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Do Chowhounders eat on Ocean Ave in Santa Monica?

Is it just me or are there few places for a foodie to hit in Santa Monica? I am looking for something in the $20 entree price range - $40 ish per person tax tip and a drink. Something with a nice ambiance like Boa, Tengu, or Ainsette. But are these places poor quality in exchange for location? Bar Pinxot is a gem. I know of Musha and have so so feelings for it. Where do the SaMo locals go that are tired of Urth and or World Cafe (and obviously no CPK or PF Chang!) ? West of Lincoln streching from Montana all the way south to Venice. Thanks!

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  1. anisette is anything but 'poor quality'. frankly, it's spectacular. get thee there immediately.

    1. I love to pop into Ocean Ave when I am on that side of town. Their wines-by-the-glass list and fruits de mers platter are a little slice of heaven.

      6 Replies
      1. re: bodie

        Ocean Ave. anytime! ( same owners as Water Grill downtown )

        1. re: RicRios

          The entrees @ Ocean Ave are all more than $20; it's much higher priced than what the OP is looking for (w/ the exception of their happy hour specials)

          1. re: archer

            That isn't exactly the case. OAS offers a lot of food at a lot of price points. Steaks and most of the fish entrees are over $20 but the pasta dishes, entree salads, crab cakes, chowders, steamed mussels and clams are all under or around $20. If you want bone-in ribeye or dayboat scallops, expect to spend substantially more.

            1. re: bodie

              True, but who eats pasta @ OAS? Although I love steamed mussels or clams for dinner, other than that or salad, there is not a single fish entree (including white fish, mahi mahi, etc) that is less than the high 20s--30s, making it nearly impossible to get out of there for $40 all in. I like OAS, but it's expensive for a regular dinner. http://www.oceanave.com/

          2. re: RicRios

            I didn't know that. what great trivia. i like the food there. simple, basic, great for sunday lunch.

            1. re: RicRios

              The oysters at Ocean Ave. are wonderful and there is a discount with a KCRW card.

          3. Your geographic parameters open up all of the Abbot Kinney restaurants. Have you been to any of the many, many choice along that stretch of restaurant "roux"?

            1. Everything on Ocean Ave is BLAND and expensive. Ironically, when a non bland trying restaurant opened (Abode), it was terrible anyway and flopped. It's a tourist hell, like Restaurant Row on La Cienega. My pick--drinks at Makai and pizza at the Mulberry St. place. (Richie whatever, but same pizza taste as Mulberry. I like it.)

              2 Replies
              1. re: Adsvino

                really? including the ivy? anisette is right around the corner, and I also enjoy the food at sushi roku, although it is far from my favorite japanese it is anything but bland.

                1. re: lotta_cox

                  Speaking of....
                  Just ate lunch at The Ivy at the Shore in Santa Monica...
                  why does the food taste different than the Ivy on Robertson?

              2. If you like something a little more lowbrow, how about The Galley? We love it. The fried shrimp are really good. If you go on a Sunday night and sit at the bar, most of the items on the bar menu are half-off. You can easily put together a fun and tasty dinner that way.

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                The Galley Restaurant
                2442 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405

                1 Reply
                1. re: Debbie W

                  I like a lot of things about the atmosphere and food at the Galley, but it is FAR above the OP's price point.