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Blow-out late lunch, Santa Monica/Venice/MDR, this Saturday

Price is not an object. Any cuisine.

Constraints: non-LOUD environment; serves food till at least 3 pm (or will let us sit and yap after we've eaten); can get a reservation (or walk in) this Saturday.

Prefer to stay away from the hideousness that is the 3rd St. Promenade and immediate environs, but will brave the area if needed to access fabulous food.

Fire away!

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  1. Parameters are a bit iffy as many places do not stay open all day. Just off the top of my head:

    Gjelina
    Zengo
    Stella Rossi (pizza & salad)
    Hostario del Piccolo

    4 Replies
    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

      fwiw, i don't think of stella rosa as a comfortable place to sit around and yap.
      1) it can be very loud (especially when a bunch of kids are racing around and around the bar area while their parents sit, talk, and pretend not to see what's going on.)
      2) their chairs are very uncomfortable.
      3) they won't take a reservation for a small party (don't know how many people will be in OP's party)

      of the restaurants on your list, i'd say that Hosteria del Piccolo best meets all of spoonlicker's criteria.
      had a lovely lunch there today.
      be sure to keep feeding the parking meter.

      1. re: westsidegal

        Hostaria looks really great. What dishes did you love best?

        1. re: spoonlicker

          generally speaking, i like their pastas and much more than their pizzas.
          i particularly like their gnocchi.

          the only dish i really DIDN'T like was:
          (ANGUILLA venetian style salt water eel, marinated with sweet onions: polenta.)
          stay away from this one dish.

          i've LOVED practically every dessert they've served me.

        2. re: westsidegal

          You're correct about those chairs.......

      2. The Hungry Cat in Santa Monica Canyon. Great food, drinks and comfortable seating. Wonderful oyster bar. try www.thehungrycat.com

        2 Replies
        1. re: maudies5

          I'm thinking I may do The Hungry Cat for my blow-out dinner rather than lunch -- how is the evening scene there? Can a person have a conversation, or is it a bit noisy? What's good to order?

          1. re: spoonlicker

            It's very busy. Make sure you get a reservation.

        2. unfortunately i checked OpenTable, and most of the places i would normally suggest for something special (Melisse, JiRaffe, Valentino, Capo etc) don't have any availability for lunch this Saturday. how about Catch at Casa del Mar?

          2 Replies
          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            in my experience, open table's information about availability has not always been correct.
            often if you call the restaurant directly, you can get a reservation even when open table says that they're full.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Open Table most likely shows that (no availability) because those places are probably not open for Saturday lunch.

            2. Out of the the box ...

              ... But how about the Restaurant at the Getty?

              1. Some good suggestions so far -- thanks. Keep 'em coming.

                A few details I forgot to mention; we'll be a party of two; and there is some flexibility in winding down the meal by 2:30-ish, if that opens up any possibilities.

                Anyone have any thoughts on Cafe del Rey? I've never been...

                4 Replies
                1. re: spoonlicker

                  for years cafe del rey was my go-to spot for everything.
                  no longer.
                  i still like it for sitting around their lounge and drinking wine or cocktails.
                  their staff is still lovely, from the hostess to the servers to the parking attendants.

                  nathan is a wonderful bartender
                  their wine list is good both by the bottle and by the glass.
                  the environment is pretty.
                  the whole experience is very civilized.

                  their food quality has declined, though, so i no longer eat there.
                  jason was the last good chef. long gone.
                  carlos was the last good pastry chef. long gone

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    Thanks for the intel. I was wondering why the place gets so little mention on these boards nowadays -- I can remember it coming up often as a recommendation in years past. I'm bummed I missed out on it at the top of its game.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      Former Cafe Del Rey Chef Glen Ishii is now working his magic at Noe at the Omni Hotel in Downtown...