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As good as Chez Jay & The Galley in S M used to be

I am trying to find a casual neighborhood restaurat with the feel of The Galley or Chez Jay but with better food. Growing up in Santa Monica, I remember (maybe incorrectly) both of these restaurants having fantastic salad and steak. I have eaten at each of them recently after many years. The vibe is exactly the same but the food at both was mediocre at best. I am hoping this restaurant will be on the Westside but I will drive if needed. It can even be less casual but I do like the non-chain feel of these places. I know Cut and Mastro's have great steak but that's not what I am looking for.

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  1. Never been to The Galley, but I don't recall the food at Chez Jay ever being described as "fantastic" unless you were drunk.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      lol!! but its still so much fun!

      1. re: MRS

        Their bloody marys are killer, perhaps a little too much so.

    2. Try Tar and Roses - wonderful steak and salads - among other things. Corner of SM Blvd and 6th in SM.

      Never went to the Galley or Chez Jay so I may be off on the atmosphere. Biggest issue with T&R is how difficult it can be to get a reserve - and trust me, you need one.

      I also think Cucina Vecchio on Main St in SM may be a good place for you.

      1 Reply
      1. re: dgusanz

        I like it, but it's too young, too hip.

        A good local's place someplace on the Westside then?

        Hal's Bar and Grill. Food is better than Chez Jay or the Galley, especially if you like a garlicky Caesar (that will stay with you until the next day!)

      2. Maybe HMS Bounty or Taylor's in K-Town.

        1. I've got to say Freddy Smalls, on Pico at Gateway, feels a lot like a neighborhood place like that. It's small, dark and a touch divey, though the interior is modern and cleaned up a bit. The food is out and out wonderful. The menu is not old school steak and salads though. Cocktails are delicious too.

          If that menu is too hip, have you checked out the Arsenal, a bar a few blocks west on Pico? Their menu is more retro than FS. I have not eaten there before though.

          1. How about Billingsley's, on Pico in WLA? The food and coctails are pretty mediocre, but the prime rib is nice and rare (all right, fatty too, but don't judge me, pork belly addicts!) and the corned beef and cabbage is OK enough. Throw in a salad with green goddess dressing, and don't forget to harmlessly leer at the charming drunken octagenarians (hey, they're cute!). The vibe is like doubling-down on Robitussion, minus the bedspins... One caveat -steer clear of the complimentary spumoni...

            3 Replies
            1. re: silence9

              Billingsley's food was worse than Chez Jay the last (and final) time I tried it. Arsenal wasn't much better. I will try Freddy Small's. The food is more important to me than the neighborhood atmosphere but I was looking for a non- chain casual restaurant with fantastic steak. Not sure if ths exists. thanks for suggestions!

              1. re: flowergirl

                Tar and Roses rib eye for 2 is sublime. Served with an arugala/shaved pam reg salad. It has your name on it!

                Throw in the brocooli with parm custard or the baby roast carrots with chermoula and you will keep coming back for more......

              2. re: silence9

                The food at Billingsly is like Rubituson too. Don't do it.