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Best Italian / Seafood / Mexican in Santa Monica

HumanNature Aug 28, 2013 05:33 PM

Suggestions? Any with a view?

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    Dirtywextraolives RE: HumanNature Aug 28, 2013 05:48 PM

    The Lobster has a great view, and serves seafood. I can't really say whether it's the best in SaMo, since I haven't been there in ages. But note, it's a prime tourist spot, so they really don't always try very hard. Catch at the Casa del Mar used to serve some nice crudo.....again, can't say as I haven't been there recently. Also has a good view.

    As for Italian, there's a few really good spots : La Botte, Capo are both pretty high end and expensive. Hostaria del Piccolo is very good and much more casual.

    As far as Mexican goes, what exactly are you looking for? Cheap or Haute? Tacos? Burritos? Combo platters?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Dirtywextraolives
      foodiemahoodie RE: Dirtywextraolives Aug 28, 2013 07:51 PM

      I'd add The Hungry Cat, Il Grano. Mori (sushi) to the seafood.

      Italian - does Brentwood count? Vicenti and Toscana.

      Mexican - Monte Alban.

      1. re: foodiemahoodie
        Dirtywextraolives RE: foodiemahoodie Aug 28, 2013 08:04 PM

        Some of those are not in Santa Monica..... Sure there are LOTS of Mexican, Italian & seafood places in the west side neighborhoods of l.a.

        1. re: Dirtywextraolives
          foodiemahoodie RE: Dirtywextraolives Aug 30, 2013 12:06 AM

          Better to drive another minute or two and get the good stuff. You're right, but I kinda consider SanMo anywhere west of the 405 between Pico and San Vicente.

          1. re: foodiemahoodie
            Dirtywextraolives RE: foodiemahoodie Aug 30, 2013 10:02 AM


    2. Servorg RE: HumanNature Aug 28, 2013 05:50 PM

      Mercado http://www.mercadosantamonica.com/ is good for that area. For more of a dive Mexican try Tacos Por Favor http://www.tacosporfavor.net/ in their original location on Olympic and 14th.

      1. y
        yogachik RE: HumanNature Aug 28, 2013 06:21 PM

        For seafood with a view - go directly to Catch at Casa del Mar. Lobster is a tourist trap.

        For Mexican, it depends what you seek, but nothing with a view.

        For Italian, nothing with a view, but I highly recommend Piccolo on Dudley in Venice. It's probably one of the best Italian restaurants around.

        3 Replies
        1. re: yogachik
          westsidegal RE: yogachik Aug 28, 2013 08:10 PM

          +1 for the Catch recommendation.

          1. re: yogachik
            jessejames RE: yogachik Aug 29, 2013 03:50 PM

            I didn't mind being stuck in a trap with a grilled 3 lb spiny lobster...we had a tasty meal, nice view from window at lit up pier and sunset and attentive, unhurried service...

            for mexican, i agree with emme about gilberts

            1. re: yogachik
              SMBeetle RE: yogachik Aug 29, 2013 04:58 PM

              The Lobster is a lot better than it should be considering its location.

            2. wienermobile RE: HumanNature Aug 28, 2013 07:48 PM

              I love the in house made pastas at Superba Snack Bar just over the border in Venice

              Very nice raw bar at Water Grill Santa Monica

              1 Reply
              1. re: wienermobile
                Emme RE: wienermobile Aug 29, 2013 12:21 PM

                had only ever been to the downtown location before, but had to go to a birthday dinner at Water Grill Santa Monica last week, and quite enjoyed my platter from the raw bar.

                i do like catch, and i like watching the sunset at the Lobster, but you can do that with a drink in hand elsewhere.

                Mexican, i like Gilbert's El Indio, as well as the close but not in samo Monte Alban.

              2. s
                schrutefarms RE: HumanNature Aug 29, 2013 12:36 PM

                Unfortunately, most of the view places serve up some pretty crap food. If you feel like going a little south to Venice, Piccolo is pretty good. Not really a view per se, but if you walk out of the place and turn right, the beach is right there. I think there is a hotel or two that might have rooftop dining, can't beat that view!

                4 Replies
                1. re: schrutefarms
                  Dirtywextraolives RE: schrutefarms Aug 29, 2013 03:41 PM

                  I know Hotel Erwin has a rooftop terrace, but not sure if they serve food up there or not. Drinks, yes.

                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                    schrutefarms RE: Dirtywextraolives Aug 29, 2013 03:59 PM

                    You know, I was going to mention Hotel Erwin, because the view really is spectacular, but, like you, I'm not certain they serve food. I have definitely had some cocktails there, though :)

                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                      kevin RE: Dirtywextraolives Aug 29, 2013 04:17 PM

                      Yeah, it's a great view of the Venice Beach Boardwalk and out into various directions. Better for drinks, and they do have food but it's not quite gourmet.

                      1. re: kevin
                        yogachik RE: kevin Aug 30, 2013 11:21 AM

                        Erwin roof serves food - a bar menu.

                  2. Wayno RE: HumanNature Aug 29, 2013 12:41 PM

                    Tacos Puntas Cabras, on Santa Monica (no view), for seafood tacos. Bring your own beer. For full service Mexican, I've enjoyed Lula on Main St. No view at either. The Blue Plate people have that "taco bar" on Ocean Ave, which does have a view; but, I wasn't very thrilled with it.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: Wayno
                      Dirtywextraolives RE: Wayno Aug 29, 2013 03:42 PM

                      Yea, BP Taco is pretty mediocre. Not really Mexican, more like gringo-hipster-tourist trap. Tasty drinks, though.

                      1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                        Wayno RE: Dirtywextraolives Aug 29, 2013 04:10 PM

                        I have heard, but have not yet been, that a good place for drinks with a great view in SM (besides, e.g., the Penthouse at the Huntley - which I really like), is the upstairs bar at the Shangri-La Hotel. Been meaning to check it out if i ever go out drinking again.

                        1. re: Wayno
                          yogachik RE: Wayno Aug 30, 2013 11:22 AM

                          Love the view at the top of the Shangri-La, but it's a weird room (ugly and cramped) and the outdoor area feels unsafe to me. I can never get comfortable in that bar.

                    2. d
                      deedub2 RE: HumanNature Aug 29, 2013 09:05 PM

                      Modern Mexican at La Sandia on top floor of Santa Monica place. A Richard Sandoval restaurant. No view from restaurant but decor is nice and it's just steps from the pier for before/after dinner walk.

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