Santa Monica, Venice, B. Hills & Hollywood w/14 yo?
Taking my 14 year old niece for a long weekend that will include visiting Santa Monica, Venice Beach, Beverly Hills and Hollywood. She has pretty sophisticated taste buds but she is also in a phase where you can feed her and 2 hours later she's hungry again (oh, to have that metabolism again).
Would appreciate some recommendations for some quirky, yet good food, restaurants and maybe even a couple of snack ideas. Personally, I was hoping to hit Mozza but with no reservation that’s probably not an option for this weekend or is it?
Both sides of Mozza, the Pizzeria and the Osteria have a fair amount of no-reservations counter seating. So if it's just the two of you (or even three or four) you can always show up and get a spot at one of the counters. You may end up waiting 30 to 60 minutes, though if you hit them at the right time (off hour or when they're just opening) you'll breeze right up to a seat. And it's definitely worth it.
Since there's no way to know what time you'll be in Santa Monica or Venice -- just know to avoid everything on the Promenade itself. There are lots of options surrounding the Promenade, so take your pick from any menu that suits. Kids love California Pizza Kitchen, on Wilshire near 3rd, or go to Joe's Pizza on Santa Monica near 2nd, or Budha's Belly on Broadway.
Main Street - there are so many to choose from, but Holy Guacamole and Library Alehouse are good for you two. On Abbot Kinney, try to get into Gjelina (easier at lunch)
There is no problem getting into Gjelina at lunch! We walked in in swimsuits, shorts and T's right off the beach. One thing to remember though is that they only have their lunch menu which is pizzas and salads.... still really delicious though! This was about a week or two ago so I think it should still be the same.
Lilly's is really good food on Abbott Kinney (can be a little bit pricey). Maybe stop by the new Intelligentsia on Abbott Kinney for a coffee and a snack. There's one place on the Washington Pier that I like, its a grill... maybe Mercedes Grill, lots of variety and interesting Latin/Mediterranean-ish vibe, very casual. The Penthouse is more upscale Santa Monica with a great view. Or Caffe Primo on Sunset has good tea/coffee, pastries and salads, only if you're in the area, its not overwhelming.
In Santa Monica, I think you would both enjoy Musha.
If you want sandwiches, try Bay Cities Deli in SaMo.
For nicer places, try Wilshire or JiRaffe, depending upon the teen's palate.
Anisette is another good idea for breakfast or lunch.
If you want to grab a quick pastry, try Amandine on Wilshire in west LA.
In Venice, 26 Beach has good large portions and fun options, esp for breakfast/brunch.
Joe's has a nice brunch too, as well as dinner, depending upon your budget.
In Hollywood area, you might try Hungry Cat for good food.
The Griddle Cafe for decadent breakfasts
For tapas/small plates fare, Bazaar
For "quirky eat with your hands" Moroccan food, Dar Maghreb
If Peruvian is "quirky," Los Balcones de Peru
At her age, she might enjoy M Cafe de Chaya and/or Urth Caffe
Not quite Hollywood, but on Fairfax, you might want to visit Farmers' Market at 3rd/Fairfax--so many great things to see/taste.
Also on Fairfax are some great Ethiopian restaurants
if it's the weekday...
Mozza 2-5pm pizza/appetizer for 19 dollars. has celebrity factor, good food, and nice vibe in the afternoon when it's not ridiculously loud.
huckleberry for breakfast/lunch is also good