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Santa Monica for 2 days/1 night

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My boyfriend and I will be in LA for almost 2 full days and 1 night. We're thinking about staying in the Santa Monica area but will (most likely) have a car. Any recommendations for good brunch/lunch/dinner spots in the area?

Recommendations so far:

Geoffrie's
The Huntley Hotel
Gjelina in Venice

Any ideas are much appreciated!

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  1. add FIG restaurant which is located inside the Fairmont hotel in Santa Monica.
    if you plan to go to Gjelina GET RESERVATIONS unless you plan to show up at 2pm for a late lunch.
    also be aware that from 3 to 5:30 Gjelina only serves items from their abbreviated pizza and charcuterie menu.

    1. Capo next to Shutters hotel is outstanding for dinner. Hal's in Venice is great for brunch.

      1. Rustic Canyon
        Milo and Olive
        and Sweet Rose Creamery all from the same Chefs.

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        Rustic Canyon Wine Bar
        1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

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

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: wienermobile

          Agree with all of the above suggestions. Just a note that Milo and Olive does not accept reservations and seating is very limited (about 25 seats), includes 2 communal tables and a counter. My point is to get to Milo and Olive at an "off time" in order not to wait too long. I think it should be a must on your list. . www.miloandolive.com

        2. I am a big fan of Gjelina -- try to get a reservation and ask for the patio. Be sure to order the butterscotch pot de creme for dessert; it is amazing.

          The Penthouse at the Huntley Hotel is a great place for a drink around sunset. It has views all up and down the coast. Not so great for meals.

          Geoffrey's is all the way up in the north part of Malibu, about a half hour drive from Santa Monica, but very scenic up the coast. It has a spectacular cliffside locale, but is expensive and opinions about the food quality vary, as do its chefs.

          My other dinner recommendation (if you do Gjelina for lunch) is Chinois on Main, on Main Street (a couple of blocks from the ocean) in the southern part of Santa Monica. One of Wolfgang Puck's first restaurants, spectacularly decorated (some might say garish), with wonderful, flavorful fusion food meant to share.

          1. The food at Geoffreys is average at best. Penthouse at the Huntley has a great view and is a great room, worth going to for a drink. Gjelina is fantastic, tough to get a reservation. Also consider Catch at Casa del Mar (also tough to get in), Tasting Kitchen, Chinois and Chaya Venice.

            I would not recommend Capo unless you have a open expense account.

            1. Hungry Cat is quite good (for brunch as well). If you will be there over a weekend, the brunch at Zengo (all you can eat small plates and drinks) is an excellent deal for $35. Whist at the Viceroy is quite good and it can be lovely eating outside on the patio.

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              Whist Restaurant
              1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90401

              Zengo
              395 Santa Monica Place, Santa Monica, CA 90401

              The Hungry Cat
              100 W Channel Rd, Santa Monica, CA 90402

              1 Reply
              1. re: New Trial

                Thank you for all of the great suggestions! We may do drinks at the Penthouse at the Huntley and dinner at Milo and Olive, and leave the lunches open to the other suggestions we've gotten. Gjelina one day if I can get reservations. Thank you guys!