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Feb 11, 2008 01:57 PM

One Night on the West Side!

My aunt from NYC will be visiting during a long weekend in March. I have everything covered except for Sunday night. I am new to Southern CA, so I am still learing about the "restaurant culture"! I live in Pasadena, but we will be on the westside Sunday night for dinner. Any suggestions? We would prefer excellent food, trendy, great atmosphere,and good "people watching" (I know, but she is a tourist! )

Here are my thoughts:
la Botte
Jiraffe(she LOVES Santa Monica)
Osteria Angelini(I went there and loved it)
Via Veneto

(I am making a reservation for mozza on sat night. I have been there already, but I know she is dying to try it).

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  1. Just to make your choice a little more difficult, you might want to add Chinois and Josie (both in Santa Monica) to your list.

    2 Replies
    1. re: New Trial

      Chaya Venice on Main St in Santa Monica is fun-a big scene- and the food is good.Primitivo on Abbot kinney.I like Hals Bar on Abbot Kinney the Venice Artist and locals go there.The Border Grill on 4th street in Santa Monica has good food and is fun.The Penthouse on 2nd st in Santa Monica - its at the top of the Hotel and has an amazing view-go for a drink and watch the sunset.

      1. re: potofood

        not prime for people-watching, but you certainly won't be disappointed with the food at josie.

        chaya venice does have great energy, and reliable [if not spectacular] food.

        axe in venice has good food and a nice atmosphere with a little LA flavor.

        border grill is a wee bit touristy, so for good mexican and nice atmosphere i think la serenata would be a better choice.

        primitivo is another one with a fun vibe & passable food.

        then again, if you really want to do some serious people-watching, take her to the ivy at the shore, or nobu up in malibu. [giorgio baldi is another celeb hangout, but extremely expensive].

    2. Are you sure you want Italian after Mozza on Saturday?

      If not, I would go with Campanile or Jiraffe. Josie, recommended below, is one of my favorite restaurants, but I wouldn't say it has great people watching, if that's really important to you. It's a little sedate. The same holds for LaBotte.

      For Italian I would go with Via Veneto - the food is fantastic, it's in Santa Monica and has a great scene. All' Angelo is trendy, has a great atmosphere and is good for people watching, but I wasn't crazy about the food (I think I'm the only one on this board who thought the food was just ok). I haven't tried Osteria Angelini.

      1 Reply
      1. re: whatsfordinner

        the food at angelini osteria is excellent. one of the few italian restaurants in LA that rivals NY.

      2. Capo has excellent (albeit a bit overpriced) Italian food, and the highest celeb-to-nonceleb ratio I've seen...

        I was sitting next to Spielberg and Hanks (same table) on one night, and Babs and James Brolin on another occasion. Crazy. Even Randy MachoMan Savage (SlimJim pimp these days) was spotted at Capo!

        Their chops are outta this world, though...

        1 Reply
        1. re: J.L.

          Toscana would be my number 1 choice. It's a convivial atmosphere, not as outrageously priced as Capo and the celeb-watching is just as good. Streisand was there the other night..same week saw Affleck, Garner and baby. Also, Rob Reiner, Diane Keaton. The Maitre'd's are very warm and there is no "siberia" in the restaurant. It's like a big, happy party with great food. Oh yes, Capo loves to brag about it's big "wood-burning oven." Guess what? Toscana also has a big wood burning oven and turns out the same delicious steaks, lamb and fish as does Capo. (for a lot less $$). Moreover,, that nice oven also cranks out first rate pizza.

        2. Chaya Venice
          Via Veneto
          Penthouse (for the view and room)

          Other places might be quiet on a Sunday night....

          5 Replies
          1. re: yogachik

            Thank you all for these great ideas! I did take her to the huntley last year . I loved the views. We also went to Ivy last year. We are going to the getty villa on sunday afternoon. Maybe we should do Nobu for dinner. Will it be too sedate on a Sunday night?

            1. re: italiana3

              i don't know that i've ever been there on a sunday, but the place has been hopping every time i've gone for dinner.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                had one more thought, since sunday is a tricky one. it's not on the west side, but how about lucques for their sunday supper? this past week's menu sounded fantastic, and for $40 it's a real treat.


                1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                  thanks for this! It looks amazing. Is this place in west hollywood?

                  1. re: italiana3

                    yep, on melrose, just east of la cienega.

                    8474 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90069