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Apr 6, 2009 02:42 PM

Birthday lunch in S.M. this Wed--ideas

I'm taking my friend out to lunch for her birthday. Was thinking of Wilshire for the patio, but it looks like it's gonna be raining. How's the food at the Huntley and the lunch menu? At least it'll be a beautiful view, and I'm sure she hasn't been there. Is it too businessy at lunch these days? (we two are not in the dress up and go to work-force these days.) Someplace pretty with good food--nice salads. I'm semi-regular at 17th St. Cafe, so not there.

I'm starting to think Anisette, but other good ideas nearby are welcome. Thanks.

Pat (yes THAT Pat)

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  1. Anisette is a great idea for a birthday lunch. If you don't mind traveling a little out of SM, I would also consider Gjelina on Abbot Kinney. Also consider Fig, at the Fairmont Hotel.

    1. Drinks at the Penthouse at the Huntley. Not food. Especially on a rainy day when you don't even get the best view. With the chilly weather, you want a place with an easy valet station and warm food -- my suggestion would be Ocean Ave. Seafood, but Anisette or Riva might work. A bowl of chowder at Santa Monica Seafood and then a door down for a sandwich and sweet at Huckleberry, or maybe hitting the new Rockenwagner bakery before the crowds discover it.

      1 Reply
      1. re: nosh

        FYI - most places don't offer valet parking for lunch. Riva is way better than Ocean Ave Seafood, but also probably more crowded. Ditto Anisette. I'm surprised westsidegal & Burger Boy haven't rec'd 26 Beach - guess it's too far! But they are good for salads.

      2. if it's gonna be raining, i'd check on the availability of valet parking at lunchtime for all of the restaurants under consideration. . . .

        1. In Brentwood on San Vicente at 26th, there's A Votre Sante which has a good salad selection.

          Fritto Misto has some great options

          Fred Segal if you don't mind the scenier side, but I fear it's too casual for the occasion

          On Montana, perhaps Cafe Dana

          If it isn't too far, I agree with the above rec for 26 Beach, if salads are desired.

          1. Thanks everyone for some good ideas. Am now thinking of the Getty Restaurant--neither of us have ever been there and now there's another friend of hers coming --even raining the view should be pretty nice up there. I can't really find a menu but I think they have some $20ish lunch salads. Has anyone had lunch up there on a weekday? Is it more about the view or is the food good too these days?

            I guess I'll also suggest Anisette and maybe Riva (how's lunch there?) to her tomorrow and let her choose. I'm pretty sure they both have valet parking, but then maybe not, since I'm usually walking by. It's not clear that it will be hard rain--weather report says "showers," so we might be able to walk a block or two from the parking structures if we're going to Anisette or Riva.

            Nosh--which new Rockenwagner Bakery are you talking about--the one off the 3rd St. Promenade? That's a little more casual than I was thinking of.

            Yogachik--tell me about Fig--what kind of food? I remember reading something but forgot. I'd like to try Gjelina sometime but it sounds like too much of a scene right now. True?

            You know, I'm not a huge fan of SM Seafood's chowder (had the cioppino too and wasn't that excited about it). I think they could have done a lot better with the restaurant food. It's now about 2 blocks away, so I stop in there fairly often but never want to brave the line to eat there--and except for the osyter bar, the menu does not impress. The fish is looking good again though, after the shaky first week where they didn't seem to have the temp right in the freezer case. How is Huckleberry? It's been quite crowded when I've peeked in the window--these are my hood so I'm often close by or across the street.

            1 Reply
            1. re: ThatPat

              The Getty is lovely for lunch. The food is very nice, and the setting is hard to beat. I've always heard top notch service there, too.
              Another possibility, Chez Mimi. They have a patio, but plenty of indoor spaces...and a fireplace or two if it's raining and a little chilly.