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Santa Monica dinners

Greetings from a DC hound. My wife and I will be staying in Santa Monica for a few nights early January. Trying to decide on dinners, will definitely hit Fathers office once or twice for lunch as we're out and about. We have a rezzie at Rustic Canyon Wine Bar, which we've really enjoyed on previous visits. Ate at Jiraffe a few months ago; it was good but I can't say it was memorable. Can't really decide how "upscale" I want to go for other 3 dinners. Any recent experiences at Chinois? Other thoughts? I know this is a little vague for now but as always any suggestions are most appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. I don't think Fathers Office is open for lunch. Try La Botte for Italian, which is close by. Wilshire for dinner is nice.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Adsvino

      I think they open for lunch on the weekend now.

      1. re: Servorg

        Confirmed -- they're open for lunch on weekends.

          1. re: Geoff

            I think only the Culver City location is open for lunch on Fridays.

            1. re: a_and_w

              you're absolutely right, sorry.

    2. Chinois is still very good. You might also consider Anisette [French Bistro], Josie [American with game options], Musha [Japanese pub food] and Riva [upscale Italian Cafe].

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      Josie
      2424 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

      Musha
      424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

      Anisette Brasserie
      225 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

      Riva
      312 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

      1 Reply
      1. re: New Trial

        Riva is now closed, Fraiche is there. (same owners, and very good).

      2. we like Bar Pintxo on Santa Monica just before Ocean for killer tapas, well chosen spanish only wine list with all price ranges, try the red from Majorca, or one of the killer Cavas.

        1 Reply
        1. for japanese sushi and cooked dishes i'd recommend shima on abbot kinney.
          (fwiw, i prefer their cooked dishes, but everything they served us last night was extremely good).

          4 Replies
          1. re: westsidegal

            shima over wabi sabi? haven't been to shima, but WS can be good if you order right...

            1. re: jdwdeville

              if the main criterion is food quality, absolutely chose shima over WS.

              1. re: westsidegal

                as it always is (well, along with wine/sake), i'll make it a priority!

                1. re: jdwdeville

                  How was Shima? After hearing about it for quite some time now ... I'm excited to try it. Is it still as good as ever?

                  Interesting blog post on Shima: http://www.cress-travel.com/2008/12/l...

          2. Let me make some suggestions for your other lunches: One of the best taquerias on the westside of L.A. is in Santa Monica on the S/E corner of Olympic at 14th -- Tacos Por Favor. Simple soft tacos are on the large side and just over $2 each, and the clear favorite on this board is their chorizo and cheese. I also like the al pastor, carnitas, and their crispy tacos and tostadas are good as well. I tried their milanese, offered only in a torta, recently and it was excellent. Gotta admit, one of my main reasons for going there is the salsa roja on their salsa bar -- best hot sauce on the westside.

            Bay Cities Deli is very popular, on the east side of Lincoln just north of Broadway and south of Santa Monica Blvd. Best known for its premium Italian coldcut sub sandwich called the Godmother -- be sure to add either the spicy or mild pepper spread and enjoy their phenomenal rolls, crusty and delicious. A real zoo at prime lunchtime. An underrated hot food section to the right with excellent meatball subs and daily hot specials. Closed Mondays.

            Burgers: The classic SoCal specialty is In'N'Out, but there aren't any in Santa Monica. There is one way south on Lincoln, another on Sepulveda right out of LAX, and if you are going to the Getty Museum or visiting the Hammer Museum or UCLA there is one in Westwood Village. For an original Tommy's chilicheeseburger, there is an authentic one on the S/W corner of Lincoln at Pico. For an upscale burger in Santa Monica and a beer, with outdoor seating if it is a warm day, try the Library Alehouse on Main Street.

            1 Reply
            1. re: nosh

              Much closer Inn & Out location: North side of Washington Blvd. just east of Lincoln in the Costco complex in Marina Del Rey.