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Brunch with Coctails for Birthday Celebrations in Santa Monica?

Hi -

A small group of friends and I will be in LA to celebrate a 30th birthday. We want to find a place for a (outdoors if possible) brunch place in the Santa Monica area this Sunday with good food (birthday boy is major foodie) and brunchy-cocktails where we can enjoy the food and hangout.

I read some posts that suggested lots of pancake/pastry places which seemed really yummy, but we are looking for a somewhere that serves cocktails (really good Bloody Mary perhaps) and is a bit more celebratory.

Any tips?!


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  1. Venice area would work for us too!

    1. don't know if you have any budget restrictions, but my first thought for an upscale brunch with outdoor seating is Coast Restaurant at Shutters on the Beach in SM. the patio is really lovely and it's right on the beach:

      There's also Joe's or Beechwood in Venice...or in Marina del Rey, Jerne or Cafe del Rey.

      4 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        Thanks for the tips. We have a mid-range budget. Probably nothing with a $$$$ rating. But $$$ we can do.

        Beechwood looks like a chill place. Maybe we'll check it out. A friend of mine suggest Gjelina too. Any thoughts?

        1. re: lunakins

          gjelina is one of the hottest restaurants in town these days.
          my experiences there were not low-cost nor was gjelina a relaxed place to 'hang out.'

          the food, though, is sublime.

          my advice would be the great three-course brunch served at cafe del rey in marina del rey. the price is about $40/pp and includes either a glass of their house bubbly (actually a really decent sparkling white) or coffee.

          cafe del rey doesn't have outdoor seating but they do have great views of the boats and the marina.

        2. re: goodhealthgourmet

          I looked at Beechwood's website. it doesn't seem like they are open for Brunch on Sunday though.

          1. re: lunakins

            you're right. i could have sworn they did Sunday brunch but apparently i was mistaken. sorry for the misdirection! i haven't been to Gjelina, but if you search the board you might find some brunch reviews. if not, you could always post another thread to ask.

            ETA: Gjelina...

        3. My suggestion would be Joe's, on Abbot Kinney in Venice. A nice patio, though it is fabric-covered, really good food, fine cocktails, and valet parking. Prices are moderate -- entrees, which come with a choice of a small starter, run about $12-15 or so.

          1 Reply
          1. re: nosh

            While I like Joe's, their brunch menu (I find) is too limited.

          2. annisette has a nice brunch & full bar. cache plans to be open for brunch but i'm not sure when that will begin. I love gjelina but have not had brunch only dinner & lunch which were both wonderful.

            1 Reply
            1. re: dotrat

              Absolutely go to Anisette. Amazing brunch, and a big menu of different Bloody Mary cocktails that are all excellent.

            2. Fig at the Fairmount in SM
              Geoffrey's in Malibu - killer view & lovely food

              1. I agree with Joe's. Also...Chez Mimi in Santa Monica is very nice.

                1. Based on your criteria, Joe's is the clear choice. Good brunch, good cocktails, nice outdoor space, upscale feel with reasonable prices.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Nicole

                    We went to Joe's yesterday for brunch. It was super tasty - i got the gulf shrimp with grits cake, especially the Bloody Marys. Thanks for all the suggestions!

                    1. re: lunakins

                      Thanks for reporting back. So glad to hear that it worked out well for you!

                  2. The Lobster is nice on the SM Pier, but lots of tourists.
                    If the Huntley does brunch, don't miss it. Top floor with birds eye view of the whole bay and VERY white, sexy interiors. Excellent food.
                    Geoffreys in Malibu is AMAZING this time of year. Never go there at dark, it's not worth the food...all about the view on a gorgeous summer day. One of maybe only 3 restaurants in Malibu on the beach.Try the watermelon mojitos. The paella is incredible. Yes, I had that together....
                    This is a little divey, but I LOVE IT......The Fig Tree Cafe on the Venice boardwalk (just south of Rose) is just awesome. Home made Yogi Tea and the Eggs Lulu still haunt me. They are pesto and chicken sausage. Just love that place. ... but get there early before the freaks and tourist arrive.It's nice on a cloudy Sunday am