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1st & 2nd Date places?

Hi All,

I'm looking for some ideas to take women on 1st and 2nd dates. Nothing overly romantic or expensive, but good food and atmosphere. Ideally in the Santa Monica, Venice, and Marina del Rey areas. Thanks

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  1. Beechwood, 26 Beach and Musha have sort of become my reliable 1st and 2nd date places in the area.

    1. Violet or Nook would also both be good choices. Depending on your objectives, imnho, Violet trumps Nook, since it has a bit more of a romantic feel to it, just by the color of the interior alone.

      Nook Bistro
      11628 Santa Monica Blvd Ste 9, Los Angeles, CA 90025

      3221 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

      1. I haven't been on a 1st date in years but I'd rec Primitivo, Lilly's, Beechwood, Violet, Abode, Musha, La Vecchia.

        6 Replies
        1. re: hrhboo

          I don't know about you guys but Abode is pretty expensive for a first/second date!

          1. re: donnival

            Depends how much you like your date ;)

              1. re: donnival

                I really enjoy Abode but I think I would find it a little too much if someone took me there on a first date unless it was maybe dinner in the bar area. But maybe depends on if it was someone I had known for a while and just asked me on a date versus a blind date/set up.

                1. re: mollyomormon

                  I feel like taking someone to Abode might feel a little too overt (for the recipient of the meal). Kind of like those rich guys who spend a crapload of money and make a big show in order to get into the girl's pants ...

                  Not to say this is everyone; it's just the first image I get.

                  1. re: donnival

                    I don't think Abode falls into that category! To me, Rich Showy Guy would pick Cut/Spago/Providence/Sona/Ortolan for a first date, not the humble Abode!

        2. If you ever have a date in Hollywood, Lou would be an excellent choice.
          It's on Vine , a block above Melrose.
          great wine selections, lots of apps. & good food.
          Dark, romantic atmos. & good music.

          We have been together 13 years, but just went last week & it felt like a 2nd date !

          1. my hubby and i have a running joke... when eating messy food we say "this is great first date food" e.g. soupy noodles, tacos, anything that has a tendancy to splash or fall apart as you eat it, etc.

            it's a great leveller, can give you something to talk about, have a good laugh, and get too see the personality of the date rather than a stuffy white table cloth dinner.

            the bonus is that usually this type of food is cheap as well as fun!

            1. Second Violet, Lilly's, and Nook.

              It's a little loud, but I like Chaya Venice.

              Also, Fritto Misto, Qusqo, Le Marmiton, Spumoni, Babalu... I like Cafe Montana and 17th St Cafe for their relaxed feel, but not everyone here does.

              For a second date, to go "nicer," I like Amici in Brentwood. For a first date up in Brentwood, though a bit crowded, I like Pizzicotto.

              1. I second Chaya Venice, 26 Beach, and Nook, and I'll also suggest Rustic Canyon.

                You could also eat at 3 Square, then walk across the street to The Otheroom bar for drinks.

                Library Alehouse is also fun and cute, but I can't speak to the food, since I've only had drinks there...

                2 Replies
                1. re: LisaStitch

                  I enjoy Rustic Canyon, but it's so loud in there. Ordinarily that isn't a problem, but having to scream to be heard might make an uncomfortable first date!

                  3 Square is a great suggestion, it's nice and low-key and good for people-watching.

                  1. re: hrhboo

                    I agree that Rustic Canyon is probably a better place to take someone after you know them. It would be hard to have to yell answers to all the standard getting to know you questions throughout the night.

                    And I agree that I looove the 3 Square suggestion!

                2. To me a table overlooking the ocean is very romantic so I recommend The Lobster. You can walk on the beach or get on the ferris wheels before/after the meal.

                  1. I would add to the list Chez Mimi in Brentwood and Il Moro in West L.A. I have had very nice 1st (or 2nd) dates at both as they have nice atmosphere (especially outside), are quiet enough for conversation and have decent food.