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Need a good restaurant in Santa Monica for date night with my husband.

My husband and I are looking to go out to dinner in Santa Monica on Sat night to celebrate my bday. We are looking for a nice place but nothing super fancy/pricey. Something fun with great food. Any suggestions? Anyone have anything good/bad to say about Fig?

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  1. i'm not sure how you define pricey, but Josie isn't super-fancy, and both the food & service are terrific. if you go, you can try to request a table near the fireplace in the back room for a little more ambiance ;)

    2424 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      i just dined at josie last night. it was just ok, but was pricey. i suggest nook or musha.

    2. I suggest going to Abbot Kinney to Gjelina or Primitivo.

      Or, in Santa Monica, to Bar Pintxo or Anisette.

      4 Replies
        1. re: peppermonkey

          Does Anisette accept walk-ins?
          I've tried getting a reservation there a couple of times and, of course, the only avails were 530p or 9p.

          1. re: fatassasian

            Yes but, unless you get lucky, it is mostly bar stools or bar-tables (4 or 5 small, round, high tables with stools).

            1. re: fatassasian

              These days... there are not that many restaurants that are completely booked, I bet you can, especially if you're willing to mill around the bar and wait.

        2. I liked FIG -- for food alone I'd guesstimate around $40/person. But great use of seasonal produce, and very simplistic preparation styles that let the ingredients shine for themselves. My blogpost here: http://la-oc-foodie.blogspot.com/2009...

          Also opening this week is Santa Monica Seafood (actually, today is the grand opening) -- heard from FoodGPS that it was overall pretty positive: http://www.foodgps.com/review/santa-m...

          Josie is also a pretty good option; for something a bit more casual there's also Riva - and if you don't mind diving a city South - AK and Gjelina are viable choices too.


          1. I will add Chez Mimi to the mix--might be too chilly for the patio but the little interior rooms can be romantic, too.

            1. Here's the link.

              Chez Mimi Restaurant
              246 26th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402

              1 Reply
              1. re: New Trial

                I second Chez Mimi. Lovely space....good food...very nice service. And it just feels like a terrific neighborhood bistro.

              2. I love Josie but it may be fancier/pricier than what you are looking for. Jiraffe is still very nice, but a little less expensive/more casual. Agree that Chez Mimi is a good pick if you want romance. If you want "fun with great food" and it doesn't have to be romantic or special, go with Musha. Good small plates Japanese, inexpensive.

                1. Musha
                  Nook Bistro (W LA)
                  Rustic Canyon
                  Gjelina (Venice)
                  Orris (W LA)
                  These are my go-to spots. Not super expensive depending what you order.
                  Nook takes the KCRW card (save 15%) too.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: citizenx

                    As I've posted several times, in my opinion the best restaurant combining food and value on the westside is Nook Bistro. Nice decor, good service, and you save a few bucks in the door by not having to pay or tip for parking. Their menu including prices is listed on their website. My only qualms are that they keep taking some of the best items off of the menu (the shortribs was replaced with a potroast, and I heard their shrimp and grits is gone) and if you are a couple, the row of two-tops against the long wall has tables very close together, so you will inevitably share some conversation with your neighbors.

                  2. what, exactly do you mean when you say, "nothing super fancy/pricey."

                    how much do you want to spend per person? including beverages? tax? tip?

                      1. Giorgio de Giribaldi in santa monica canyon is really nice. It on West Chanel Road. Good Italian Food

                        2 Replies
                          1. re: CCDiner

                            After years of hearing about this landmark LA. spot I finally had a chance to visit last night with three friends and we had a fabulous meal.
                            The service was very smooth, lovely waiter from the old days, very Italian and knew his stuff inside and out. They rushed the food to us a bit which was my only issue.
                            The table was perfectly situated in the front and was cozy, warmly lit and although the place was crowded it wasn't noisy so you could hear each other talking which was welcome.
                            The food was superb- especially the raviolis - really nothing to say but perfection! Home-made pasta is supposed to be like this; light as a feather. We had a very nice salad of thinly sliced fennel and artichoke with parmesan- very, very delicious. I ordered Dover sole which was quite good although a tad over-cooked- not easy to do in large quantities- so I get that.
                            We had two desserts; a panna cotta- perfectly done and served with strawberry sauce and fresh berries and a chocolate crepe that was also amazing with nutella inside and sugared hazelnuts- which were addictive.
                            I would return to this place for a special occasion as it is expensive and everything had a ton of butter on it - so can only eat this way once in a blue moon.

                          2. Fig and Giorgio Baldi are going to be on the pricier side and you will definitely need reservations for both.

                            I second Riva or even Rustic Canyon and reservations aren't a must at Riva but highly suggested for RC. Ansiette is nice but the place can get SO loud.

                            Josies is more relaxed, quaint, cozy.

                            1. Wilshire's back patio is perfect for a chic and romantic date night. Food is terrific.