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santa monica/venice area for drinks and apps

Last minute recommendation needed for tonight. I have a friend staying near LAX for one night and she wants to drink an ample amount of cocktails (think mojitos or something fruity with vodka) and have dinner together. I was thinking about going somewhere we could share some small plates, maybe even sit on a patio. I would hate to waste someone buying me dinner and a drive to LAX on sub-par food. Looks like we'll be taking a taxi, so all of my ideas really fall outside of the area. My first thought was Opus. Someone has already suggested beechwood or Monsoon, but after looking at a few posts on here I'm not to sure. Any suggestions???

Thanks chowhounders!

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  1. I'd definitely skip Monsoon -- it's not sure if it wants to be a serious sushi restaurant, a fun fusion place, a bar, or a tourist trap. But Beechwood is a fine option. You'll get small plates and good drinks in a cool setting and it sounds like that's what you're after. You may also try Chaya Venice or Piccolo in Venice. Both have very good food and drinks. Joe's in venice has marvelous food, but I get the sense that you're looking for something more casual than that.

    Alternate suggestion... go to 3 Square on Abbot Kinney in Venice for dinner (very good Austrian-California food... never thought I'd write that) and then walk across the street to The Other Room for drinks. Both are very good places and conveniently located near the airport.

    1. Beechwood is perfect. I was there on a weekday around 7pm and it was only half full. it was a very nice pleasant time. Yummy fries and great drink list. Nice patio.

      Chaya Venice is also great but will be very crowded and noisy and there is no patio. It is really fun though and they have a great spicy dipping sauce for their calamari.

      Maybe also try Whist at the Viceroy Hotel, poolside.

      1 Reply
      1. re: LisaStitch

        Whist is offering some Tuesday night small plates deal this summer, so that might be an intriguing option. I cannot recall the specifics of the deal, but I think it was five bucks per small plate, served around their pool and in their cabanas. That could be nice and swanky...

      2. Primitivo is perfect for small plates.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Emme

          Plus they have a back patio! I still think that I'd rather go to Beechwood because they have a full bar and I prefer the food, but either one would be great options.

          1. re: mollyomormon

            Another vote for Beechwood. Close to LAX, great bartenders, great food, great room.

          2. re: Emme

            Primitivo also serves a nice sangria by the pitcher. :)

          3. Yet another vote for Beechwood here. At the risk of sounding like a broken record I'd also recommend Abode, you can sit on the patio or in the lounge and they have a full bar.

              1. re: lisamp29

                It's on Washington Blvd right where Abbot Kinney dead-ends.