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Feb 25, 2002 08:22 PM

Casual dinner in Santa Monica

  • j

I am going to SM on Monday night to see a band play and want to have dinner somewhere before. Not pricey just something good and reasonable...any ideas? Any type of food. Will be around 14th and Santa Monica but can drive a few miles.

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  1. c
    Cyrus J. Farivar

    I'd go with "Gilbert's El Indio" on 28th and Pico Blvd for fantastic Mexican food, or Pradeeps on 14th/Montana Ave. for great Indian...or for better Indian (but not completely cheap), Nawab of India on 16th/Wilshire.

    Hope this helps

    8 Replies
    1. re: Cyrus J. Farivar
      wow i'm a dog

      Father's Office
      --Tapas: try the shoestring fries served in a little shopping cart, spicy olives with whole garlic and, if available, the mushrooms, which were amazing
      --Hamburgers are exceptional - you must have one!
      --Great wine and beer selection - try a Spanish red
      --intimidating, but kinda refreshing since we're in LA, policy: NO SUBSTITUTIONS

      Father's Office
      1018 Montana Avenue
      Santa Monica, CA 90403

      1. re: wow i'm a dog
        john gonzales

        I like the place BUT the food, considering it's a pub where one orders at the counter, is pretty pricey and the tapas are pretty small. The burger (albeit with some fries) is great but like $10. I can't remember specifics but my wife & I had two beers each and shared two tapas and a burger. The tab was over $50 which makes it an atypical pub/grub visit.
        Second bummer, NO KETCHUP!!!! Absurd!

        1. re: john gonzales
          Vanessa On The Town

          re: Father's Office
          I thought tapas were supposed to be small. Anway, I feel that you get really good quality for what you pay for. I always have felt it was worth every penny. The food is great, the beer and wine selection is great and you definitely don't need ketchup. The fries are served with sauces that compliment their flavors perfectly.

          1. re: Vanessa On The Town
            john gonzales

            Vanessa, I don't dislike the place, I've been going for years. I think as a bar it is great. The beer selection is great, the wine good. I still say that for the setting, service, food quality and quantity, to eat there is pretty pricey. (The cheese plate is almost as much as it is in a fine restaurant, and not that great.) I guess it all comes down to expectation for the money
            The ketchup deal bugs me more. It's not a matter of whether I "need" ketchup. It's that I'd like ketchup. I'd like it in addition to the aioli. I'm sure 20 people a night ask for ketchup for burgers and fries. In fact I know they even told me people have brought their own ketchup. It's a pretty standard item. It's not like wanting ketchup for the foie gras at L'Orangerie. To have ketchup would be no hardship to the place. They're just playing soup nazi. It's silly.

            1. re: john gonzales

              Agree on ketchup. Agree on pricey.

              1. re: Coyote500

                Not to grouse about Has-Beens, but I lament the demise of Father's Office from when it was a "neighborhood" establishment where you were free to bring in your own food from Louise's next door. (Pre-high-priced microbeer.) It was much more fun to enjoy a pitcher with your pizza.

                Then again, I feel the same about the rest of Montana Ave., so for those who don't remember, ignore this...

          2. re: john gonzales

            Personally, I feel quite strongly about ketchup and am horrified to hear that Father's office doesn't supply it.I never had anything other than drinks there.
            Have you read Jeffrey Steingarten's chapter on catsup/ketchup in the Man Who Ate Everything? Send them a photocopy?

            1. re: Chief
              john gonzales

              I'm from Pittsburgh and thus a Heinz man. Call it bizarre, the word catsup makes me squirm. Haven't read the article you mention.

      2. I think Montana has a bunch of good choices within a few blocks. I'll second the suggestion of Pradeeps, good, light indian. Babalu is Cuban/Caribbean. Cafe Montana, or Rosti for relatively inexpensive Italian.

        Just ate at Vincenzo which was really tasty, but slightly more expensive (entrees are 13-25) than the aforementioned places. I had the lemon chicken which was outstanding.

        A little further away, at 26th and San Vicente, is A Votre Sante, which is casual, inexpensive, and health oriented.

        A Votree Sante
        13016 SAN VICENTE BLVD

        1002 MONTANA AVE

        Cafe Montana
        1534 MONTANA AVE

        931 MONTANA AVE

        714 MONTANA AVE

        1. Sen Ju is a strip mall sushi bar at Yale and Santa Monica which is owned by the former Sushi Master of Nomo on Wilshire, Ken. Its a casual up beat atmosphere with a good selection great for lunch as well.