Coming to Santa Monica - HELP
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
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" ...
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.
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...
760 S. Sepulveda Blvd
El Segundo, CA 90245
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...
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.
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.
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...
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
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
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
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.
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 ;)
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.
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. 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!)