Moving To Santa Monica and searched a lot! Check my list?!
I've been living in OC and NYC for years and haven't been a part of LA in a long time! I'm moving to Santa Monica soon and can't wait to try all the restaurants. I've done a lot of searching through the LA board for Santa Monica (and close surrounding areas) and have come up with this list! Please let me know what you think...should I take any of these off the list? Or are all they good choices? Anything I forgot that should be on there? And which ones would you suggest I run to first? :) I'm into full-flavored, authentic foods from around the world (especially from the Mediterranean region, Mexico, and the Indian subcontinent) and not interested in trends that have been done to death or chain-style restaurants. I've had enough of that in South OC! :)
tacos por favor
Gilbert's El Indio
Lares on Pico
nawab of india
gate of india
agra indian kitchen
Joe's of Bleecker
Abbot's Pizza Company
bay cities italian deli
Javan for Persian
blue plate oysterette
whist at viceroy for brunch
drinks @ the penthouse in huntley
Quasi-Cuban at Babalu on Montana
ocean ave seafood happy hour for oysters/wine
Port Royal Cafe
11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064
10863 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034
1002 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403
Port Royal Cafe
1412 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90404
Gilbert's El Indio
2526 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405
10406 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
109 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
1330 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403
4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066
1211 Montana Ave Ste A, Santa Monica, CA 90403
12400 Wilshire Blvd Ste 150, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Yay for people using the search box. Pretty good list, three notes
Hump and Surya have closed
I'd throw Mezza in there for Middle Eastern
Under misc, you didn't seem to have any Abbot Kinney spots. There's a ton of very good (though not ethnic) places within walking distance of Santa Monica: Gjelina, Tasting Kitchen, Joe's, etc.
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291, USA
Since you have both Kiriko and Sawtelle Kitchen on your list there are quite a few other interesting places on that "Little West LA Tokyo" stretch of Sawtelle that would bear exploring. Places like Orris and Furaibo and Place Yuu and 2117 (among others). Very close to that stretch, but actually on Olympic Blvd. at Barrington is a Korean style Izakaya called Raku that would also be a good place to check out.
Other than Mariscos Chente in Mar Vista (which may have gone downhill since Sergio and his wife left) are places like the excellent dive (oxymoron?) Pepy's Galley for breakfast and for upscale the newish Waterloo & City are worth some time and attention.
Culver City has a ton of new and old interesting choices too. Gloria's Cafe and Brunello's and then Sushi Zo and the more fusion-y Sushi K-Zo (different places with similar names) Akasha and Green Peas and on and on and on. Hopefully someone else will add more in the CC arena.
10227 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034
9824 National Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034
11678 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
2068 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
12125 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066
2117 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
2101 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
9543 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
9240 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232
6001 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
424 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
4437 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City, CA
Waterloo and City
12517 W Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90066
It's a good list, but I wouldn't go running to some of these places (like R+D or Fritto Misto or Babalu).
Missing are Via Portofino, Rustic Canyon, Zenga and La Sandia, Catch at Casa del Mar, The Yard (the chef, CJ from Top Chef, has been doing some really interesting things and is turning this into a true gastropub) and (as mentioned) the Abbot Kinney restaurants.
I'd skip Lares and Akbar. For Italian, definitely add Ado on Main St by Abbot Kinney. Shamshiri is excellent for Persian.
I'd also recommend Robata Ya and Sakura House for kushiyaki.
Also, don't miss a couple of fantastic trucks in the area, La Isla Bonita on Rose between 3rd and 4th during the day and La Oaxaquena on Lincoln South of Rose after 7pm.
Great research, junglekitte, and a lot of great additions to your list. You might also consider Gallegos Mexican Deli on Venice in Mar Vista. The family has been in business starting in Santa Monica for ions. They have lots of great tamales and chile rellenos, their barbacoa is wonderful, and their chips are always perfect.
I'm glad to see Bite, Huckleberry and Amandine on your list - all very good places. For more sweet bakery desserts, you might also consider SusieCakes on San Vicente on Brentwood, Jamaica's Cakes on Pico in West LA, Angel Maid on Centinela in Mar Vista, 3 Square Bakery + Cafe (very good cafe meals) and Jin Patisserie on Abbot Kinney in Venice, and Belwood Bakery on Barrington Ct in Brentwood as well.
Washington Blvd is becoming a very food-friendly street. From Downtown Culver City, the eateries of all levels have been popping up. Some have already been mentioned (Brunello, K-Zo, Fraiche, Mezza, Waterloo and City), and another place that is pretty good is Pitfire Pizza, in the old Shakey's building. The pizzas, pastas and salads are very serviceable, it's really casual, but I really like the fact that they are also putting an effort into offering some good wine but particularly good beers on tap. Racer 5 IPA is a totally different animal when it's on draft, and I'd return just for that. They do get crowded, so twilight time is the best time to go.
Another long-standing favorite on Washington for burgers and salads is 26 Beach, about a couple blocks west of Lincoln. The quality of their ingredients and the execution is very good, and the iterations on burgers will turn your head. I've recently had and enjoyed the California Roll Burger and the Hot Fudge Sundae Burger. They're not for everyone, but if you like a place that is not afraid of whimsy that works, 26 Beach is pretty fearless.
Another choice for good dining in a nice locale with good quality/price ratio is Cafe Del Rey on Admiralty in Marina del Rey. I'm not sure if they are still offering a killer happy hour - poster Westside Gal would know best - but even without, it's a nice place to dine. Their seafood is always fresh, the service is very good, and the dining room is subdued but stylish.
Samosa House on Washington Blvd in Culver City is both a storefront and food counter offering vegetarian and vegan Indian cuisine. I'm a sucker for there samosas and mango lassi. They now have two locations - the other on Washington by Overland - but the former is much much easier to access.
Japanese can be an easy-do and not far from Gallegos - the Mitsuwa Marketplace on Centinela north of Venice Blvd has a food court with some very respectable counter, namely Santouka Ramen and Sanuki Sandou Udon. I think most who enjoy ramen would agree that Santouka has some of the best ramen in SoCal. The parking lot can be a mess, but parking is usually available on Centinela.
I know you're in Santa Monica but for some really excellent Japanese choices, you might consider heading to the South Bay area. LA Chowhound poster exilekiss has an excellent blog that is worth bookmarking for Japanese and lots of other great food recs all over SoCal.
exilekiss is very passionate and thorough in his coverage and views of places. He covers a broad swath of places to eat, from low-brow to high-end and everything in between. In fact, I was a very thankful beneficiary of one of his write-ups - Bludso's Barbeque in Compton - where I enjoyed some of the best 'que I've ever tasted. Give his site a whirl, and I think you'll be impressed.
3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292
Cafe Del Rey
4451 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
1202 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
3 Square Cafe
1121 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291
Gallegos Mexican Deli
12470 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066
3760 S Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066
11511 West Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064
11510 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA