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Jan 30, 2011 03:37 PM

Santa Monica Restaurant Suggestions

We haven't been to the West Cost in over 10 years. Hubby and I are going out (no kids) for a few days - staying @ Loews on the beach.

We are mid 40's but love to party - look and act young (according to East Coast standards) Not at all stuffy, but love a nice restaurant as well as a good bar for drinks and food. I say this because i don't want to stick out like the East Coasters we are :-)

Can you guys throw us some suggestions for the following (in Santa Monica or a short drive) Preference is to be able to see the water but not a deal breaker.
1) Nice dinner restaurant but not stuff and requires suits/ties. We don't like french. Thinking of BOA - would like a Steak and a Seafood suggestion. Nice atmosphere - can be a little loud - don't like close tables
2) Good place to watch the super bowl - thinking of Busby
3) Good bar that serves dinner at the bar

Looking forward to your suggestions!!!

p.s. I'm assuming for daytime jeans and a trendy t-shirt and fashionable shoes won't cause the fashion police to arrest us? Nite time, a simple black dress?

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  1. I don't know of a single restaurant in LA that requires a jacket - there might be one, but I've yet to encounter it. Please don't goto Boa. Finding a place that has both a good steak and good seafood is a little bit challenging in Santa Monica. You'll find better food at Fig, Gjelina, Capo, Valentino, Tasting Kitchen and many other restaurants than Boa.

    Places I like to watch sports: Rick's Tavern, Big Deans, The Daily Pint. The Daily Pint would be my choice, they usually setup a big screen and they have a great beer and whiskey selection.

    Dinner at the bar...though this probably is not what you had in mind, Mori - eat at the sushi bar.

    Daily Pint
    2310 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

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

    2 Replies
    1. re: joshekg

      I agree. Boa probably has the right atmosphere, but the food just isn't good. For #1, I would suggest Tasting Kitchen.

      1. re: joshekg

        Also love the Pint, but they don't serve food. Barney's Beanery on the promenade will probably be really really busy, but could be fun. Ye Olde King's Head has great Fish and Chips, which could be a good thing to grub on.

        Rick's, Finn McCool's, and O'Brien's would also be fun.

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

        Finn McCools
        2702 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

      2. I can't really speak to 2) and 3) since I'm not into sports of bars, but for 1) there are lots of nice restaurants in Santa Monica and nearby. For seafood where you can see the water, you might consider the Lobster. There are much better restaurants in Santa Monica, but it's still good. You might also consider dining on the patio at Whist at the Viceroy hotel. No ocean view, but the patio has a really nice atmosphere. Food has been very good there, but I recently looked at the menu online and it looked like it had changed quite a bit. A little further but still close to the beach, you might consider Jiraffe.

        Restaurants in LA are generally not stuffy (much more casual than the east coast) and a suti/tie is not needed anywhere. You will be fine in jeans and a trendy t-shirt during the day and a simple black dress at night. You can even dress down more at night if you want--you would actually be fine in dark jeans and a dressy top in most places. That said, a simple black dress wouldn't be out of place either.

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: Nicole

          Second The Lobster for nice seafood with beautiful view of the ocean especially during sunset.

        2. for #1, I'd consider eating maybe at Fig and then walking across the street to The Penthouse at the Huntley for drinks. I haven't eaten at Whist at the Viceroy in years, but you also might consider eating there, or at least going there for drinks. As Nicole says, the patio is really beautiful. Actually, Wilshire would be another option for a great patio and a fun vibe.

          Busby's tends to be sort of a 20-something crowd but it kind of depends on what you're looking for. I much prefer the Daily Pint, but it's more of a neighborhood bar while Busby's is more the upscale sports bar kind of feel with lots of flat screens. The nice thing about the Daily Pint is that you can bring in your own food so you could get tacos at Tacos Por Favor on your way and enjoy them while watching the game.

          I love the suggestion to eat at the sushi bar at Mori.

          Tacos Por Favor
          1406 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404

          Daily Pint
          2310 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90405

          1 Reply
          1. re: mollyomormon

            The Whist at the Viceroy still has the best patio, and the food & wine list are very good.

          2. The Penthouse on top of Huntley Hotel has the best view of the ocean during the day, and a bar scene that you might enjoy at night. Very loud music and lots of beautiful people. They serve dinner too although I wouldn't go there just for the food.


            1. For good seafood in a very casual setting you might try Blue Plate Oysterette on Ocean Ave (right next to Boa) Great fresh oysters and fried clams. They get very busy and don't take reservations but worth the wait.

              Also another vote for Fig. Very creative and good food with an emphasis on seasonal ingredients from local growers and farmers markets.

              1 Reply
              1. re: wienermobile

                not that i don't like blue playe oysterette, but i wouldn't suggest it for east coast folk.
                blue plate charges a lot because they try to duplicate the east coast seafood experience (i.e. lobster rolls) for those of us who don't normally have access to such food.
                if one is from the east coast, you can have that experience everyday. i'd go to a restaurant that offers california cuisine such as gjelina, or offers more of a california view, such as the lobster.