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Jan 28, 2012 07:45 AM

family visiting los angeles/santa monica looking for family friendly restaurant

We will be visiting Santa Monica/Los Angeles and have 2 children. We are looking for some good recommendations on restaurants. We are not looking for any chain or chain type restaurants. Price range doesnt matter. Good local or unique places would be great

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  1. Brentwood Country Mart should definitely be on your itinerary. Farm Shop, Sweet Rose Creamery and other family friendly eateries all gathered together in a very parking friendly environment. Santa Monica Place is another good area for families. Zengo has an outstanding weekend brunch. Great ocean views from the top floor.

    Sweet Rose Creamery
    225 26th St #51, Los Angeles, CA 90049

    395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401

    Farm Shop at Brentwood Country Mart
    225 26th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402

    2 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      +1 on the Brentwood Country mart

      Also the Sunday Santa Monica Farmers Market is very family friendly, with local bands geared toward kids. Lots of prepared foods and of course great produce. Park at the FM lot on the beach and walk over, get your validation to get your money back on the way out.

      1. re: Servorg

        Here are two older links with many kid friendly recommendations all over the LA area:

        Welcome to LA.

      2. For a very casual lunch Bay Cities Italian Deli has wonderful sandwiches made to order on fresh Italian bread (their famous Godmother sandwich has Genoa Salami, Mortadella Coppacola, Ham, Prosciutto, Provolone) plus hot pastas and other dishes. Great to take for a picnic or eat on their outdoor patio.

        Also a nice kids menu at True Food Kitchen on the first floor of the Santa Monica Place Mall.
        Milo & Olive for great artisan Pizza. Very tiny dining room.
        For breakfast my kids like the Omelette Parlor on Main Street. Open at 6am daily.

        Omelette Parlor
        2732 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405

        Bay Cities Italian Deli & Bakery
        1517 Lincoln Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

        The Market at Santa Monica Place
        395 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

        Milo and Olive
        2723 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403

        1. from where are you visiting?
          how old are the children?
          are they at all adventurous? or are they the "chicken-finger-mac 'n cheese-pbj-pasta" kind of kids?

          9 Replies
          1. re: westsidegal

            I would say that the question of whether the kids are adventurous eaters or not was answered with the "...not looking for chain or chain type restaurants...Good local or unique places would be great."

            1. re: Servorg

              some <<Good local or unique places>> will accomodate non-adventurous kids and some won't.
              prefer not to make assumptions about someone else's kids' eating habits based on that statement alone. ok?

              1. re: Servorg

                definitely no chain restaurants or chain type restaurants

                1. re: tjv

                  i got that.
                  one of my favorites restaurants is Gjelina on abbott kinney.

                  it is absolutely not a chain, nor a chain-type.
                  they will give you NO leeway about substitutions nor about special orders (for kids or for anyone else).
                  if the menu doesn't work for you as is, you are SOL.
                  i've seen kids eating there many a time, but they are always eating a regular menu item.
                  also, know that they are often packed at normal eating times. (i.e. once when i went at 9:00pm on a tuesday night, the wait for a seat at their communal table was over an hour.

                  normally i time my visits there to occur about 2:30 pm. because
                  from 3 to 5:30pm only an abbreviated pizza and charcuterie menu is available.

                  another favorite restaurant is FIG which is located within the Fairmont Miramar hotel.
                  they, unlike Gjelina, are extremely accommodating about special requests and substitutions. they close between lunch and dinner service. dinner starts at 5pm. they take reservations. very civilized.

                  i also like the italian food served at Hosteria del Piccolo at 606 broadway in santa monica, (although, my recommendation doesn't extend to their pizza and, since you are coming from NYC, you may want to avoid italian restaurants here because such stellar italian food is available at home). they take reservations.

                  another favorite non-chain and non chain-type restaurant is The Misfit at 225 Santa Monica Blvd

                  also, since you are coming from NY, i'd advise against Bay Cities. imho, their italian sandwiches and stuff, although terrific for CA, are not impressive when looked at in comparison to what is available in NY.

              2. re: westsidegal

                We are from NYC. Some things they like better than others, but we dont believe in bringing them to applebees to fill them with mac and cheese to keep them quiet. We will try just about anything.

                1. re: tjv

                  One great new place is Milo and Olive in Santa Monica on Wilshire (by the same folks who own Huckleberry Cafe in Santa Monica - another good choice for you and your family). It's small with a fairly brief menu. Excellent pizza.

                  ADD: And now I see Wienermobile had already recommended Milo & Olive up thread. Do go if you get the chance. Also good for breakfast or lunch.

                  Huckleberry Cafe
                  1014 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                  Milo and Olive
                  2723 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403

                  1. re: Servorg

                    milo and olive is a small restaurant with a big reputation and following (yes, i love it too), but that can mean long, uncomfortable waits during normal dinner hours.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      Since they aren't here grinding out the old 9 to 5 they can hit it early before the crowds start building (or make it for breakfast or a late lunch when the bees are busy).

                      1. re: Servorg

                        for dinner, going a little earlier than the main crowd is exactly what i normally try to do.
                        for lunch, usually, i try to hit the popular restaurants as the peak crowd departs (i.e. around 2pm or so)
                        at the very-much-missed la cachette bistro, i used to hit them at 9pm on weekend nights because they offered a promotional deal at that time.

              3. Milk, Sweet Rose Creamery and Carmela.

                1. My kids love A Frame in Culver City. They don't take reservations so it's best to get there early and the outside patio is the place to sit with kids.