Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
Jun 23, 2007 08:37 PM

Coming to Santa Monica - HELP

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. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. 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. 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. 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

        8 Replies
        1. re: bulavinaka

          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

            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

              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

                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 I understand.

                1. re: liu

                  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

                    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

                      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 :-)

          2. 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. 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

                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...