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What's open for linner (2-5p) on Saturday in Santa Monica/Venice?

Most people have a great recommendation for brunch, but what about the twilight zone between 2-5p, when they stop serving lunch and aren't ready to serve dinner? Any good ideas for a Saturday afternoon in the Santa Monica/Venice area?

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  1. Zengo in the Santa Monica Place seems to be open all day on Saturdays.

    Also, Larry's Venice Beach, right by the boardwalk

    Also, Gjelina's website says weekends 9-midnight, Brunch until 3pm

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

      Like Santa Monica Seafood, how about one of the C&O's?

    2. Ideal time for a trip to Father's Office.

      1. Gjelina would be my go-to. Chaya Venice, also.

        1. A bit south of Venice, but Humble Potato is pretty easy to get in and out of on a Saturday afternoon (at least last Saturday) and have some really good burgers and sandwiches. Here's my review: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/875524.

          1. Second Gjelina and Chaya. Also Hal's, Venice Beach Wines, Pedals Cafe at Shutters. Btw I think Father's Office in Santa Monica doesn't open until 5 or 5:30 (as opposed to the Culver City location).

            2 Replies
            1. re: cookie monster

              iirc, gjelina serves an abbreviated menu between 3 and 5:30, mostly pizza and charcuterie

              1. re: westsidegal

                That's right - pizza, cheese & charcuterie, and salads. Had another lovely pizza and salad meal there yesterday at 3:30ish.

            2. Hal's in Venice is a very good choice.

              1. I do "linner" a lot. One of my favorite places is the cafe at Santa Monica Seafood.

                4 Replies
                1. re: perk

                  I love the cafe at Santa Monica Seafood. Always good. Service can be a little slow, but I am usually there during lunch hours. "linner" should be really easy.

                  1. re: maudies5

                    yea, it is easier. so is parking in the back. i usually sit at the bar....and have become addicted to the tuna tartare! when i walk in, the waiter just brings a glass of albarino and says "tuna tartare with some sea salt on the side, right?"

                    1. re: perk

                      Santa Monica Seafood Cafe does a nice clam chowder. Available at the bar. They serve good bread, too, though sometimes I've had to ask for it.

                      1. re: nosh

                        I like that as well. And they also sell it in the refrigerated section.

                2. milo and olive
                  2723 Wilshire Blvd.
                  Santa Monica, CA 90403
                  p 310.453.6776

                  15 Replies
                  1. re: westsidegal

                    Respectfully disagree. Still crowded at 3:45PM when we went last Sunday (it's a matchbox of a dining room). The food is not worth the trip.

                    1. re: J.L.

                      i always get the same thing: the anchovy pizza.
                      imho, it's the best anchovy pizza in town.
                      i happily make the trip.

                      1. re: J.L.

                        The pizza at Milo and Olive is fantastic and definitely worth the trip as is their garlic knot or whatever they are calling it. :-)

                        1. re: J.L.

                          I agree w J.L. The pizza is decent, but not incredible. Parking at any time of day is iffy. The host has a bit of an attitude, also. And I did not enjoy the baked goods as much as the price should have dictated.

                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                            Did you go only once? I ask b/c I've been there ~5 times and have a wonderful time (including friendly, knowledge service) each time I've gone (esp when they serve complimentary apps when the wait is long!). While I very much like the pizza there, I think the the salads and pasta are even better. Not a huge fan of western-style sweets in general, although I found theirs pleasant enough.

                            I do agree that the place is pricey, but I think the quality is well worth it. Also surprised to hear that it was crowded during the off hours. I've driven by a few times during such hrs, and it never seemed hugely crowded.

                            Also agree w/ the Santa Monica Seafood rec. They do a delicious tuna melt.

                            Outside of the OP's stated area (but still in WLA, at least), is The Six. My partner and I were there yesterday at around 3PM. Very few people there (which was actually what we wanted), but they were serving a full menu. The Six Burger was very tasty (patty was a little thin but nicely done and the brioche bun held up well). They served ketchup w/ the sweet potato fries, which was an odd pairing. I had the pumpkin pizza (w/ sage butter and crispy sage). Very subtle in flavor but nicely done.

                            1. re: ilysla

                              agree with ilysia about the parking situation.
                              i intentionally time my visits to popular restaurants to take place during the off hours and milo and olive is no exception.
                              have never had a problem with parking or waiting during the off hours.

                              1. re: westsidegal

                                I don't think I was the one who commented on the parking situation, but I agree concur that visiting at off-hours makes things MUCH more convenient (although unfortunately my appetite is timed such that I usually get hungry at "usual" eating hrs....), esp for Santa Monica Seafood (which I think shares a lot w/ Huckleberry, IIRC).

                              2. re: ilysla

                                Good to know re The Six....been by that place a few times, and often wondered about it.

                                I have tried their pizzas twice, and bakery items twice. I will go back & try a pasta or salad next time, but wonder how it will compare to Gjelina's..... I adore their salads. Yes it is good quality, but I guess the snobby service I received from the host put me off a bit.... I did enjoy their fresh baked hamburger rolls though, but again, wish it wasn't a pita to park. And I only go off peak times.....

                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                  Have you tried the garlic knot? I've never found it to be oil-drenched, but YMMV. I do recall thinking that the hostesses there could be somewhat cold and efficient (but always polite). And servers themselves have always been very pleasant, although they're not super smiley.

                                  To J.L.: I sort of like the elbow-to-elbow nature of the dining room. I actually hate communal seating in general, but the cramped quarters force you to interact w/ your neighbors, even if just a little (and that interaction has fortunately been quite nice). It's sort of like NYC that way (I mean the city itself).

                                  The Six isn't *amazing*, but I think it serves it's purpose well (relatively low-key gastropub w/ tasty new american food.... The only miss I've had there is the salmon salad.... Sort of bland). It's certainly worth a try, IMO.

                                  I think I'm one of the few non-fans of Gjelina on the board. I think it's good, but it just didn't live up to the hype for me (and was really pricey.... Although perhaps not more so than Milo + Olive). And I don't like eating in the dark.... But if you're willing to try Milo + Olive again, then perhaps I should try Gjelina one more time (I only went once). I don't recall having a salad there....

                                  1. re: ilysla

                                    I really believe Gjelina is a wonderful place for vegetarian food. He has a real talent for making vegetables shine. I had a kale salad & a curried steamed clam dish for lunch last week, and it was truly exceptional. And it has the same good vibe at the communal tables as M&O, except there's a bit more room there than M&O. Try going at lunchtime or during the day, it is quite bright in the front room.

                                  2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                    I've been to the Six a bunch of times. I love the burger especially. And the sweet potato fries. After 6 you can park in the back of the restaurant in the Chase Bank (I think it is) parking lot, enter on the street one block south of Pico. Also all day on weekends I believe (i.e., when the bank is closed.) Very reliable food IMO.

                                    1. re: ThatPat

                                      Citibank, actually. There's a Chase down the street from M + O that I assume can be used after regular business hours for the bank.

                                      Dirtwetrxaolives: I'll give it another try to let you know if my opinion has changed.... ;)

                                      1. re: ilysla

                                        Deal! Ad I will try M&O again also and let you know what I think, I will try the salad or pasta (or both!) next time, and leave the pizza to Stella Rossa's......

                                2. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                  Strangely, parking was the one thing I had no problems with at Milo & Olive (not too hard to find a meter on a Sunday afternoon on Wilshire). What I did NOT enjoy was their cramped dining area (I don't mind dining communally, but the room was elbow to elbow), their mediocre pizzas and their oil-drenched garlic knot.

                                  1. re: J.L.

                                    So which pizza(s) is/are exceptional in your opinion?

                            2. Lemonade and Wurstkuche too!

                              1. not sure if you needed the recommendation for yesterday, but 26 Beach is a good choice for that time slot.

                                1 Reply
                                1. Easy. I'd go to M. Marcel on the 3rd St. Promenade. I'd sit on the south side (the prow) of their cafe. I'd order a bottle of champagne and share plates of cured meats and some select cheeses. The country pate can be quite good. The people watching is outstanding.

                                  1. We just tried Stella Rossa Pizza Bar on Main Street in Sa Mo. If you're in the mood for some good pizza and wine or beer, (full bar also), this is a good spot in the middle of the day of the weekend. Pizza was delicious, but just wish they were a tad bigger for the price. With two growing sons, two pizzas for three of us did not go far. But I must agree they are probably one of the better pizza places on the Westside. Not the most comfortable seating, though. Every table is a high top or you sit at the bar with no footrest.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                      middle of the day?
                                      because of your post i just looked at their website and it looks like THEY HAVE EXTENDED THEIR WEEKEND HOURS!
                                      thank you so much for the heads up!!!!

                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                        Yes, apparently they open at ten a.m. now on Sat & Sundays. We got there at 4:30 for an early dinner, and there was no wait at all. Very good pizza, thanks for your recommendation, this will probably be our go to pizza place from now on.....

                                    2. True Food Kitchen in Santa Monica Place


                                      3hrs free parking w validation

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Betcom

                                        These are, for me, prime hours for Santouka (in the Mitsuwa marketplace on Venice & Centinela) and Great Western Steak Co. (cheese steak place) on Lincoln by Superba.

                                        Neither wins points for atmosphere (and, admittedly, Great Western is a source of some up-and-down reviews on this board, though I am a professed fan). However, either one would be happy go-tos for me in house in-between hours, particularly if you are eating solo or with close friends/family, and you don't feel the need to fret over atmosphere in the hunt for deliciousness.

                                      2. I'd also add Hillstone and R+D Kitchen.

                                        1. I knew I could count on Chowhounders for solid recommendations. Thanks so much for all the suggestions--I think I'll be doing "linner" more often.

                                          Due to logistics, we ended up at something that wasn't recommended--Bru's Wiffle in Santa Monica--for adorable breakfast waffle sliders, a fried chicken waffle and mango mimosas (they call 'em bellinis, but since they're not peach, I'm reclassifying them as mimosas). Would definitely go back there for linner again, except that now we have lots of other things to try.

                                          2 Replies
                                          1. re: maitai666

                                            Oh, I had forgotten about that place! Only went once (during linner, coincidentally enough, b/c it's swamped for Sunday brunch). Tasty and relatively inexpensive. The fried chicken and waffles weren't nearly as heavy (or greasy) as I thought it'd be....

                                            1. re: ilysla

                                              In my experience Bru's Wiffle is really pleasant. On the south side of Wilshire about 24th. Fairly bright with a lot of north-facing windows and blond-wood tables and chairs. Their chicken and waffles that i've sampled is a waffle (nice, but I wish it was more crisp) topped by two flat battered and fried breast pieces, boneless. It is accompanied by a little container of syrup and one of brown gravy, which is nice because it allows alternating between sweet and savory. Very substantial dish was around $10 or 11. Yes, the place appears to have become pretty popular on weekends -- deservedly so.