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Montana Ave: Santa Monica

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I am taking my visiting 60-something parents for dinner tomorrow night & my 2 teenagers. Any suggestions for a place on Montana that would suit that range of people, and serve good food?

I live near Montana but never eat there because (I think) it's pretentious and expensive. Is there anyplace that might prove me wrong on that assumption (and allows the under 21 crowd)?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. Does it have to be ON Montana? Really, the only place I can think of for you, on Montana, is Rosti, but it can get loud. Cafe Montana is good, but inconsistent, especially with service. Locanda Portofino is fantastic, but pricey.

    1. Well, you're right that it's expensive and pretentious. But a nice evening can be had. Try Cafe Montana. I've had great meals and not so great meals there...it isn't always perfect. But stick to the grilled meats - prime rib, lamb - and the fish specials and you'll probably have a great time. It's a nice spot to sit and talk and it's where I used to take my parents when they were in town. There are other options on the street but I'd be hard pressed to come up with one that works better for your occassion.

      1. Vicenzo's (not sure of the spelling), between 7th and Lincoln has pretty good Italian.

        1 Reply
        1. re: whatsfordinner

          Spumoni is neither expensive nor pretentious.

          It will leave you with a gut bomb if you eat until your normal full feeling. Also, make sure you like a lot of garlic before going here.

          I wish Rosti were better. It's so disappointing because it could be so great if they would use better ingredients. The only thing I've ever had there that I'd get again is the half grilled/roasted chicken. Sides? good luck is all I can say.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            I've had good meals at both 17 st. and Cafe Montana. I also like Babalu.

            1. re: Emme

              babalu is very inconsistent. plus, the layout doesn't make it too comfortable for such a large party when they're busy.

          2. Could you take them to Warszawa over on Santa Monica and Lincoln instead? That's about a 2 minute drive and neither pretentious nor expensive.

            1. Il Dolce Cafe on Montana (between 10th and 11th) is a real little gem. The owners are Croatian and the tables are all outdoors (there are gas lamps). The food is wonderful and very fresh. I like their vegetarian-based soups, but everything I have had there is excellent. Sh-h-h, don't spread the word. I love this place. All of the pastas are amazing and the carrot cake is the best in town.

              5 Replies
              1. re: maudies5

                I concur with the others re the 17th Street Cafe. The menu is varied and the food is good.

                1. re: maudies5

                  Il Dolce is also the only place I eat on Montana itself - but not a particularly comfortable place for groups bigger than 4. The patio seating is too cramped to really fit more than that easily.

                  1. re: igj

                    I have been to Il Dolce with a party of 6 and it worked out fine. Agree that more than that would be a problem. Might be worth calling to see if they will take a reservation for 6 and if you can bring your own wine. Don't believe they have a license.

                  2. re: maudies5

                    I think you mean Il Sogno - it used to be called Il Dolce, same owner.

                    1. re: yogachik

                      I drove by there yesterday and pretty sure the sign still said Il Dolce.

                  3. Thanks everyone. As usual, very helpful advice!