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Dinner in Santa Monica

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Will be visiting LA next week and was going to go to Crustaceans too....that is until I read the reviews here. Can you recommend some good restaurants in both Santa Monica and Pasadena (near the Promenade)? Californian, Asian Fusion, Italian, Continental in the range of about $30 to $60 per person. Casual or casual chic. Not too picky on type of food. Just good value for money and good food!

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  1. Drago on wilshire. or valentino, both italian, but very good. or try Josie for something different, but it tends to be a bit expensive. great wine list however.

    2 Replies
    1. re: EOE

      IMHO Valentino is the most overpriced, overhyped, over-pretentious restaurant in LA. Josie is good and certainly less expensive than Valentino.

      1. re: EOE

        If at all possible, go to Drago. It is a fraction of the price of the other places mentioned and the food is just excellent. Fine suggestion.

      2. ROCCA on 4th, JIRAFFE on the corner of 5th and Santa Monica, JOE'S on Abbott Kinney a little south in Venice, DIVINO on Barrington Plaza a little east in Brentwood. Enjoy your stay.

        6 Replies
        1. re: cvc

          disagree on the Joe's rec. very average-at best food, but cool area to hang during the day anyway.

          1. re: EOE

            have to disgree with your disagreement......we've always found the food at Joe's to be very good and I think it's one of the best values in town for the price.

            1. re: markn

              Agree that Joe's is very good value and good food.
              As to Pasadena thoughts, Parkway Grill and Arroyo Chop House, next door to each other on Arroyo Parkway just north of California, are very good dinner choices. Parkway is open for lunch, the chop house is not. Other options might include Bistro 45 on Mentor, between Colorado and Green. Had a great cassoulet there last Sat. eve at $23.95, that I would reorder again any time. Wine list is a little stiffly priced. At $60 a person, these 3 just fit into the range.

              1. re: EOE

                Joe's is excellent again. Quality dropped a couple of years ago but it is as good as it ever was now. Excellent price/quality ratio. It is one of our regular haunts. Open for lunch Sat. and Sun.

              2. re: cvc

                Had dinner at JiRaffe on Monday night. The food is solid and the service attentive. Entrees run ~$22+, though. If you go there, the banana cream pie is absolutely divine.

              3. Ivy at the shore - sounds like what you might like. Also, drinks at the bar at Michaels on 4th street. And drinks or snax at the lobby of the casa del mar hotel.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Jerome

                  Ivy at the Shore is a great place for a visitor. Great scene and food. Good wine list. Very generous on the cocktails so use moderation.

                2. Are any of these places open for lunch on Saturday?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Suze

                    I can tell you that Rocca is NOT open for lunch Saturday, or any other day. I don't know whether I think that is a good thing (for my wallet and my waist) or a bad thing (an appetizer and two primi would make a nice lunch).

                  2. Divino's--Brentwood (California) is excellent--pricey, but excellent Italian food.

                    Sherwin