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Need dinner help in Santa Monica for Mon. night

Hi Chowhounds - I need your expertise!

A foodie friend of mine is coming into town from New York and asked me to pick a dinner place in Santa Monica. What I'm looking for is a Little Door or Opus somewhere in SM, but it's proving hard to find.

Here's what's already been nixed off the list (if you disagree, please let me know):

**Jiraffe (I find it unimpressive and too loud)
**Musha (he doesn't want Japanese)
**Nook (not atmospheric enough)
**The Penthouse at Huntley Hotel (bad food)
**Rustic Canyon (too many bad reviews)
**Any chain restaurant

Any help is appreciated!

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  1. Abode
    Via Veneto
    Primativo
    Whist
    Sam's
    Giorgio's
    Joe's
    Axe
    Chaya Venice

    2 Replies
    1. re: yogachik

      Great choices! Joe's is closed on Mondays but I'm pretty sure the rest are open.

    2. Thank you all for those great suggestions! I almost went with Abode (it looks incredible!), but Josie looks perfect for my friend... cozy, quiet, delicious, and with a great wine list. Thanks, Handlertaper (and everyone else... don't think I haven't written all of those down for future use!) :-)

      4 Replies
      1. re: Slangevar

        I am sure that your friend will be pleased with your choice in restaurants.

        Have fun!

        1. re: Slangevar

          Josie is a really good choice, and unless they've had a recent policy change, there's also no corkage fee on Monday nights, which is an added bonus on top of the great food and a room where you can actually hear your dining companions.

          1. re: Slangevar

            handlertaper beat me to it...i strongly second josie.

            and tell your friend it's in no way related to either 'josie's' or josephina in nyc :)

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Cookiemonster - thanks for the great tip! My friend is a huge wine aficionado, so I think he'll love showing off a bit.

              Goodhealthgourmet - I'll make a note of that. No doubt he's probably been to josephina in NY, so I'm sure he'll ask.

          2. Went to Abode on Friday night. We both had the 7 course tasting menu. Gotta say - some dishes were absolutely stunning. Others....not so. Competent but nothing to write home about.

            The langoustine wrapped in shiso leaf with lavender was fantastic. the fois-gras with 2 kinds of cherries (sauted and pickled) was out of this world. The halibut with a curry sauce was good. The chef's 2 amuse-bouche ice creams were wonderful. The closer - a pork tenderloin - was cloying and one-dimensional.

            But the most amazing thing was the price. And I don't mean that in a good way. I don't think we'll be going back - its like OK, we've experienced it, but it was way way too expensive. Even for fois-gras.

            2 Replies
            1. re: gsw

              That's too bad - Hollywood, Silverlake and Venice seem to be blossoming with delicious, reasonably affordable spots. I'd love to see Santa Monica step up with a few new gems of their own.

              1. re: Slangevar

                Abode is very affordable if you order a la carte. Tasting menus are usually pretty expensive anywhere.

            2. I would add Wilshire to your list! Great food great atmosphere.

              1. This may sound silly but I was in SM recently with other people from afar and we went to the Lobster for dinner. The location is qintessential. We had the most delightful waiter and the food was really great. I had a delicious potato crusted salmon and I am not a huge fish person. A little touristy perhaps, but we had an all around great time! And a nice stroll along the beach afterwards doesnt hurt either...

                1 Reply
                1. re: MellieMac

                  i'm also a fan of the lobster.
                  it isn't 'fine' dining, but the food has always been more than good enough.
                  the view is terrific, and the service has always been fine.
                  the price/quality/quantity trade off has always been more than reasonable imho.

                2. I wanted to thank everyone for their help! We wound up going to Josie, which was absolutely perfect. We were a bit younger than the rest of the diners, but we really appreciated the resulting quiet of the dining room and the professionalism of the service. Plus the food was outstanding... they had a boar special that was out of this world. So thanks again!