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Santa Monica Romantic and Quality

I'm looking for a Santa Monica restaurant, walking distance from 3rd Street, that is quality first and foremost but also has a romantic or private feel. I don't care about a view or a name, and a hidden gem is best of all. Drago and Chinois on Main are out. Any ideas my friends?

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    1. re: empalmer74

      I loved Riva, but wouldn't consider it romantic.

      Melisse, Capo, JiRaffe & La Botte would all get my vote, if it has to be within walking distance, in that order.

      The penthouse at the Huntley Hotel would be good for drinks or maybe dessert afterward, a little loud, but killer view.

      1. re: Phurstluv

        We're actually staying at the Huntley, good to know : ) Thanks for the suggestions!

        1. re: empalmer74

          If you go on the early side to the Penthouse for a drink, it shouldn't be too loud. Gets louder as the night goes on. And it's been a couple of years, but I had a very nice brunch there and the view is incredible when it's clear weather like we're having now.

    2. is 8 blocks too far? Melissa is up at 11th and Wilshire?

      Other nice in the area include Michael's, Capo, and JiRaffe...

        1. re: yogachik

          Outstanding, thank you!

          Any other suggestions are welcome as well!

          1. re: yogachik

            I also am a fan of Capo, but FYI it's $$$$ and it's on the loud end of the spectrum for a 'romantic' evening. In my opinion, the noise level is a positive here. Paired with the food, it really makes it a fun night out.

            The food is excellent as well as the service. They will even let you put two different pastas onto a plate if you can't decide between a couple. Other requests such as adding prosciutto to a burrata/heirloom tomato salad are handled just as painlessly.

            There is a brick enclosed wood burning stove in the corner that does add some romance back into the noisy but very enjoyable restaurant.

            Good luck!!!

            P.S. Last tip, for an 'italian' restaurant they make an outstanding scratch margarita! It's very short, only a few sips. But refreshing and great. Make sure to ask for it scratch and try to imply that you're serious about your cocktails...

          2. Get a table upstairs at Jiraffe. It's quiet, romantic and delicious.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jay 1

              If you go to Jiraffe be sure to get the chocolate truffle cake...to die for!

            2. Terrace at Michael's on 3rd is exactly what you want. It's not a hidden gem though, but too often forgotten. Quality? It's all about quality.

              And it's quiet too.

              3 Replies
              1. re: foodiemahoodie

                Maybe it will be easier to get a reservation out there now. In the past, we have NEVER been able to sit on the patio, even though we requested it EVERY TIME. I know you MUST request it and they will tell you they WILL NOT guarantee it. We finally gave up. Too many other good patios and food to eat out there.

                1. re: Phurstluv

                  Would appreciate hearing about the "too many other good patios" out there. I love eating out doors, but it' usually too noisy or distracting. Love the patio at Lucques. What do you recommend?

                  1. re: jay 1

                    Do you mean anywhere in the city or the west side particularly?

                    Just off the top of my head:

                    Il Cielo in Beverly Hills
                    Wilshire, SM
                    Whist at the Viceroy, SM
                    Tavern, tho it's not called a "Patio", it's their "Atrium"
                    Buffalo Club, SM
                    Geoffrey's, Malibu
                    The Ivy, BH
                    Cheesecake Factory, MDR
                    Taverna Tony, Malibu
                    Gjelina, Venice

                    Some of these aren't Patios, per se, but outdoor seating, some on the sidewalk, some at the back of the restaurants. I'm sure I'm forgetting many, many more.