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Nov 8, 2009 12:51 PM

Looking for a great place in Santa Monica for dinner1

Tomorrow, a Monday 4 to 5 friends who really love food are looking for a place to have dinner in Santa Monica. Not crazy expensive.

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  1. Have you been to Gjelina? If not it is definitely worth a try.

    1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA

    4 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      No I haven't. What kind of food?

      1. re: MarlaPR

        Gjelina is fantastic but difficult to get a reservation - and it's loud. It's in Venice, not Santa Monica.

        Cache can be done on a budget (bar menu), food is excellent. Chaya Venice is Happy Hour all night on Monday nights in the bar, but the restaurant is not what I'd call crazy expensive - and it's always perfect for dinner with friends... Musha is inexpensive and very good (Japanese tapas).

        Chaya Venice
        110 Navy Street, Venice, CA 90291

        424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

        1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA

        1. re: yogachik

          What do you think of Cache? If we are careful in our ordering?

        2. re: MarlaPR

          It's a very farmer's market driven place with a variety of small plates and some larger ones featuring very, very fresh ingredients. Creative combinations without being strange. And while the inside portion of the restaurant is loud the patio is not and it is beautiful. Check out some of the reviews at the place link, and the website has a menu page to look at as well.

        1. re: sumo3175

          That does look great! Any feelings on Cafe Delfini??

          Cafe Delfini
          145 W Channel Rd, Santa Monica, CA 90402

          1. re: MarlaPR

            I love Delfini, but it is ridiculously overpriced.

            I do not like Fig at all, personally. I find it too corporate and not special enough. You really feel like you're in a hotel - unlike other hotel restaurants.

            Cache - you can order anything, it's all amazing. It's a matter of taste. I love the flat breads (pizza), my friend goes weekly just for the shrimp cocktail (which is very different than the traditional), others love the duck confit in a mason jar...

            1. re: MarlaPR

              Trust me, don't venture to the Canyon or the Palisades, there really isn't anyplace worth the money you spend, unless you live there and can't bear to drive.

              Have you checked out Wilshire on 25th & wilshire?? Awesome patio, and I hear the new chef is really good.

              Whist at the Viceroy used to be really good, but haven't been in a while. Or La Cachette Bistro, which is just next door, and trying VERY hard.

              Or Rustic Canyon Bistro on Wilshire, further down by the hospitals. It was very good a few months back, very seasonally driven.

              And I loved FIG personally, but don't know what it's like at dinner. And I happen to love BOA, but it's not for the faint of heart, budget wise.

              If your group is into beer, the Yard House just updated their menu with a decent chef and more upgraded dishes, not just bar food anymore.

              And you can always try Fraiche II, which, if as good as the original in C.City, is worth it and not overpriced, unless you order all specials.

              Wilshire Restaurant
              2454 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90404

            2. re: sumo3175

              Fig does not serve dinner on Mondays. Jiraffe might be a good option as, in addition to its regular menu, on Mondays has a three course bistro menu (changing weekly) for $38; currently, there is also a Cirque prix-fixe being offered for $44.

              Jiraffe Restaurant
              502 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401

            3. One of my favorites is the Border Grill.


              Border Grill
              1445 4th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401

              1 Reply
              1. re: Baron

                Thank you so much everyone! We couldn't get into Cache, Fraiche ll or Le Cachette bistro till much later than everyone wanted. So we are going to Delfini. Will report back!