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looking for suggestions in Santa Monica

i
iatethesandbox Apr 27, 2010 10:01 PM

Hello,

Wondering if anyone can provide any suggestions (or links) to good food in walking distance from the Fairmont Hotel. Traveling from DC in june.

Thanks in advance!

  1. wienermobile Apr 27, 2010 11:35 PM

    Two places I like, Blue Plate Oysterette and Anisette are right around the corner.
    http://blueplatesantamonica.com/bpo/home/
    http://www.anisettebrasserie.com/

    1. m
      mdpilam Apr 27, 2010 11:52 PM

      Fig is in the Fairmont and is very good. Anisette (mentioned above) is also very good. Also Father's Office on 10th and Montana is also great for an excellent burger and great beer selection (be forewarned: it gets crowded, so get there early, by 5:30pm). Oh, and there is now an Umami burger in Fred Segal off of Colorado and 5th. Excellent burgers as well (and beer too). Huckleberry is a nice cafe on 10th and Wilshire as well.

      -----
      Fred Segal
      500 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90401

      Father's Office Bar
      1618 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA

      3 Replies
      1. re: mdpilam
        v
        vinosnob Apr 28, 2010 08:51 AM

        Another thumbs up for FIG. Rarely is a hotel restaurant worth a visit, but FIG is a rare exception.

        1. re: mdpilam
          d
          daftpunkxl Apr 29, 2010 11:30 AM

          5:30?!?! Yeah, you have to wait at F.O. a bit, but on a non-weekend night, at it's busiest, it'll take like, 20 minutes to get your food. Tops.

          My suggestion is Rustic Canyon, on 11th and Wilshire. Fan-tastic.

          1. re: daftpunkxl
            m
            mdpilam Apr 29, 2010 08:37 PM

            I was referring to getting a table, not food. Never had a problem with service. I have however had a problem getting a table if I get there past 5:45pm (talking the SaMo location).

        2. n
          New Trial Apr 27, 2010 11:54 PM

          In addition to Anisette and BP Oysterette (already mentioned), Fig (seasonal Californian) in your hotel is quite good, as are Fraiche (Italian/French Med) and Musha (Japanese pub food). Other good options include Bar Pinxto (tapas), Boa (steakhouse--good steak but a bit too sceney for me), Michael's (Californian--ask for the patio) and Ocean Avenue Seafood (the Lobster, near the Pier, has a better view but I don't think the food is as good). You should also have drinks at the Penthouse in the Huntley around sunset if you can--I think the food is only fair but the views are spectacular!

          -----
          Boa Steakhouse
          101 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

          The Lobster
          1602 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401

          Musha
          424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

          Bar Pintxo
          109 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

          Michael's Restaurant
          1147 3rd St., Santa Monica, CA 90403

          Ocean Avenue Seafood
          1401 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

          The Penthouse
          1111 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90403

          FIG Restaurant Santa Monica
          101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401, USA

          Fraiche Santa Monica
          312 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403

          1. i
            iatethesandbox Apr 28, 2010 08:20 AM

            thanks for the recs. I'm definitely interested in the local food and don't really need the scene. However, these views you talk about have piqued my interest!

            1. d
              DonNadeau Apr 28, 2010 10:43 AM

              El Cholo, 11th & Wilshire (short blocks from Fairmont).

              As good as any Mexican restaurant in California. Simply outstanding. Same quality as sister in Los Angeles, the oldest Mexican restaurant in the state. See http://elcholo.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: DonNadeau
                westsidegal Apr 28, 2010 11:44 PM

                must respectfully disagree with the recommendation of el cholo.

                imho, the food there is awful until you have plenty of alcohol in your bloodstream.

              2. n
                Nicole Apr 28, 2010 12:37 PM

                Add Musha to the list, Japanese pub food that you probably won't find in DC. Ditto on Anisette. El Cholo is fun and festive, but it offers among the worst and least authentic mexican food you can find. I think most chowhounds would disagree with this rec. I don't know a lot of authentic mexican food in that area, but Border Grill has an upscale, stylized take on Mexican and is closer to where you'll be staying anyway.

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

                Musha
                424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                5 Replies
                1. re: Nicole
                  v
                  vinosnob Apr 28, 2010 02:13 PM

                  Agree about El Cholo.

                  If you want some killer Mexican food fairly nearby, go to Monte Alban.

                  -----
                  Monte Alban
                  11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                  1. re: vinosnob
                    n
                    Nicole Apr 28, 2010 09:14 PM

                    Monte Alban is great, but definitely not within walking distance.

                    -----
                    Monte Alban
                    11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                    1. re: Nicole
                      v
                      vinosnob Apr 29, 2010 09:10 AM

                      Indeed, but we worth a cab ride

                      1. re: vinosnob
                        a_and_w Apr 29, 2010 09:16 AM

                        Or the bus.

                        1. re: a_and_w
                          v
                          vinosnob Apr 29, 2010 12:21 PM

                          Word

                2. y
                  yogachik Apr 28, 2010 07:26 PM

                  There are so many great restaurants walking distance from the Fairmont, and you've had some good suggestions.

                  Definitely avoid El Cholo.

                  Definitely visit Fig, go to the Huntley for a cocktail for the view in the Penthouse, go to Musha and Anisette and Bar Pinxto.

                  Others to add to the list would be The Yard (surprisingly good), and I love Catch at Casa del Mar, great food, great view, great room, also consider walking Montana Ave to R+D Kitchen just to hang with the locals. Sit at the bar and you'll be welcomed by all.

                  -----
                  Musha
                  424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                  1. f
                    FoodKitCat Apr 28, 2010 09:22 PM

                    If, by some chance, you like Indian, there is a great, cozy, local place within a 5 minute walk called Gate of India. On Santa Monica Boulevard between Ocean and 2nd. I LOVE this place. Was just there last night. Recommends include the Mulligatawny (sp?) soup, when they have it. I love the Rezalla curry...a coconut curry. And, if you are a spice freak, they have a chili curry that's pretty amazing and interesting.

                    If you are up for a little drive for some fabulous atmosphere, go down the California grade (just outside the hotel) and drive up Pacific Coast Highway to Moonshadows. It's a large restaurant about 7 miles up the road right on the ocean. The secret is the deck. There are only about 10 tables and the lights on the ocean attract all the gulls at night. There are little booths with curtains and heat lamps. The wine selections are quite good. Have the bass and bok choy (think it's bass).

                    If you want something a little more chic chic, Jiraffe is one of the best restaurants in LA. On Wilshire and 5th on the corner, French / American bistro with a wonderful prixe fixe menu (last time I checked).. you can do lunch too. It's completely underated, but trust me, you'll be surprised.

                    One of the most magical lunch spots in Santa Monica is Bay Cities Deli. On Lincoln near Arizona. Killer Italian deli with meatball sandwiches on perfectly crusted french bread that will make your head spin. Buy a warm baguette in the back and a brick of truffle cheese and one of the excellent wine selections and you'll be as happy as a clam.

                    Breakfast: Swingers. Oddly enough it's a healthy diner . Sounds wierd, but it's satiating and just fantastic. If you go for dinner, have the meatloaf and cous cous.

                    That's it for me...........

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

                    Gate of India
                    117 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                    Pacific Coast Cafe
                    6440 Via Real Ste 1, Carpinteria, CA 93013

                    11 Replies
                    1. re: FoodKitCat
                      o
                      omegapoint Apr 29, 2010 12:19 AM

                      If you're visiting from the east coast, all these selections are great - but don't bother with Bay Cities - it's a deli - a great deli, don't get me wrong. It's very special in LA because we don't have many cold cut sandwich deli type places - and it's delicious...but it's very much like any deli you would go to back east, except it's more crowded.

                      1. re: omegapoint
                        a_and_w Apr 29, 2010 09:20 AM

                        Bay Cities really doesn't remind me of Italian delis back east. The condiment choices and customizability of the sandwich is more of a CA thing imo.

                        1. re: a_and_w
                          o
                          omegapoint Apr 30, 2010 02:11 AM

                          Any small town or any suburb of any city from Boston to DC will usually have a deli that will make you whatever want - hoagie, grinder, sub, whatever you want to call it, whatever you want on it - liverwurst, turkey, cheddar, mustard, mayo - it's just part of every day life back east. Bay Cities has superior bread and great gourmet and wine shop on top of it - but it's just not something I would recommend to someone visiting from the east coast. A good sandwich is ubiquitous back east. Mexican or Sushi - that's what they should try.

                          1. re: omegapoint
                            a_and_w Apr 30, 2010 09:47 AM

                            I disagree. I've lived in Boston, DC, CT, and NYC, and I looked in vain for places like Bay Cities. The hoagies, grinders, subs, etc. out there are just different. For example, I can count on one hand the number of places I found that would put fresh avocado or pepper jack on your sub.

                            I wouldn't recommend Bay Cities to someone from the East Coast precisely because it doesn't do Italian combos the way they're done back East. That's why every few weeks you see some East Coast transplant expressing mystification at the love for Bay Cities. It's just not what they're expecting.

                            All that said, I agree with you re Mexican and sushi, especially for someone coming from DC.

                            1. re: a_and_w
                              f
                              FoodKitCat May 1, 2010 06:21 AM

                              LOL... yes, well, what would like be like without avocado?

                        2. re: omegapoint
                          westsidegal Apr 30, 2010 11:22 AM

                          agree with omegapoint re: bay cities.
                          during my career i've shuttled between LA and the East coast.
                          there are so many good italien delis in NY that when i returned to LA after a stint in NY, Bay Cities didn't seem worth the hassle anymore.
                          not that bay cities is exactly like a NY italien deli, but it didn't seem to offer something so unique that i was motivated to go there.
                          maybe if the parking were easier, or if it were all around easier to get my food and a table there i would have felt differently. certainly, i would not think it is worth spending vacation time have the Bay Cities experience.

                          1. re: westsidegal
                            a_and_w Apr 30, 2010 11:41 AM

                            There are Italian delis in NYC that do better sandwiches than Bay Cities, but there are none (or VERY) few) that have a similar approach/philosophy to doing sandwiches. The emphasis is much more on preset meats and condiments with fewer options to customize. If you're from the East, that probably means less to you. But for someone who took it for granted growing up in LA and SF, you miss it when it's gone. Regardless, I wouldn't recommend Bay Cities to someone visiting, either, unless maybe they were spending a day on the beach.

                            PS: Customizability is a philosophy you see in places like Berkeley Dog, too. Hard as it is to believe, that doesn't exist back East either. Just do a search for my posts that say "top dog" on the New York board.

                            1. re: a_and_w
                              f
                              FoodKitCat May 1, 2010 06:19 AM

                              You all are funny. Of course it's not like the East Coast -- uh because we are on the Left Coast. It's a charming, lovely place for LA. Forget the sandwiches, if you are filled full of East Coast italian.....buy a loaf of warm bread with truffle cheese and wine and bring it to the beach.

                              1. re: FoodKitCat
                                b
                                bulavinaka May 1, 2010 06:32 AM

                                Love those fresh loaves of bread there...

                                1. re: FoodKitCat
                                  westsidegal May 3, 2010 09:05 AM

                                  our beach is certainly not available on the east coast,
                                  but great bread and truffle cheese certainly is available in NYC.

                          2. re: FoodKitCat
                            t
                            tretower Jul 19, 2012 09:32 AM

                            Re: Moonshadows:
                            I had to laugh when I read,"The secret is the deck...the lights on the ocean attract all the seagulls."

                            Might not be just the lights--Consider:

                            One day, I had a late lunch on their deck with one other diner.

                            I had a beautiful salad with some grilled seafood on top & a glass of wine. Out of nowhere, came dive-bombing this gull, exploding my meal and sending my wine flying all over me! Very Alfred Hitchcock!
                            The staff was nice & replaced everything & I gather that it's an ongoing problem there.
                            Other than the occasional aerial attack, everything else was lovely...

                          3. Emme Apr 28, 2010 10:20 PM

                            lots of great recs here... Musha, Anisette (brunch), Jir-Raffe, FIG, Monte Alban (worth hopping a cab for), Father's Office (for food and the experience ;), Bay Cities Deli for an easy lunch,... avoid El Cholo.

                            For a nice quick pastry and tea, try the Tudor Shop.
                            For fish'n'chips and sticky toffee pudding, try Ye Olde King's Head Pub.
                            Melisse for high end French up at 11th and Wilshire if you feel like walking that far.

                            -----
                            Ye Olde King's Head
                            116 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                            Monte Alban
                            11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                            Musha
                            424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                            Father's Office Bar
                            1618 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: Emme
                              f
                              FoodKitCat Apr 28, 2010 10:42 PM

                              Just learned about Monte Alban tonight here reading and can't wait....

                              But King's Head for food???? Uh uhh.... It's bad pub food. Good pub mind you, but the food? Is there such a good thing as "good" and "pub food" in the same sentence?

                              -----
                              Monte Alban
                              11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                              1. re: FoodKitCat
                                a_and_w Apr 29, 2010 09:20 AM

                                I've had some amazing pub food in my life. And I'm not just talking about gastropubs like Father's Office.

                                -----
                                Father's Office Bar
                                1618 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA

                                1. re: FoodKitCat
                                  Emme Apr 29, 2010 02:00 PM

                                  ...the fish'n'chips are good. that's all i can say. and you're welcome to disagree. maybe i've been on "off days," as in the fish'n'chips were atypically good.

                                  1. re: Emme
                                    n
                                    New Trial Apr 30, 2010 12:42 AM

                                    I always enjoy the Fish & Chips there and also rather like the Scotch Egg.

                                2. re: Emme
                                  v
                                  vinosnob Apr 29, 2010 09:11 AM

                                  "Monte Alban (worth hopping a cab for)"

                                  My thoughts exactly! ;)

                                3. o
                                  omegapoint Apr 29, 2010 12:10 AM

                                  Don't forget about the Border Grill for great Mexican! Every time I try something new on their menu, it's another revelation. It's an old standby for santa monicans, so I'd especially recommend it for someone visiting from out of town - plus it's a fun atmosphere inside.

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

                                  1. i
                                    iatethesandbox May 3, 2010 06:29 AM

                                    thanks for all the suggestions. i'll have to wade through all of them and propose a plan of attack. Blue Plate Oysterette and Anisette look to be right up my alley. Fig will happen since I'll be there. Father's Office looks good for drinks. I'll save the deli for NYC. I was amused by the mexican discussion/disagreement. Is Musha a decent sushi option? Are there others nearby?

                                    Are there any recs for late-night eating?

                                    -----
                                    Musha
                                    424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                                    Blue Plate
                                    1415 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

                                    Father's Office Bar
                                    1618 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: iatethesandbox
                                      Servorg May 3, 2010 07:35 AM

                                      Musha is not a sushi restaurant, so for that you'll need to go elsewhere (like Mori or Kiriko or Hide or Zo or Irori or Echigo).

                                      ADD: (Hide is cash only)

                                      -----
                                      Sushi Zo
                                      9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                                      Kiriko
                                      11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                      Mori Sushi
                                      11500 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                      Echigo
                                      12217 Santa Monica Blvd Ste 201, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                                      Irori Japanese Restaurant
                                      4371 Glencoe Ave, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

                                      Hide Sushi Japanese Restaurant
                                      2040 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                                      1. re: Servorg
                                        westsidegal May 3, 2010 09:07 AM

                                        of your sushi suggestions,
                                        i would place irori at the bottom of your list.

                                        1. re: westsidegal
                                          Servorg May 3, 2010 09:12 AM

                                          We went to Irori a couple of weeks ago after a long absence and we were pleasantly surprised by the food. We had a mix of cooked dishes and sushi and found both to be good. Plus our service was very good. YMMV

                                          1. re: Servorg
                                            westsidegal Jul 1, 2010 08:05 AM

                                            have they stopped applying sauces to the sushi with a firehose?

                                            1. re: westsidegal
                                              Servorg Jul 1, 2010 08:15 AM

                                              Was not an issue that evening. Since my wife is not a sushi fan I don't get her to sushi places too frequently and I have the best luck with places like Kiriko or Irori or K-Zo where they have a large selection of other cooked dishes to pick from.

                                              -----
                                              Kiriko
                                              11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                                              K-Zo
                                              9240 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                                    2. f
                                      foodiemahoodie May 3, 2010 08:39 AM

                                      There is a wealth of very good restaurants. Not mentioned here, but far and away the best is Melisse. This has two Michelin stars(and on Gayot's Guide to the Best 40 restaurants in the United States) and is one of the few true fine dining experiences in L.A. On 11th and Wilshire. It is priced higher than any of the other restaurants mentioned here, but comparably price (even competitively priced) to other two star/three star restaurants around the world .

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: foodiemahoodie
                                        i
                                        iatethesandbox Jul 1, 2010 07:35 AM

                                        just to recap my trip: unfortunately, did not get to visit as many of the wonderful suggestions that you provided. with coworkers less adventurous, i was limited to the area surrounding the Fairmont.

                                        happily though, I did get to go to Blue plate oysterette twice. I was able to enjoy some nice west coast oysters. wish i could have gone back for a few more komo gway and lunas. for lunch, i also had the ahi sandwich, which was very refreshing after a long cross-country flight. Fig (in the hotel) was a wonderful setting for drinks - unfortunately didn't eat there.

                                        unfortunately, i went to a couple touristy/sceney restaurants, which was disappointing for meals lost! i assume the response on this board will be DUH!, but I will admit that I went to both Boa steakhouse and Sushi Roku. The concierge at the hotel recommended these, which probably should have been my first red flag. With coworkers, I acquiesced... I was disappointed in even the rice with the nigiri- it fell apart. Boa was hilarious.

                                        Anyways, it was ridiculously hot on the east coast while i was in LA, so I can't complain with beautiful weather. will have to revisit with this list again.

                                        -----
                                        Sushi Roku
                                        33 Miller Alley at One Colorado, Pasadena, CA 91103

                                      2. r
                                        Robhungry1 Jul 1, 2010 02:11 PM

                                        Some really odd recomendations here such as BOA or any restaurant on Ocean. For the absolute best and most pricey Mellise can't be beat. Michael's being a distant second for fine dinning.

                                        1. e
                                          Eliorr Oct 30, 2012 03:10 PM

                                          I second Musha, note only dinner. They open at 6. Penthouse for bfast, lunch brunch. Best views in Santa Monica and is across the street from you. Stay away from it at dinner time. I agree on Bay Cities, from East Coast, you will be disappointed. And of course, budget permitting, Melisse, amazing. Josiah is extremely talented when you walk in you feel like you are in a high end NYC restaurant.

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