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Solo dining in Santa Monica

hhaaland Jun 4, 2013 08:13 AM

Taking myself on a little vacation and would love some recommendations on where to eat. Staying at the Viceroy so walking distance would be great but I'll have a car so will drive if its really worth it. Thinking about going to Melisse for sure. As a single female traveling alone it would be nice to have some fun suggestions on where to maybe meet some new people.

  1. f
    foodiemahoodie Jun 10, 2013 10:41 PM

    The counter/bar at Capo's. You meet interesting, upscale people.

    At Marder's previous restaurant - I met a girl I nearly married while dining solo.

    But you don't feel especially solo - it's a small, friendly bar.

    Pricey though.

    7 Replies
    1. re: foodiemahoodie
      kevin Jun 11, 2013 12:52 PM

      Which restaurant ?

      yeah, sometimes dining solo can be a plus.

      1. re: kevin
        foodiemahoodie Jun 11, 2013 12:54 PM

        West Beach Cafe.

        1. re: foodiemahoodie
          kevin Jun 11, 2013 01:17 PM


          Is that now James Beach or is it Canal club ?

          Can you describe the bar at Capo further ?

          I did quite enjoy the tiny bar at Rustic Cyn too, which was pretty darn friendly and I do believe it was owed also by Mr. Marder.


          1. re: kevin
            wienermobile Jun 11, 2013 02:34 PM

            Rustic Canyon is owned by Josh Loeb and Zoe Nathan (Huckleberry, Milo & Olive, Sweet Rose Creamery)

            1. re: wienermobile
              kevin Jun 11, 2013 02:53 PM

              I could have sworn he owned that along with Capo.

              1. re: kevin
                PeterCC Jun 11, 2013 03:03 PM

                Josh Loeb, the co-owner of Rustic Canyon was the former wine director at Capo and Broadway Deli, both owned by Mr. Marder.

                1. re: PeterCC
                  kevin Jun 11, 2013 04:46 PM

                  Hmm, maybe it was that that rang a bell in the old brain.

    2. f
      flowergirl Jun 10, 2013 07:55 PM

      Fig - Tender Greens - Blue Plate Taco - Shutters or Casa del Mar Lobby - Milo & Olive (very long walk) Enjoy!

      1. d
        Dirtywextraolives Jun 4, 2013 04:52 PM

        Freddy Smalls

        2 Replies
        1. re: Dirtywextraolives
          PeterCC Jun 4, 2013 05:06 PM

          I see what you did there... :-)

          1. re: PeterCC
            Dirtywextraolives Jun 4, 2013 05:12 PM

            LOL, I tried to edit this one out, as none of them are walking distance, but the edit didn't take and it posted anyway! A never mind button is needed....

        2. n
          nosh Jun 4, 2013 04:39 PM

          Chinois on Main is Wolfgang Puck's longest-running restaurant, and still serves great food with bold flavors and has excellent service. There are seats on the rear counter that look into the open kitchen that provide fun entertainment for those interested in food. For solo dining, stick with the small plates -- it won't be very expensive.

          1. y
            yogachik Jun 4, 2013 11:46 AM

            No reason to drive.

            Eat at the bar at Hillstone. Bar at Chez Jay (not for the food, for the crowd, although the Fiondella Steak is good). Bar at Stella Rossa, Capo, Casa del Mar's Catch.

            3 Replies
            1. re: yogachik
              wienermobile Jun 4, 2013 01:44 PM

              Stella Rosa is now Stella Barra. Same people. Same food. New name.

              1. re: wienermobile
                kevin Jun 4, 2013 02:47 PM

                That's what I was curious about. I thought the name had changed but I could not remember if actually did change.

                Was Stella Rosa also a brand of wines ?

                Maybe that's why there was a name change.

                But anyhow I think some people still do in fact call it Stella Rosa.

                1. re: kevin
                  wienermobile Jun 4, 2013 03:01 PM

                  They wanted their new Hollywood restaurant and their Santa Monica restaurant to have the same names. Branding.

            2. wienermobile Jun 4, 2013 11:23 AM

              Los Angeles Times just did a story "Jonathan Gold's best beach cities restaurants" on dining in this area with many of the restaurant discussed in this post:

              1. CharlesKochel Jun 4, 2013 10:53 AM

                Fig Happy Hour 5-6 is great food and fun place to meet people. It gets busy at 5, everything on the menu is 50% off.

                1. CharlesKochel Jun 4, 2013 10:49 AM

                  Freddy Smalls is a short cab ride, great food and fun place to meet people.

                  Tar & Roses is Walkable, if you can get a seat at the bar, it's a lot of fun and fabulous food.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: CharlesKochel
                    Fig Newton Jun 4, 2013 05:23 PM

                    Tar and Roses is walkable, and I've had a couple great solo meals at the bar.

                  2. m
                    maudies5 Jun 4, 2013 10:37 AM

                    Milo and Olive. While not walking distance, it is a great place to strike up a conversation with other diners. Seating is either at the counter or at the 2 communal tables. Even if you have to wait in line (no reservations), you are likely to meet friendly people. Also, the food is great!!

                    1. J.L. Jun 4, 2013 09:19 AM

                      Sushi bars can be very friendly, with lots of chances to interact with the ita-mae and fellow patrons.

                      I'd recommend 3 sushi bars in West L.A.: Mori Sushi (corner of Pico & Gateway), Kiriko (near Olympic & Sawtelle) and Shunji (also on Pico). All are easily within driving distance of the Viceroy, with excellent food.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: J.L.
                        kevin Jun 4, 2013 02:45 PM

                        If you are really adventurous and on a all expenses paid expense account, you can hit up all three within one evening.

                        Now that would be a great meal.

                        1. re: kevin
                          J.L. Jun 4, 2013 05:27 PM

                          Time is more the limiting issue, if you plan to do this...

                      2. wienermobile Jun 4, 2013 08:45 AM

                        Chinois On Main
                        Cora's Coffee Shoppe
                        Stella Barra
                        Pier Burger
                        Umami Burger
                        Border Grill
                        Blue Plate Taco
                        BLUE PLATE OYSTERETTE
                        Wednesday & Saturday Farmers Market (2nd & Arizona)
                        Sunday Farmers Market (Ocean Park & Main St)
                        & Tuesday Night Santa Monica Museum Food Trucks (Ocean Park and Main St)
                        also Water Grill (opens this summer)

                        Not walkable but well worth it:
                        Rustic Canyon
                        Superba Snack Bar
                        Cafe Graditude
                        Milo & Olive
                        Sweet Rose Creamery
                        Tar & Roses
                        Bay Cities Italian Deli

                        Welcome to LA

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: wienermobile
                          PeterCC Jun 4, 2013 09:39 AM

                          It really depends on the person and what he or she is used to whether a distance is walkable. I am in general agreement with you that most L.A. residents would not walk to the places on your second list, but my sister, a Manhattan resident would probably consider half of those places (Bay Cities, Huckleberry, Rustic Canyon, Tar & Roses, maybe even Superba) quite walkable.

                          1. re: PeterCC
                            wienermobile Jun 4, 2013 09:46 AM

                            I agree, but with a solo female at night I feel some of those distances are safer in car or cab. In a group or in daytime those distances are all fine.

                          2. re: wienermobile
                            jgilbert1000 Jun 4, 2013 09:59 AM

                            How about Giorgio Baldi?

                          3. d
                            Dirtywextraolives Jun 4, 2013 08:34 AM

                            If you walk a few minutes north on Ocean, you run into the .santa Monica place mall. The dining level on the top has a few decent choices. Sonoma Wine garden has decent wines by the glass, and Zengo has a happy hour, I believe.

                            A few minutes walk to the south is Main Street, SaMo. Go to .stella & Rossi or Barra for salads, pizza , beer & wine.

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