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Coming to Santa Monica - HELP

r
rachellemybell Jun 23, 2007 08:37 PM

HI all:

Me and 3 of my girlfriends are doing a girls weekend away -- I need to help in
finding the perfect places to eat, drink etc. This is what we are looking for -- good cheap eats, lounge atmosphere, place for good lunches maybe sushi we will be there 3 days ooh also maybe a place with live music.... we are late 20's early 30's -- all married so not interested in a meat market ;) hehe

can u help me out???
we are staying in El Segundo which is only a few miles away from Santa
Monica so we are open to going to other areas also

  1. ipsedixit Jun 23, 2007 09:23 PM

    Before we talk about where to eat, you do realize that El Segundo is NOT that close to Santa Monica, right?

    Depending on where you are in El Segundo, you can be as far as 20 miles and as close as probably 10 miles from Santa Monica. Regardless of distance, given traffic it can easily take over 30 minutes to get from El Segundo to Santa Monica. Just a word to the wise.

    As to good places to eat, consider Musha, Axe, Joe's, Beechwood, Nook, Le Pain Quotidien, and Nook. Some of the places aren't in Santa Monica, per se, like Joe's (Venice) and Nook (W. LA), but all are close enough, esp. if you consider El Segundo only "a few miles away" ...

    1. flavasista Jun 23, 2007 10:39 PM

      i think abbot kinney is a great place to walk and check out the different stores, drink tea and have beautiful dessert cakes at jin patisserie, etc.

      i also recommend having brunch at rose cafe in santa monica. they have a great patio area.

      and chachacha for affordable caribbean food in santa monica - colorful, lively, and cheap.

      1. b
        bulavinaka Jun 23, 2007 11:11 PM

        If you're in El Segundo and are familiar with Whole Foods, you have an opportunity to try out their most recent local flagship in all of its glory. While I'm not big on Whole Foods in general, I did find this gynormous store with all of its food options to be alot of fun. While not everything would rate a 10 on most foodies' scales, I think a fair amount of the food is more than good enough to make most happy. You can easily spend a few hours here just shopping and then figuring out the multitude of food counters. Although there are a fair amount of singles shopping here, the only real meat market is well, the meat counter... and when was the last time that you told yourself that it would be great to find a wine tasting bar in a supermarket? You needn't be left wanting any longer...

        Whole Foods
        760 S. Sepulveda Blvd
        El Segundo, CA 90245
        310-333-1900

        8 Replies
        1. re: bulavinaka
          liu Jun 24, 2007 11:02 AM

          I'm intrigued...Is this El Segundo Whole Foods store really that much different from their other newer stores? What else does it have that got your attention?

          1. re: liu
            westsidegal Jun 24, 2007 11:45 AM

            yes it is that much different from any of the other whole foods stores in the LA area.
            it has a TREMENDOUS amount of prepared, and prepared-to-order foods that the other stores don't.

            1. re: liu
              b
              bulavinaka Jun 24, 2007 12:14 PM

              Hey Liu, the El Segundo megastore is an expansion on every department that is in your "normal" Whole Foods." Each department is much larger and offers much more than the other ones I've been to. I don't shop at Whole Foods often, but I was amazed at how much is packed into this enormous floor space.

              The food court takes up about one third of the store and it's a combination of full- service counters mostly along the wall (gelato, truffles/chocolates, pizza, sandwiches, bakery, grilled foods, etc.), supplemented by self-service island counters that have alot of offerings (numerous steam tables, salad bars, olive bars, etc). You can either order to go, or eat there, and if you choose to eat there, two distinct eating areas are offered. One is located by the storefront - nothing special - while the other is located off to the side of the food court - it is more of a cafe setup where you can not only eat your food, but can also drink your Hitachino or Boddington's with your pickings... silverware is offered and staff is there to service you as well... somewhat adjacent to that, there is a wine tasting bar.

              You can easily make a whole afternoon or evening of this place, especially when going with friends. The way we have done it so far is (since we all have kids), we meet there, split up for about 20 minutes, and meet up again to eat together and share what we have all come back with. We then go back for more, or go to the counters offering gelato, truffles, or baked goods. Although I have yet to try the wines there (driving, El Segundo cops, & kids make poor bedfellows with drinking), I can easily see locals from the adjacent Manhattan Beach neighborhoods taking advantage of this, as it's only a short walk away...

              I think for anyone who either enjoys Whole Foods, or likes an amazing selection of prepared foods to choose from, it's a fun place to go. My personal caviats would be to take your time and get small quantities as you probably will find other things that you will want to try afterwards. Just about everything in the food court is charged by increments of a pound, so it's easy to get out of hand here if you start to pile it on...

              1. re: bulavinaka
                liu Jun 24, 2007 01:19 PM

                Well, I have been satisfied enough with our Thousand Oaks Whole Foods store on Moorpark; it is fairly new at a few years now, and now they are in the process of remodeling the front area so that there is more outside seating and room for fruit stands. This store -- minus the wine tasting -- has much of what you describe, but probably not on the same scale. I also love the vibe of the Whole Foods in Santa Monica on Wilshire, and this store seems to carry some of the higher end items that I have not found in other Whole Foods.

                But what you are saying about this store's being beyond "normal" makes sense. I recently found out that Teance, a rather high-end tea shop in Berkeley where I order tea, is testing a limited line of their teas in only one Whole Foods in the Southland, and it happens to be the El Segundo store. Until now, I couldn't figure out why El Segundo...now I understand.

                1. re: liu
                  Emme Jun 24, 2007 09:53 PM

                  I only get out to the Thousand Oaks outpost on rare occasions, but it is a mecca in my mind, particularly I go for the amazing salad bar (rows of options), and now I wonder how the El Segundo branch ranks in terms of the salad bar and serve yourself rows...

                  1. re: Emme
                    liu Jun 24, 2007 10:43 PM

                    I agree, Emme. I think the T.O. Whole Foods store is quite extensive and updated in their offerings. I, too, wonder just how much "more" the El Segundo store carries... I plan to check it out in the next several weeks.

                    1. re: liu
                      Emme Jun 25, 2007 05:06 PM

                      let me know how it is... and maybe the time after, we can carpool down to ES... i never make it out to TO as is, so ES would also be a "day trip" and hopefully for one seriously kick a** salad :-)

                      1. re: Emme
                        liu Jun 25, 2007 05:52 PM

                        Sounds good, Emme!

          2. moto Jun 23, 2007 11:28 PM

            hello, we enjoyed musha too, not cheap, but moderate for the quality of food/cooking and likely fun for your kind of group. have fun

            1. y
              yogachik Jun 24, 2007 09:06 AM

              If you're in El Segundo, then you should go out in Redondo Beach or Hermosa Beach. I wouldn't drive to Santa Monica, drink, and then head back down to El Segundo - that's a bad idea.

              If one of you isn't drinking, then you could go to Venice - Beechwood is great, with a great bar menu, Lilly's on Abbot Kinney is reasonable and sitting on the patio is lovely.

              1 Reply
              1. re: yogachik
                b
                bulavinaka Jun 24, 2007 11:46 AM

                Drinking anywhere without a designated driver or cab is a bad idea... of course the social responsibilities are utmost, but the gauntlet that one must run north or south of El Segundo is thick with The Man...

                Aside from that, the OP should have a fine time at any of the above recs...

              2. j
                JeetJet Jun 24, 2007 12:20 PM

                About Lunch...

                El Segundo For Sandwiches

                Original Rinaldi's (Italian combo sub, Meat Ball sandwich, Hot Chicken sandwich, Turkey, liverwurst – on & on)
                323 Main St.
                El Segundo, CA 90245
                (310) 647-2860
                From N. Sepulveda Blvd go West on E. Grand to Main St.
                From W. Imperial Ave. Go South on Main
                Right across from the Fire Department

                Big Mike's Philly Steaks and Subs (Best Cheese steak in L.A., The 18" is a big meal for two)
                507 Main St.
                El Segundo, CA 90245
                (310) 726-9638

                On the way to Santa Monica -- Venice for lunch
                Salads or Chicken
                California Chicken Café (The best Chinese Chicken Salad anyplace, great rotisserie
                chicken, wraps) Closed Sunday
                424 Lincoln Boulevard
                (South of Rose, North of Venice Boulevard)
                Venice, CA 90291
                (310) 392-3500

                2 Replies
                1. re: JeetJet
                  b
                  bulavinaka Jun 24, 2007 03:32 PM

                  Great recs, but heck - if I'm going to Cal Chx Cafe, I might want to stop by Baby Blues for some great BBQ and sides to go along with my chicken fix and make it a feast...

                  Baby Blues
                  444 Lincoln Blvd
                  Venice, CA 90291
                  310-396-7675
                  www.babybluesbarbq.com

                  1. re: bulavinaka
                    hrhboo Jun 26, 2007 12:18 PM

                    But you can get your chix fix right there at Baby Blues - don't miss the mac n' cheese!

                2. Emme Jun 24, 2007 10:05 PM

                  If you do make it all the way to Santa Monica from El Segundo, go to Bay Cities on Lincoln for the subs for lunch... You might also consider stopping into Father's Office for the signature burger, or to The Counter for their burgers, though I'd recommend the former if I had to choose.

                  Second the recs for Lilly's and beechwood, and will add Rose Cafe, 26 Beach, and Primitivo to the Venice area list. Primitivo would be good because you can share plates.

                  You might find Chaya Venice fun.

                  For drinks, music, and nothing wow-y food, go to Renee's Courtyard Cafe on Wilshire... one of my favorite little hangouts in Santa Monica that goes way under the radar of many. I'd also suggest Voda and Montana Lounge as potential hangouts.

                  World Cafe is good for food and drinks and hanging out.

                  1. r
                    rachellemybell Jun 25, 2007 06:25 PM

                    thanks all - btw, I would never drink and drive.....
                    I know most people will, at least that is how it seems now - a - days
                    but me and my girls are NOT like that

                    We were told by the guy at the Doubletree that El Segundo is about a 15 min drive to SAnta Monica..... But I know traffic is no joke in LA.... Hmmmm... we will see...
                    thanks and keep the advise coming ;)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: rachellemybell
                      Emme Jun 25, 2007 06:50 PM

                      15 minutes assuming no one else is on the road, the lights are all green, and there's no road construction going on... but pick your times to drive, and you'll be up in maybe 30 minutes.

                    2. h
                      Hungry Girl Jun 25, 2007 08:13 PM

                      About the music in santa Monica, try Harvelles. It's really 30+ crowd so you're on the young side of it but it's good since it's not normally a meat scene.
                      http://www.harvelles.com/
                      Most of the bars in Santa Monica suck with Voda being an exception- 1449 2nd St
                      Santa Monica, CA 90401 (310) 394-9774. I second Chaya Venice and world cafe for fun and memorable night out.

                      1. modernist Jun 26, 2007 11:49 AM

                        #1. for sushi, go to lunch at sushi sushi in beverly hills (lunch special is great value for high quality sushi) then cruise rodeo dr. (are you from out of town?)

                        #2. joe's lunch and then walk abbot kinney and have tea at jin patisserie.

                        pick up a sandwich at bay cities deli and walk the 3rd street promenade. (fax or email your order in first!)

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