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Wine bar or other 1st date places?

Hi all,

I'm looking for a good place to meet someone for the first time. Casual and with good energy, but where we can talk. Hopefully not too expensive. Maybe a wine bar or something like that in West LA or Brentwood or even Santa Monica. If they've got some good food too, that would be great. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. For a wine bar, Upstairs 2. Great food, great wine, casual, intimate, easy to converse.

    1. Bottlerock in Culver City is good. Wine bar. Like their food and wine selection. Cool place to walk around after too. Neighborhood has gotten really cute.

      3847 Main St., Culver City

      Pretty casual.

      1. If you're willing to drive to Santa Monica, then Culver City should also be okay. I like Bottle Rock as a wine bar. They don't really serve much in the way of food, if I recall correctly, but then again, I've always just met up at Bottle Rock for drinks and then eaten elsewhere on that block, like at Fraiche or Ford's Filling Station.

        3847 Main St, Culver City, CA 90232

        1. Adding my 2cents re Bottle Rock. It's fun, but they have a very limited menu, and the chairs are uncomfortable.

          edit: also, the bread for the sandwiches at Bottle Rock is so tough and hard, I thought I'd never finish chewing that sandwich.

          1. On a weeknight, Library Alehouse on Main St. is a good choice if you can get an outdoor table (indoors is too loud to really talk). I also second Bottlerock (and for what it's worth, I had the best grilled cheese of my life there).

            Vinum Populii (about a block from Bottlerock) is another new Culver City place that could be a fun first date locale if you and your date enjoy wine. You get a pre-paid debit card and use it to sample any or all of a huge variety of bottles they have in their machines. Not much seating or food choices, but a lot of potential for socializing.

            1. The problem with Culver City is that my date is coming from the Valley. I'm in the Marina and want to find something more or less halfway.

              I do like Bottle Rock but have to agree that the menu is very limited and the chairs are not very comfortable. Also, the service can be kind of spotty. I've had to ask umpteen times for water on more than one visit, and the servers don't really seem to know their wines.

              1 Reply
              1. re: riverman2166

                I see. In that case, how about Palomino in Westwood? You could do a lot worse than happy hour there: the drinks are great and there's lots of tasty finger food available.

              2. I have had the food at Bottlerock--it was quite good actually, but we only had appetizers, so not sure if you could make a dinner of it. I also have been to Rustic Canyon in Santa Monica (Wilshire). I did not eat--we were there for a drink semi-late night, but the menu did look good.

                1. Nic's Martini Lounge in BH

                  Il Pastaio in BH

                  Renee's Courtyard Cafe

                  A hotel lounge can be nice such as at the W, or the Vicery

                  West Restaurant

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Emme

                    I second the recommendation for the W hotel lounge, or "backyard."

                    The King's Head in Santa Monica has a fun, casual vibe without being too divey. It's a bit more crowded on the weekends, but quieter on a weekday night. And it worked for my first date with Mr. No Peanuts 6 years ago:)

                  2. You could always do wine and dinner seperate..like a wine tasting at Vendome, or some other wine shop, and then dinner nearby.

                    1. Haven't ever done it myself, but I would think the Getty would be a good place for a 1st date. Eat at the restaurant or the cafe and stroll the museum afterwards. Roughly halfway in between.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Bict

                        I recently ate at the Getty Restaurant and I agree that it would be a great place for a date, though I think it's a little overwhelming for a 1st date (I don't know, I'm not that type of 1st date guy). Better stick to the Cafe, or better yet, bring a picnic basket!

                      2. i took my wife out for our first date to cafe veneto - which is now 3rd stop. i returned there to propose. i understand they still have the same menu (flat bread pizzas, a great nutella 'pizza' dessert) and it would fit the bill of casual and not too stuffy. near cedar's on 3rd.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jaydee

                          Try Il Moro, they have happy hour M-F 5-7 pm with complimentary italian finger food and it's gourmet delicious. Every Tuesday night they have a $25 pp wine tasting with the complimentary food from 6-8 pm, and live music every Thurs. and Fri. nights 8 pm - 12 pm. You can always stay for dinner and eat in the main part of the restaurant or at their gastrobar - sweet little menu for the bar - plenty of food.

                          You can't go wrong here. Let us know what you end up doing and good luck.