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Can some recommend a "special occasion restaurant in Santa Monica that is not to trendy & has good food.

Timabruin May 1, 2007 04:03 PM


  1. ellaystingray May 4, 2007 11:58 AM

    I have used the outdoor tables at Michael's for more than one special occasion dinner and that place came through every time. Now, I will introduce the caveat that I did this when Sang Yoon was in the kitchen (Father's Office now) and David Rosoff (Mozza now) was the GM. When Michael's was serving flower salads for $8 in 1988 it was definately trendy, but these days I would just consider it one of deans of dining Santa Monica dining.

    I just had dinner at Chinios on Wednesday. Considering the decor still screams B. Lazaroff circa 1984 and I could get a table for 2 at 7:30 same day it doesn't really bend my trendy meter much. The only downside is that this is still a very expensive restaurant. Nonetheless, I loved the dinner. The deep fried whole catfish was really really good.


    1. l
      LisaStitch May 2, 2007 11:35 AM

      Joe's and Il Moro are good but not very "special occasion". More business lunch places to me.

      1. n
        Nicole May 1, 2007 09:33 PM

        Ditto on Josie and Jiraffe.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Nicole
          brandygirl May 1, 2007 10:32 PM

          You can't go wrong with Melisse (if price isn't a problem) or Valentino.

          1. re: brandygirl
            Jeryy May 2, 2007 02:08 AM

            I love Il Moro on Perdue in W.LA -sit outside on a warm night with spectacular Italian food, good wine list, nice people, spacious, and not too noisy. They also have a couple of small private dining rooms. Look at their website.

        2. c
          Cinnamon May 1, 2007 08:20 PM

          I don't consider Jiraffe trendy, and it's very good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Cinnamon
            jamiepinkpanda May 1, 2007 09:05 PM

            I think Jiraffe is a good choice, low key and delicious.

          2. Dyspepsia May 1, 2007 07:39 PM

            I never think of the enduring classics as trendy such as Capo, Michael's, Drago, Valentino or Melisse. I'm probably even forgetting a few but the food at each of these places is amazing.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Dyspepsia
              Renault78law May 2, 2007 11:33 AM

              Love Jiraffe, skip Drago

            2. g
              glutton May 1, 2007 07:17 PM

              Joe's on Abbot Kinney in Venice. It's not Santa Monica, but it's damn close.

              1. perk May 1, 2007 06:56 PM

                Chez Mimi.

                1. e
                  Eczander May 1, 2007 05:15 PM

                  Via Veneto on Main has fantastic food, is small, very romantic. Also very expensive though.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Eczander
                    LisaStitch May 1, 2007 05:17 PM

                    Via Veneto is my favorite restaurant in LA! Definitely special occasion. Fantastic Italian food and great service. Worth every penny in my book. Reserve now because they book up for dinner fast.

                    1. re: LisaStitch
                      yogachik May 1, 2007 06:51 PM

                      Via Veneto, Caffe Delfini, Giorgios, Whist, or Locanda Portofino.

                      1. re: yogachik
                        CChow May 1, 2007 06:54 PM

                        I'd have to disagree on Whist - it's VERY trendy (though I do love the food).

                        1. re: CChow
                          hrhboo May 1, 2007 08:49 PM

                          Whist isn't trendy anymore. The food is solid if a little unexciting.

                  2. tony michaels May 1, 2007 04:05 PM

                    Josie (EOM)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: tony michaels
                      whatsfordinner May 1, 2007 05:07 PM

                      I agree. Josie would be my first choice. Order the venison.

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