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westside girls-night out suggestions

Hey Everybody,

My friends and I (6 of us) live down in Orange County, but we are coming up up to Santa Monica for a getaway weekend (yay!). We are looking for a nice, but not too fancy restaurant that will help us really feel like we're on vaction. We're looking for something around $20 a plate (with extra for drinks, appetizers, tip, etc.). We need a place we can make reservations (and will have them this late, we're looking for THIS Sat.). We want a place where we can wear jeans, but will still be fun and exciting. Any ideas?

Thanks ahead, for the help!

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  1. I would recommed PRIMITIVO'S (on Abbott Kinney), NIKKI'S LOCAL 72 (on Market St. in Venice) or JAMES BEACH (in Venice).

    5 Replies
    1. re: bruinike

      Abode would be my top pick, I feel like I'm on vacation every time I go there. Love it.

      I second Primitivo. Chaya Venice is also fun and has the added bonus of being close to other bars/clubs on Main St.

      Nikki is full of 21 year olds on weekend nights, so if you and your girls are that age you'll love it. Otherwise, you might find it a bit "young". It gets crazy packed. I'm in my 20s and usually find it a bit much.

      1. re: hrhboo

        I would second Abode, especially if you can sit out on the patio (although with the June gloom, who knows?). The only thing with Abode is that it would likely be difficult to keep it under 20$ per person since even most of their appetizers are around $15 and all their entrees are definitely more than $20. If you're open to ethnic, Musha has a really festive atmosphere and you could easily meet that price point and share a bunch of dishes.

        1. re: mollyomormon

          Chazar is paying $20pp not including apps, drinks and tip, so it's definitely doable at Abode. They do have appetizers in the $7 -$10 range.

          I love Musha, it's great fun for a group and the food is fantastic.

          1. re: hrhboo

            Musha is the best idea I've seen yet. Far better than the recommendations I posted. It's loud, fun, tasty, inexpensive, interesting...

      2. re: bruinike

        Second Chaya, Primitivo, and Abode.

        26 Beach is fun. I'd also look into the Huntley Penthouse, Whist at the Viceroy and Chez Mimi.

        Bandera is fun to me too up on Wilshire at Barrington. La Serenata di Garabaldi, Caffe Delfini, and World Cafe on Main are fun.

      3. Moonshadows in Malibu. It gets mixed, maybe mostly negative, reviews on here, but I had a really fun great time there last month. It has a really nice view, right on the water, fun atmosphere, and you feel like you're on vacation. At the bottom of this thread is my review with pictures. You'll be able to make a reservation.
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/39481...

        At some point, I also highly recommend you have a drink at the Hotel Casa Del Mar. Gorgeous room, view, so relaxing...

        1. Not sure if you can get a reservation still, but Beechwood might do the trick. Also, Piccolo in Venice is a good option. Or you could try Lilly's -- you could definitely get in there and the price and food would suit your needs. All these places are in Venice.

          1. Abode's patio - you won't need reservations if you sit in the bar area.

            Beechwood - also won't need reservations for the patio area.

            Montana Lounge, which is closing soon, get there while it's still open. No reservations, certainly within your budget since the food is $5 - $10.

            6 Replies
            1. re: yogachik

              Montana Lounge is already closed :(

              1. re: mollyomormon

                No it's not. It's open at least through the end of the month. The sign is painted over, the valet is gone, the outdoor tables and chairs are gone, because of city issues, but they are open.

                1. re: yogachik

                  Oh, good! I ran by the other night and they were definitely closed, but that must have been because it was a Monday night?

                  1. re: mollyomormon

                    Yes, they're closed Sun and Mon. And, some nights it looks closed because neighbors are complaining about noise whenever the front door opens, so some nights, patrons must use the back door.

                    1. re: yogachik

                      Thanks so much! I'll definitely take advantage of having a full bar on Montana for a little while longer before they close.

                      1. re: mollyomormon

                        Official word is that Montana Lounge closes on July 31.

            2. beechwood Venice - clean cool space but still relaxed. good bar menu.
              chaya venice - 110 Navy Street (Main & Navy) Venice, CA 90291
              Bar Copa bar - Santa Monica very chill place for drinks and good music
              The Brig Venice- 1515 Abbot Kinney Blvd Venice, CA 90291 (good for 21 and up)
              Otheroom Venice - cool urban bachelor pad style decorated wine bar (310) 396-6230 1201 Abbot Kinney Blvd Venice, CA 90291 (would recommend this spot for 25 and older)

              all places mentioned above are "LA-ish." As with the location, parking is limited / items are more $. have a great time!

              6 Replies
              1. re: flavasista

                oh second chaya venice and bar copa =) my friends and i have lots of impromptu nights at bar copa and we enjoy it a lot... great chill vibe yet fun... and definitely no overrated hype.. good call on that =)

                1. re: kinipela

                  Did I just try Barcopa on an off night? I was there last month on a Saturday probably around 11pm and it was completely dead inside, and I found the space to be odd and, not divey, but kind of dumpy, if that's the right word... We stayed for about ten minutes then went to Beechwood.

                  1. re: LisaStitch

                    It's pretty much always dead the times I've been there.

                    1. re: LisaStitch

                      hmmm i dunno... it is chill..there's a makeshift dancefloor kind thing... and it's not party like a rockstar... i'm getting over those types of vibes... of course, each bar has it's own vibe and stuff =) i guess it really just depends...

                  2. re: flavasista

                    I like all the places you mentioned too, just a note to the OP that the Brig and Otheroom don't serve food although you can order food from nearby restaurants for delivery to Otheroom or you could just walk over after eating at Primitivo, Lilly's, Axe or Joe's.

                    1. re: flavasista

                      Brig and Otheroom don't serve food, fyi

                    2. Wow, you are all so awesome! Thank you soooo much for all your help. Wow, all I can say is WOW! Thanks to your excellent suggestions, we have a reservation at Abode for Sat. night, and we are all very excited. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

                      1. We LOVED Abode, thanks so much to everyone who suggested it!

                        1 Reply