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Romantic special AMAZING food - Santa Monica

Hi - we are after an amazing food experience in Santa Monica, no expense spared, romantic, hip etc. (Two sleep deprived parents on a very rare kids free weekend) :)

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  1. Ocean view suite at Shutters with Room Service. Don't settle for anything other than full-on Ocean view suite.
    Plan B. is Capo.
    Enjoy your weekend. Have been in your shoes. Those weekends are truly restorative to mind, body and soul.

    1 Reply
    1. That would definitely be Melisse. Amazing is exactly it. (be sure to get the egg caviar ).

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodiemahoodie

        Another vote for Melisse. Best food I've had in L.A., sophisticated, quiet, special occassion type of place.

        1. re: PommeDeGuerre

          @foodiemahoodie and PommeDeGuerre,

          Melisse can be romantic. But hip? No.

          It's good, and I like Melisse, but if OP is looking for "hip" Melisse misses the mark. By alot.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Depends on your definition of hip. It's a more sophisticated scene at Melisse than, say, The Penthouse. Penthouse is livelier, younger, more casual and that quasi-Philipe Starck-look is hipper'n Melisse. If your definition of hip requires all that - and a social/pick up scene - then The Penthouse is your place. Fellow diners at Melisse are more likely to be movers and shakers, Penthouse is filled with wannabes and assistants. Their bosses will be at Melisse. Is interesting hip? I'd factor that in.

            But the last few times I've been to Melisse (was just there this past weekend) - it had a surprisingly young, good-looking crowd. 10 years ago the place had a kind of "Republican" crowd - an older crowd. Not so much now.
            Actually a good mix. Movie stars, gurus,

            OP put hip last on the list. Amazing food experience (not gonna happen at The Penthouse - which is resigned to the world of the merely good.)

            1. re: foodiemahoodie

              haha I love your post. Very funny and very LA. :)

        2. Thanks all! I am looking for something really ' We are living it up in LA' type restaurant :) New and fresh. Doesn't have to be crazy expensive either just great food.

          14 Replies
            1. re: Camille82

              Gjelina not romantic but great food.

              1. re: wienermobile

                I think Gjelina can be romantic, either out on the patio or in the dimly lit interior. And it certainly says "we are living it up in LA." Capo is another thought.

                1. re: Thor123

                  Now if Westsidegal responded to THIS with her response to mine, that would make total sense to me..... Otherwise I remain confused.

                  1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                    since i've never been to Giorgio Baldi, i won't be responding to this.

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          Still dont understand the point???

                          1. re: Thor123

                            This portion of her response fits perfectly with what Giorgio Baldi is NOT:

                            "my personal opinion is that a "romantic" meal requires:
                            1) that you be able to physically touch your partner without knocking over wine glasses or getting your sleeve in the food. this normally means that 2 tops are out.

                            2) that you be able to have a "romantic" conversation with your partner without having the people at the next table overhear most of it.

                            3) that you have some sort of a pretty view"

                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                              Got it. I may have been off on my rec. Have only been to E Baldi in BH, but had heard good things about Giorgio Baldi.

                              1. re: Thor123

                                Oh, it's delicious.... At least it was when I went when Giorgio was cooking. But basically you need to take out a loan to eat there, especially if you order any of the specials, which is a dissertation in itself.....

                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                  When Giorgio was cooking, or when Sergio was cooking? :-)

                2. Tar and Roses looks great! Can you get dressed up there or is it really casual?

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: Camille82

                    There are only a handful (if that) of restaurants in L.A. where you need/have to get dressed up to feel "comfortable" and this isn't one of them.

                    1. re: Camille82

                      I'd feel uncomfortable and overdressed in a suit at Tar & Roses.

                      1. re: Camille82

                        Great food, but loud, trendy & unromantic.

                      2. spiny lobsters, cocktails, strawberry sundae at the lobster with view of pier (request window seat and indicate special occasion).

                        1. It's not Santa Monica, but Nobu Malibu isn't that far away, and would seem to fit the bill. Maybe combine with drinks next door at Nikita.

                          1. My recommendation is to nix the notion you have to be in Santa Monica. Not very much is hip & romantic there, but if it has to be, Melisse would be my call.

                            If you can relax that parameter, you can go down to Venice. Get an early table upstairs at Tasting Kitchen. Very hip, incredible food & cocktails.

                            Or, reserve a room at the Huntley, Sheraton Fairmont, or Shutters on the beach. Brunch at the Penthouse at the Huntley, or dinner next door to Shutters at Catch at Casa del Mar. The Viceroy across the street has a great patio with a hip restaurant.

                            Also concur with Wayno re: Nobu Malibu, but if you're going to dine on the beach, I'd get there early to avoid rush hour traffic up PCH, and enjoy the sunset views before it get dark, then the view really isn't worth the $$ you're paying.

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                              my personal opinion is that a "romantic" meal requires:
                              1) that you be able to physically touch your partner without knocking over wine glasses or getting your sleeve in the food. this normally means that 2 tops are out.

                              2) that you be able to have a "romantic" conversation with your partner without having the people at the next table overhear most of it.

                              3) that you have some sort of a pretty view

                              4) that you will not be rushed off before you have had time to leisurely finish your bottle of wine.

                              5) excellent food and excellent service.

                              one advantage of Catch is that, if you ask them, they will seat your party of 2 at a 4 top and it will meet all of the above criteria.

                              1. re: westsidegal

                                Not sure why you're responding to my post with this...... Maybe you could be more specific and less obtuse with your response to mine, so that we may all understand what you're referring to.

                                1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                  i was seconding your recommendation of Catch.
                                  it would have been less obtuse to write:
                                  Catch +1
                                  but the reasons behind my seconding of your recommendation would have been omitted.. . .

                                  didn't mean to muddy the waters.
                                  my apologies

                                    1. re: yogachik

                                      I just have to dissent. When an OP says in all caps AMAZING for food then I don't think Catch measures up (it's not a "keeper" for this particular need). It's hotel food. Good hotel food. But amazing? No.

                                      1. re: Servorg

                                        the food i was served at Catch was amazing.
                                        that said, i ordered the same exact meal three nights in a row, so i can't really speak to the whole menu

                                        1. re: westsidegal

                                          I was waiting for you to rec Fig! What did you have at Catch?

                                          1. re: Thor123

                                            negroni to start

                                            grilled octopus
                                            cioppino
                                            chocolate tart

                                            (fig fell off of my regular rotation when they stopped serving their delicious hot-from-the-oven bread.
                                            the great bread elevated their terrific cheese selections to another plane.
                                            i still like fig, but, without the bread, won't plan my whole day to get there for dinner.
                                            also, the seafood at Catch is, imho, better.)

                              1. re: Thor123

                                Sam's by the Beach has "amazing food" and is hip? I've never been, so I don't know; just didn't think - without knowing - that it would possibly fit this bill.

                                1. re: Wayno

                                  The food is very good and the room is romantic, if not overly hip. Its a bit of a hidden gem IMHO.

                                  1. re: Thor123

                                    Good to know. Occassionally I'll put in for a drink next door at The Shore.

                                    1. re: Wayno

                                      upscale mediterranean menu. Great service.

                                2. re: Thor123

                                  Go to Sam's, tell him what you like, and ask him to do wine pairings - it will be wonderful and items that aren't on the menu will come out. This place is excellent and romantic.

                                  1. re: FoodObsessive

                                    Sam is up in the morning (early!) and gets his fish at IMP - which is where the best places get their fish. And I mean the best sushi places too (like Mori).

                                    If you like fish, you're in good hands. I always have him put something together, the fish specials. He's charming, as is Jean-Michel.

                                    I wouldn't call the place hip though. Unless, of course I'm there (and Sam and Jean-Miche) and then the place is over the top cool!

                                    But I'd still go to Melisse for romantic and great, knock-down-dead-delicious food.

                                3. Not Santa Monica, but Bucato in Culver City has amazing food

                                  1. If we have added Tar and Roses and some of the others, I have to include Chinois on Main. Excellent food to share (romantic) with bold flavors, excellent service, over 25 years old and the decor is sort of brash but it is Puck's fusion flagship, service is excellent, and you can share a two-top and have a special experience.

                                    1. Hotel Bel Air qualifies for romantic & special. The Wolfgang Puck restaurant there is quite good, though admittedly I'm not sure if it qualifies as "AMAZING".

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: J.L.

                                        Was that relocated to Santa Monica?

                                        1. re: Thor123

                                          Still in Bel Air, but the thread was steering a bit away from SM anyways.

                                          1. re: J.L.

                                            For sure a good call if you can steer east; which I would.

                                        2. re: J.L.

                                          We were there about 6 months ago, and though some of the food was excellent, it was not amazing or memorable in any sense of the word.

                                        3. Capo for dinner, and get a room at Shutters for champagne room service

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: yogachik

                                            Great minds do think alike. I think that was post #1.