                    By the way, I was back at Warszawa on Saturday night for dinner and drinks and the food at dinner was awesome again and then we headed to the back patio where there was a great crowd drinking, they were showing the fight on a big screen, and someone had set up a taco grill. Really fun, You really should make it over there soon.

                    1. re: Moomin

                      went to acadie for lunch today. it was fine if only a welcome break from the sandwich scene. got the maine which is average costco quality brie, bacon, egg and green onions. (the bacon got me!) and a salad. it was fine and nice to sit outside.

                      probably will skip sushi mon since im kind of picky about asian food in general. i've been going to mitsuwa getting ramen and having the sashimi (i ask them to cut it for me)

                    2. re: modernist

                      Buon Giorno is indeed the $5 lunch special place in that area. Il Forno, on Ocean Park at 29th, also has a $5 takeout only lunch special and I think it is far superior, at least for a fast, cheap lunch. But, from where you are (and where I am), Il Forno is a drive.

                      If you are driving anyway, there is also a Mrs. Winston's salad bar, another Il Forno (don't know whether they have the $5 specials) and a Cafe Bizou at the Water Garden complex at 26th and Olympic.

                      1. re: igj

                        Going west (if you're driving) there's Cora's Coffee Shoppe (opened by Bruce Marder / Il Capo) on Ocean Ave. and on Pico and Ocean Ave. there's a Cha Cha Chicken.