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Looking for suggestions...Santa Monica

My girlfriends and I are heading to California from Canada to enjoy a quick spring getaway. We arrive on a Friday and looking for three things:
1)a nice place for dinner,
2)some suggestions for cocktails
3) live music. Blues, Jazz or somethng not too heavy

I have about driven myself crazy looking at different restaurants. The concierge at the hotel recommended for restaurants Ocean Avenue Seafood, BOA and Sushi Roku. For some reason I am not convinced that this is the taste of california we are looking for.

Appreciate any suggestions..Thanks

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  1. Gjelina in Venice for a great taste of California cuisine. Make a reservation now.
    http://gjelina.com/

    1. Definitely not. None are bad but we can do MUCH better. Where are you staying and what is the budget?

      1 Reply
      1. re: BSW6490

        We are staying on Pico not too far from the beach...The budget would be a splurge as we are looking at it as a celebration/kickoff for the trip.

      2. Check out Rustic Canyon for dinner. Another really good choice would be the Hungry Cat right across the Pacific Coast Hwy from the beach at the mouth of Santa Monica Canyon.

        http://www.rusticcanyonwinebar.com/

        http://www.thehungrycat.com/home-1163...

        2 Replies
          1. re: maudies5

            +2 for Rustic Canyon. Wonderful farm to table food. I love their fried califlower.

        1. Gjelina for dinner. It is on Abbott Kinney in Venice, just south of Santa Monica. You will need a reservation -- ask for the back patio. California cuisine, much of it from the woodburning oven. Share a pizza to start -- I like the lamb sausage. Veggies -- broccolini, asparagus, cauliflower -- from that oven. Gnocchi, the simpler the better. A wonderful small pork belly over polenta with greens. Mostly smaller plates to share. Save room for the butterscotch pot de creme for dessert.

          1. The menus at Gjelina and Rustic Canyon look fantastic.