ocean and vine or abode for cozy anniversary dinner?
help me decide between ocean and vine and abode for a cozy anniversary dinner in santa monica. my honey and i are getting a massage at 5:30pm, so we're looking for a dinner place that will be cozy and romantic, not too stuffy or uncomfortable. we're getting the massage at exhale (2nd and arizona), so we'd like someplace we can walk to from there.
i thought ocean and vine seemed nice from the website, and i've heard such great things about abode...i'm just not sure which suits the occasion better. money's not an issue.
any advice would be great! i'm also open to other suggestions in the area.
fellow hounds seem to love abode...i've never been so i can't vouch for it. but i had dinner @ 'ocean & vine' last month, and was underwhelmed. my companions seemed to enjoy their meals [i tasted the bass and it was nice, but nothing special], unfortunately i had to send my calamari back. twice. i hate giving servers/restaurants a hard time [been there]. but the dish was so beyond oversalted that i was literally gagging after one bite. [who even salts calamari to begin with? it's so naturally salty already!] i wasn't even impressed with the complimentary chocolate truffles they brought us at the end of the meal, and i'm a raging chocoholic. they were way too chilled/cold.
plus, although the fire pit is a nice idea, it doesn't necessarily inspire romance, and the acoustics in there can make the noise level far from cozy.
so in case you haven't figured it out, i'd say skip 'ocean & vine.'
As another option, I would suggest Jiraffe and get a table on the second floor; I prefer the table in the right corner. Enjoyed a really fine dinner there a month ago in terms of food, service and ambience.
Abode would be a more romantic choice and, I think, serves the better food. Ocean & Vine does have the view and the firepits but it always has felt a bit sterile, even more so since the wonderful opening manager, Mandie, left. If you go to Abode, there are these nice, semi-curtained booths against the wall that might be perfect for an anniversary dinner.