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Lunch in Santa Monica

I'm an east sider who just started a new job in Santa Monica. The folks at the new office are complaining about being in a lunch rut but I don't know the area enough to offer any options - other than Bay Cities, I've been waiting to try that.

My office is near Cloverfield and Colorado. Any good suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

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  1. There are two takeout places in the Water Garden worth checking out. Mrs. Winston's has a tasty salad bar (though no romaine lettuce by itself, which annoys me). There's a solid and inexpensive Italian place called il Forno right next door. Again, both places are takeout but there's tons of outdoor seating.

    7 Replies
    1. re: a_and_w

      I know you didn't mean that the two places in the Water Garden are Mrs. W's and il Forno, (Mrs. W and il F are both at 2901 Ocean Park Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90405) but it reads like that's what you meant. What are the takeout places? If not the names what type of food do they feature?

      1. re: Servorg

        I work in the Water Garden and both Mrs. W's and Il Forno (just carryout -- no seats inside) are right in the complex. They are in the same building as Bizou. I'm looking out my window at them right now.

        1. re: Snoopy

          The things you learn. Thanks. We eat at il Forno frequently and never knew they had a take out place in the WG. Sorry to a and w for my doubting their info.

          1. re: Servorg

            LOL! No worries. Just FYI, I think the prices are cheaper at the takeout il Forno in the WG than the sitdown one on Ocean Park. The WG branch closes at 6pm, but between 5 and 6pm there's a special menu where everything is $6 -- truly a great deal. Add a huge and fresh side salad at $2 more and you've got dinner.

      2. re: a_and_w

        Yeah, they've exhausted the options in the Water Garden and Yahoo Center. Looking more for stuff within a short drive.

        1. re: coopxl

          2 minutes away for French style bistro food:

          Le Petit Cafe
          2842 Colorado Ave
          Santa Monica, CA 90404
          (310) 829-6792

          1. re: coopxl

            How short? There's a ton of places along SM Blvd like Sweet Home Grill, Monte Alban, El Super Taco, etc.

        2. Bread & Porridge and Rustic Canyon on Wilshire.

          The Counter on Ocean Park.

          Cora's Coffee Shoppe.

          2 Replies
          1. re: wutzizname

            I'll second the rec for Rustic Canyon. The fried green tomato app is really good; save room for dessert, too!

            Rustic Canyon Wine Bar
            1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

            1. re: wutzizname

              I second the counter. Amazing burgers.

            2. You must go to the Counter on Ocean Park and 29th (I think).

              Abbott's Pizza on Pico -- across from Santa Monica College is always good for a slice.

              Whole Foods -- excellent hot lunch options

              Read here on chowhound -- this topic has been covered many times before.

              1. Kaido is a nice Japanese restaurant with good prices for lunch. I enjoy the sushi lunch, 9 pieces for $8. Also the tempura and tonkatsu are pretty good. There is limited parking. Yale and Santa Monica.
                Also Tacos Por Favor on 14th and Olympic is great for tacos. Some say the best tacos around.
                Over/Under on Santa Monica has good philly sandwiches. Can't remember the cross street; I want to say 14th St.
                Joe's Pizza at Ocean and Broadway should be open soon. They are transplants from NY.

                1. I used to work right there as well. Here are the many palces I'd frequent:

                  Lemon Moon - Btwn Bunday & Centinela on Olympic (expensive but unique)
                  Big Jo's - Corner of Broadway & 20th (great unknown burger shack with cheap prices and lightning fast service)
                  Mr. Cecil's - Pico, just east of Centinela (quality BBQ on the west side)
                  SF Saloon - Pico just west of Sawtelle (bar grub...good for drinks on a slow day or an early happy hour)
                  The Arsenal - Pico just west of Bundy (might not open early enough for lunch but a decent Kobe Burger)
                  Wahoo's - Wilshire near Barrington I believe (fish taco's...meh. It's different atleast)
                  and of course the afformentioned Bay Cities, The Counter, & Rustic Canyon

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rlic80

                    Second all of these suggestions (esp. Lemon Moon) except Wahoo's. There's also a Fatburger next door if that's your fancy.

                  2. Go 1.5 miles from your office to the restaurants alongside Ocean Park blvd. just east of Cloverfield blvd. Amongs the options are: The counter (do not fail to order the half and half fries!), El Torito ($6.99 all you can eat with made-to-order tortillas), Miyako (decent Japanese), a froyo place right next to it. A bakery, Subway and a slew of local cafes offering paninis, breakfast items, wraps, variety of salads, etc.
                    There's also a good pizza place on Ocean Park and 14th (I think).

                    A good falafel place right across the street from SMC on Pico and 17th. Lazy Daisy also on Pico. Campos burritos, Pico/20th.

                    Go almost 2 miles West on Colorado to Fritto Misto (great Italian, good lunch deals) and there are a few other restaurants right around it.

                    The Sawtelle area on Olympic and Sawtelle can't be more than 3 miles from you and it'll offer a plethora of new restaurants to try, it'll keep you busy for at least 3 weeks to try them all if you visit daily.

                    Some places to try on Santa Monica blvd between 20th and Sepulveda (also less than 2 miles from you): Zankou's, Mama Voila (sp?), Sushi Factory, Sweet Home Grill, Ono's BBQ, California Vegan, Green Thai, Nook, En Sushi, Siam Chan, Hop Li, etc. etc.

                    Honestly, you have at least 101 (literally) reasonably priced food establishments within a 3-mile radius from where you are.

                    If all else fail, you can always get delivery which expands your choices.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Beignets

                      Fritto Misto is deeeelicious...

                      There's always Border Grill too. Awesome food there, and great margaritas..