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One Night in Santa Monica

r
Raboi Aug 30, 2010 06:43 PM

Looking for a great restaurant for our only night in Santa Monica prior to heading to the Pier. We are a family of 4 with 2 little kids (7 and 8) who are really good in any upscale restaurant but we do like a more lively atmosphere. Nothing generic. We don't really care for Italian food but EVERYTHING else goes. Would like to keep the bill below $200/everyone but rules are made to be broken if need be. I think we will be there on a Sunday.

So in other words, if you had one night in Santa Monica, where would you go??

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  1. J.L. RE: Raboi Aug 30, 2010 06:54 PM

    Musha
    Wilshire
    Whist at the Viceroy

    1. y
      yogachik RE: Raboi Aug 30, 2010 07:10 PM

      Does it need to be walking distance from the Pier? If so, there a few options on the roof of the new Santa Monica Place. Zenga and La Sandia are both very good. Anisette is also an option. Musha is further by foot, but great - Japanese tapas. Border Grill is fun, La Serenada di Girabaldi is great (both mexican). Giraffe is consistently very good. Catch has great views and a great menu.

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

      Musha
      424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

      1 Reply
      1. re: yogachik
        r
        Raboi RE: yogachik Aug 30, 2010 07:12 PM

        Don't know the area well but we have a car and will drive anywhere for great food!

      2. wienermobile RE: Raboi Aug 30, 2010 08:33 PM

        I really like Blue Plate Oysterette on Ocean Ave. For the kids they have lobster mac and cheese (well maybe not just for the kids).
        http://blueplatesantamonica.com/bpo/h...

        3 Replies
        1. re: wienermobile
          m
          maudies5 RE: wienermobile Aug 30, 2010 09:44 PM

          Problem with Oysterette is that they do not accept reservations and the wait can be quite long on a weekend night, particularly if the weather is good. I was there recently for lunch on a Monday and the server told me that folks were waiting up to 90 minutes for a table on the previous Sunday night.

          1. re: maudies5
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            foodiemahoodie RE: maudies5 Aug 31, 2010 02:15 AM

            Just go early. Hey, they have kids - they probably eat early. Get there around 5:30 and you shouldn't have a problem.

            1. re: foodiemahoodie
              nelehelen RE: foodiemahoodie Aug 31, 2010 11:26 AM

              I just went to BP Oysterette this past Sunday around 7 PM and there was no wait. I think this might have been because of the chilly weather. I did call when i was in the area and let them know I was looking for parking. They put my name down on the list just in case people started showing up. But yes, generally the wait is long, so going with kids wouldn't be ideal.

        2. Emme RE: Raboi Aug 30, 2010 08:39 PM

          Border Grill and Musha are both good suggestions, esp for fun.

          i don't know if i'd call it "fun," but Gjelina is really goood.

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

          Musha
          424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

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

          8 Replies
          1. re: Emme
            m
            mdpilam RE: Emme Aug 31, 2010 12:05 AM

            Annisette, Fig or Umami.

            1. re: Emme
              f
              foodiemahoodie RE: Emme Aug 31, 2010 02:16 AM

              Gjelina pretty much has the hippest crowd on the west side.

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

              1. re: foodiemahoodie
                j
                jdwdeville RE: foodiemahoodie Aug 31, 2010 05:58 PM

                But does that affect the quality of the food? They are an excellent restaurant, with an excellent wine list, and they have the "more lively" atmosphere the OP specified.

                1. re: jdwdeville
                  f
                  foodiemahoodie RE: jdwdeville Aug 31, 2010 07:55 PM

                  Of course not, but one of the requirements was a lively atmosphere.

                  1. re: foodiemahoodie
                    j
                    jdwdeville RE: foodiemahoodie Sep 1, 2010 10:10 AM

                    Oh! We're agreeing with each other! Ha- I misunderstood- read "hippest crowd on the west side" as a negative (many have meant it that way and I get defensive...). Sorry!

                    1. re: jdwdeville
                      Servorg RE: jdwdeville Sep 1, 2010 10:52 AM

                      "Hippest" = Lively Dressed all in Black

                      1. re: Servorg
                        j
                        jdwdeville RE: Servorg Sep 1, 2010 02:49 PM

                        ... and sporting an "old-timey" moustache.

                        1. re: Servorg
                          J.L. RE: Servorg Sep 1, 2010 07:08 PM

                          Hey, didn't you know that black is the new black? :P

              2. g
                Ginger9 RE: Raboi Aug 31, 2010 06:24 AM

                I agree with everyone who has mentioned Musha - great food, fun environment, fits your budget. Order some of the items that are prepared tableside that will wow the kids like the grilled steak on a charcoal burner on your table, or the risotto prepared in a huge block of cheese, or the apple tartin dessert torched in front of you.

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                Musha
                424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                2 Replies
                1. re: Ginger9
                  mollyomormon RE: Ginger9 Sep 1, 2010 07:26 PM

                  This is where I take my nieces in town. I think it's a great place for kids and adults alike: great food, lively atmosphere, reasonable prices. I'm not sure where the OP is from or whether they have izakayas available there, but that would also be a consideration. Some of the other types of food mentioned might be easy to find elsewhere, so that might also be a consideration.

                  1. re: mollyomormon
                    r
                    Raboi RE: mollyomormon Sep 1, 2010 08:12 PM

                    We live just outside Ft. Lauderdale. We really have mediocre Sushi in our area and no such thing as an Izakaya. This is just our speed. We had already planned for one night of classic Sushi but it sounds like we have to make more room for more Japanese during our vacation. Ginger's description of tableside preparations sounds too good to miss out on. Aside from just the japanese thing.... we love small plates!

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                    Izakaya
                    8420 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048

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