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Sep 6, 2012 10:45 AM

Dinner for 5 in SM/Venice on a Friday Night

Looking for somewhere I can make a reservation for 5 people on a Friday night, somewhere that takes reservations. Somewhere fun, with good drinks, good food. $$ preferred, but $$$ might be ok...not looking for anything fancy.

Haven't been out that way in a while.

So far I'm thinking about Mercado, C&O, The Misfit, Buddha's Belly...any other suggestions? Any type of food.


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  1. How late on Friday? FIG at the Fairmont Miramar has its "FIG at Five" promotion where nearly everything on the menu is 50% off (including drinks) if ordered between 5 PM and 6 PM. I've not had a problem getting a reservation, but you have to call (they do use OpenTable but won't let you book a res during that hour online). Should definitely put it in the $$ range with the discount. I recommend the mussels, braised tongue, bacon-wrapped bacon, organic chicken, but really everything we've eaten there have been excellent.

    11 Replies
    1. re: PeterCC

      Well the party might be split...3 of the people might head that way early, probably in time for the Fig at Five. But the others might come it pricey after 6pm?

      1. re: cincodemayo1

        Lots of good reports on this board about Tar & Roses in Santa Monica. We haven't yet been but it's on our list to try. What about the SM Hungry Cat or Rustic Canyon as possibilities?

        1. re: Servorg

          I was about to say exactly this. Haven't tried it, tried once to go on a Sunday at 5:30 PM (right when they open) and was turned away because we didn't have a reservation). May be tough to get a res on a Friday night with one day notice (assuming the Friday referenced in the OP is tomorrow).

          1. re: PeterCC

            Yup...need to make a res today for tomorrow night. Tar & Roses does look good. I'll suggest it. Thanks!

        2. re: cincodemayo1

          i don't think the regular prices at Fig are any "pricier" than those for any other restaurant in the westside that serves comparable food.
          even at regular prices a very good value for the money.
          value even better because they will validate your parking for 3 hours for free.
          (i normally tip the parking attendant, but even so, much less expensive than paying for parking)

          1. re: westsidegal

            "(i normally tip the parking attendant, but even so, much less expensive than paying for parking)"

            2.5 hours for $2.50 at any public SM parking garage:

            1. re: Servorg

              Interesting, I didn't realize they did away with the flat $5 for after-6 PM parking. Nice. I like the restructuring of the pre-6 PM rates too.

              However, for FIG, I just do the free valet and tip the parking attendant, like westsidegal. I like that on the ticket is a number you can text to have your car be brought up as you're wrapping up dinner, so it's nearly always ready when you leave.

              1. re: Servorg

                the flat rate of $5 will be in effect until, i believe, october.
                so, unless you are tipping more than $5, at least for this month, it would be less expensive to live a little and to valet park at the Fairmont .

            2. re: cincodemayo1

              Agree with westsidegal, non-discount's still not pricey (see menu w/prices here:, note that the menu isn't always up-to-date), but I like going during FIG at Five because I feel like I can try more things at a more affordable cost.

            3. re: PeterCC

              The Fig at 5 special (50% off from 5pm-6pm) is no longer listed on their web site. Call first.

              1. re: wienermobile

                I never actually saw it as an explicitly stated promotion on their own site (they linked to a Times article talking about it previously), but it was mentioned as not being available for the one night they were running an event on 8/15, so I'm hoping they haven't done away with it completely. But yeah, since you have to call to make the res, definitely check first if the promotion is still running.

              1. re: cincodemayo1

                Here is a thread of reviews (mine included) for Sunny Spot.


                1. re: PaulF

                  Sounds a little hit or miss, but seems like it could be a fun place to go. Might give this a try. Thanks!

              2. I would try to get into the Tasting Kitchen if you can. You won't regret it.


                1 Reply
                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                  Looks great, but a little out of our price range for this meal.

                2. A much, much more casual place that is an excellent value for the money is Larry's of Venice Beach. It's a stones throw from the Venice Boardwalk, and serves delicious, reasonable comfort food, and has a decent wine & beer selection. On Windward at Pacific. Note parking is a bit of a challenge, but there are several muni lots in the area, and the Hotel Erwin will valet your cars for you, if you choose to do that.