Solo Dining - Santa Monica near 3rd St Promenade
I'll be near the 3rd street promendade area on business this week - do you guys have suggestions for a solo dinner in the area (walking distance)? Something that is in the $25-30 range.
Any good dinner takeout suggestions would be great as well!
monday bistro night at jiraffe is a total shoe in. 3 courses 28bux. might be longer than you want though. but its the best dining you'll have in that area. bay cities deli is amazing. i have one sandwich a week from there. and im the type of guy that almost NEVER gets sandwiches for lunch. there is lots of awful food in this area. sham is pretty good. have yet to check out fritto misto but sounds like its a hot spot. gotta go. i also like the oyster and wine sampler at ocean ave seafood for happy hour and their calamari is huge although strangely light. its like its been dessicated somehow. musha is great for japanese izyakaya pub tapas type stuff. if you want to do "LA" vegan raw you can try julianos raw, but i wouldnt go within twenty feet of that place.
The Promenade IS pretty touristy.
But there is a fairly non-touristy bar and grill called the Sunset Bar and Grill on the north end of the promenade, west side of the street.
It's a bar, yeah, but I've had good bar meals there alone. Burgers, chicken sandwiches, that sort of thing. They've got a full menu and pour a very fair drink.
3rd St Prom has a lot of chains and the like but SB&G is not chainy ... if you know what I mean.
It's way cheaper than your price range, though, so it may not be fancy or chowy enough. But it's good.
Come to think of it, if I were alone and in Santa Monica I might head to Chez Jay.
I'm not sure how Chowhounders feel about Chez Jay. It's a very venerable Santa Monica location for seafood. It's a Santa Monicans hang out ... not locals only, but sort of has that vibe. I like to go their alone, start with a whiskey, then have a cold beer with sand dabs. Chez Jay is less than a mile from the promenade, though I've never walked it.
I dig the place as a whole: drinks, tradition, coldness of the beer and the food. Then again, CJ is my turf.
You can easily walk to Chez Jay from the Promenade. Depending where you are on the Promenade, it's likely to be just a 10-minute walk. I'm a chowhounder and I love Chez Jay, though I will acknowledge that some 'hounds have been very surprised when I have suggested it as a dining option. People tend to think of it as a drinking option only. I happen to think the food is good. Surprisingly good.
Darn, too bad it has to be walking distance...I would have suggested VIOLET on Pico just west of Centinela.
I've dinned solo several times and had a great experience...small plates of exciting tastes...lovely selections of wines by the glass.
Wonderful quality, fresh and seasonal, so reasonably priced with perfect portions..mmm, the sort ribs! any risotto related object, super tastey salads, I love the soups (but they're even better if you can request some of their cumin croutons to trow on top) sexy desserts...all good.
If you can grab a bike, horse, donkey, taxi, check it out!
Musha is a good option - but evenings only, unfortunately - no lunch.
There are also Warszawa and Sham Restaurant; they fall safely into your price range.
Lunch in that range gives you a lot of options:
-Houstons (bar is easiest place to dine solo)
-Jinky's for California-style breakfast options
-I Cugini - although not the best Italian seafood, a decent enough option for lunch in that area
California Pizza Kitchen - solo at the counter (*) - has take-out.
Border Grill - solo at the bar - decent happy-hour deals.
Ocean Avenue Seafood - solo at the bar for happy hour specials only, otherwise too $$$.
La Serenata de Garibaldi - solo at table.
(*) I haven't eaten at that location, but assuming that its has a counter like the others I've been to..
While Michael's has it's good points, I think you missed the OP's budget ceiling. If you ordered the cheapest starter and entree your already at $48 food only. Ivy on Ocean is most likely too expensive as well.
Observation - As the 3rd street promenade is a tourist destination and has plently of restaurants, yet every rec so far is not on it!