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Laid Back Spot in Venice/ Santa Monica for Biz Meeting

offthebeatenpath1 Mar 25, 2009 01:40 PM

I am looking for a laid back/ casual restuarant or lounge in the Venice/ Santa Monica area to have a buiness meeting. It needs to be someplace that is reasonably quiet and where we can sit for an hour or even two and won't be asked to leave. It's for four people and meeting would be at 11ish and probably another one at around 3p.

Do you think Abbot's Habit would be good? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


  1. b
    bulavinaka Mar 25, 2009 02:22 PM

    I don't think of Abbot's Habit as a quiet place - it's usually pretty busy most of the day. But folks hanging out for a good hour is normal.

    Definitely not as casual but pretty much in line with four folks talking business for an hour or so would be Hal's, just a half block up the street. It's comfortable, the menu is much more broad than Abbot's (of course more pricey too), and the bar is competent if you're looking for some drinks as well.

    Jin Patisserie is a casual setting - outdoors - that serves quasi-English style tea, as well as some great pastries and desserts. The portions are small but well prepared. The garden setting outside is peaceful and quiet. The service might be an issue, as the place is small, and they tend to check on the guests often. There is background music that may or may not be to your liking. They're about two blocks north of Abbot's.

    Going south on Abbot Kinney, you'll find French Market Cafe. Probably the most casual next to Abbot's. The patio deck is great on a nice day but is usually pretty busy. They do have seating inside that is typically a lot quieter as most folks want to sit outside. Assuming the weather is good, 11ish might work, and 3pm should work if you sit inside.

    1. b
      bulavinaka Mar 25, 2009 02:23 PM

      Forgot to link up the places:

      Jin Patisserie
      1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

      French Market Cafe
      2321 Abbot Kinney Blvd Ste 200, Venice, CA 90291

      Hal's Bar & Grill
      1349 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

      5 Replies
      1. re: bulavinaka
        offthebeatenpath1 Mar 25, 2009 02:27 PM

        cool- thanks for that.

        1. re: offthebeatenpath1
          TonyC Mar 25, 2009 03:01 PM

          Rustic Canyon. I really like the food. Jin is a bit TOO casual.

          And then of course, you have Joe's. I see people transact @ Joe's during lunch. They won't rush you ou.

          1. re: TonyC
            bulavinaka Mar 25, 2009 03:52 PM

            Jin is very casual, but based on the OP's starting point, I considered it within range on a lot of factors. I might be way off, but I'm assuming the OP/business associates lives in/near Venice, is very comfortable with the business associates, and wants something as informal as possible.

            1. re: bulavinaka
              offthebeatenpath1 Mar 25, 2009 04:00 PM

              haha, you aren't way off...My two colleagues and myself will be meeting with people we have never met, but it's a laid back business discussion...Really looking for someplae where we can talk without being asked to get up. Doesn't even need to be a restaurant. Could be a lounge or hotel bar or mellow outdoor poolside table.

            2. re: TonyC
              dynamike Mar 27, 2009 06:09 PM

              Rustic Canyon reasonably quiet? Hell no. Great food though.

        2. c
          Cinnamon Mar 25, 2009 05:36 PM

          Maybe the garden at The Library Alehouse or Enterprise Fish Co. - the former on Main St. in SM and the latter just off it.

          Library Alehouse
          2911 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

          Enterprise Fish Co
          174 Kinney St., Santa Monica, CA 90405

          1. westsidegal Mar 25, 2009 08:14 PM

            fwiw, i don't think of abbot's habit and 'business' in the same sentence.

            what type of business?
            also, my experience with hal's is that it is one of the noisiest restaurants around.

            are you interested in coffee? drinks? how will you be dressed? causal? business casual? 'industry' casual?

            will you all be sitting around looking at your laptops? will you need a table for the laptops? or will you just be conversing with each other?

            10 Replies
            1. re: westsidegal
              Burger Boy Mar 25, 2009 09:15 PM

              What kind of business.............huuummmmmmmmmm We had this conversation before.

              1. re: Burger Boy
                westsidegal Mar 25, 2009 09:47 PM

                ha ha ha!
                so we have!

                1. re: westsidegal
                  offthebeatenpath1 Mar 26, 2009 08:39 AM

                  we will be dressed casually- entertainment biz. Looking for a place with light meals (sandwiches, salads, etc.). Nothing fancy. More concerned about the space and an ability to have a conversation (no looking at laptops or power point presentations).

                  1. re: offthebeatenpath1
                    westsidegal Mar 26, 2009 08:45 AM

                    then i second foodmanchu's idea about the marriott on admiralty.
                    at least, there, you won't need to be running out in the middle of the meeting to deal with parking issues...

                    1. re: offthebeatenpath1
                      Burger Boy Mar 26, 2009 09:02 AM

                      I am gonna go with my go to place, especially when you said salads and sandwiches. 26 Beach Restaurant. Get a table in the bar or dinning room. If it is a nice day most people will be in the garden area and the inside is usually pretty quiet.

                      1. re: Burger Boy
                        westsidegal Mar 26, 2009 10:54 AM

                        for food quality, 26 beach would be superior, but imho the tables there are way too cramped to be comfortable for a two hour business meeting with 4 people.

                        1. re: westsidegal
                          Burger Boy Mar 26, 2009 02:31 PM

                          Even the booth's in the bar area or the far back corner in the dinning room, I see people taking meetings all the time in there, during the day ofcourse.

                      2. re: offthebeatenpath1
                        joshekg Mar 26, 2009 11:51 AM

                        I would sit outside at Gjelina and order the pizza, chickpea stew or BLT w egg.

                        1. re: joshekg
                          nosh Mar 26, 2009 12:20 PM

                          I really enjoyed our dinner at Gjelina. But it is a very tight, busy and food-oriented place, not amenable to a laid-back meeting by any stretch. Bad fit.

                          1. re: nosh
                            westsidegal Mar 26, 2009 06:51 PM

                            i can't imagine gjelina tolerating a long business meeting. when i was there last, the check arrived before we even asked for it.

                2. f
                  foodmanchu Mar 25, 2009 09:33 PM

                  the marriott in marina del rey (on admiralty) has a great lobby and a great lounge. quiet during the day.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: foodmanchu
                    ElissaInPlaya Mar 26, 2009 09:45 AM

                    I third this recommendation; if the weather is nice, the Marriot's lounge/patio is lovely and perfect for your needs.

                  2. annerene Mar 25, 2009 11:27 PM

                    3 squares is great for coffee/ food/ meetings
                    1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA‎ - (310) 399-6504‎

                    Joes is also a winner, either the restaurant or the cafe
                    1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA‎ - (310) 399-5811‎

                    yeah, Hal's is nice, Abbot's can be bustling and diner-like.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: annerene
                      Dommy Mar 26, 2009 08:49 AM

                      I totally second 3 Square... :)


                    2. o
                      offthebeatenpath1 Mar 26, 2009 11:52 AM

                      any other suggestions in Santa Monica? Close to the Loews hotel area?


                      4 Replies
                      1. re: offthebeatenpath1
                        joshekg Mar 26, 2009 12:09 PM

                        Cora’s Coffee Shop

                        Menu: http://www.corascoffee.com/FrontEnd/W...

                        Cora's Coffee Shop
                        1802 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                        1. re: offthebeatenpath1
                          whatsfordinner Mar 26, 2009 12:11 PM

                          The restaurants at Shutters or Casa del Mar.

                          1. re: whatsfordinner
                            offthebeatenpath1 Mar 27, 2009 08:30 AM

                            The Veranda Lounge/Bar looks like it might be condusive for a long meeting, although it sounds like it gets crowded toward the evening. Do you think this is a good bet for a meeting around lunch time? What time does it tend to get crowded?

                          2. re: offthebeatenpath1
                            yogachik Mar 26, 2009 02:39 PM

                            How about the Loews lobby? Casa del Mar lobby? Shutters lobby? Viceroy poolside?

                            Cafe R&D on Montana is another idea. Also consider any of the coffee shops on Montana like Peets, or the Peets on Main Street (courtyard).

                          3. Emme Mar 27, 2009 12:55 AM

                            I would also consider Lilly's French Cafe.

                            I was going to suggest 3 Square as well, so I'll second or third that.

                            You could also do the Viceroy in SaMo as well, and I'll second or third or whatever number, Shutters. There's also Ivy at the Shore.

                            1. westsidegal Mar 27, 2009 09:40 AM

                              if price is a meaningful criteria to you, you will need to check all these recommendations.
                              many of the recs are for very reasonably priced restaurants, but several are for very high priced restaurants. also, the parking situations vary greatly between these restaurants--with some you'll be jockeying for metered parking and will need to go out periodically to feed the meters, and with others there will be valet parking that may be limited to certain hours.
                              also, some restaurants are not continuously open between lunch and dinner, so your 3 pm meeting could be affected.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: westsidegal
                                offthebeatenpath1 Mar 27, 2009 11:50 AM

                                parking is definitely something that we don't want to have to deal with, which is why I am thinking of a spot at a hotel- price is not really a concern, but not looking for a "power lunch" spot

                                Geez, NY is so much easier- no worries about parking and valets.

                                1. re: offthebeatenpath1
                                  bulavinaka Mar 27, 2009 02:56 PM

                                  Yup, cars are a beech, but you gotta tow one around in this town. Parking is going to be an issue as long as you're in much of Venice as well as Santa Monica. I don't know if you're familiar with any of these recs that we're throwing at you, but you might consider laying down some more preferences, dollar amounts, maybe what area you're staying, etc. Their might be something close by that can be recommended which may nix the need for a car.

                                  Since you started the thread at Abbot's, I figured you wanted something in this immediate neighborhood. Of the places I mentioned up top, French Market Cafe probably has the easiest parking. Customers at the French Market Cafe shoot the breeze for an hour or two all of the time, and the adjacent parking lot right as well as surrounding street parking should reduce your parking issues. It's super-casual - folks show up in swimming trunks as well as suits - and the food/espresso is good.

                              2. o
                                offthebeatenpath1 Mar 27, 2009 06:36 PM

                                I wanted to thank everyone for their responses. We settled on Rose's for a morning meeting and Hal's for a lunch meeting.

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