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Romantic special AMAZING food - Santa Monica

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Camille82 Oct 2, 2013 09:41 PM

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) :)

  1. y
    yogachik Oct 3, 2013 06:53 PM

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

    1 Reply
    1. re: yogachik
      m
      maudies5 Oct 3, 2013 09:54 PM

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

    2. J.L. Oct 3, 2013 05:45 PM

      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.
        t
        Thor123 Oct 3, 2013 06:46 PM

        Was that relocated to Santa Monica?

        1. re: Thor123
          J.L. Oct 4, 2013 09:40 AM

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

          1. re: J.L.
            t
            Thor123 Oct 4, 2013 10:21 AM

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

        2. re: J.L.
          v
          veggielover Oct 4, 2013 11:12 AM

          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. n
          nosh Oct 3, 2013 05:39 PM

          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. b
            budlit Oct 3, 2013 05:02 PM

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

            1. t
              Thor123 Oct 3, 2013 04:30 PM

              Sams by the Beach is another option.

              6 Replies
              1. re: Thor123
                Wayno Oct 3, 2013 04:46 PM

                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
                  t
                  Thor123 Oct 4, 2013 11:54 AM

                  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
                    Wayno Oct 4, 2013 01:24 PM

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

                    1. re: Wayno
                      t
                      Thor123 Oct 4, 2013 03:15 PM

                      upscale mediterranean menu. Great service.

                2. re: Thor123
                  f
                  FoodObsessive Oct 9, 2013 07:17 PM

                  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
                    f
                    foodiemahoodie Oct 10, 2013 12:21 AM

                    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. d
                  Dirtywextraolives Oct 3, 2013 10:45 AM

                  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
                    westsidegal Oct 3, 2013 06:57 PM

                    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
                      d
                      Dirtywextraolives Oct 3, 2013 08:13 PM

                      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
                        westsidegal Oct 3, 2013 09:45 PM

                        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: westsidegal
                          y
                          yogachik Oct 4, 2013 08:44 AM

                          I third the idea of Catch.

                          1. re: yogachik
                            Servorg Oct 4, 2013 08:56 AM

                            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
                              westsidegal Oct 4, 2013 10:30 AM

                              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
                                t
                                Thor123 Oct 4, 2013 10:37 AM

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

                                1. re: Thor123
                                  westsidegal Oct 4, 2013 11:06 AM

                                  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.)

                  2. Wayno Oct 3, 2013 09:56 AM

                    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. j
                      jessejames Oct 3, 2013 09:20 AM

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

                      1. c
                        Camille82 Oct 3, 2013 08:44 AM

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

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Camille82
                          Servorg Oct 3, 2013 08:56 AM

                          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
                            f
                            foodiemahoodie Oct 3, 2013 09:47 AM

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

                            1. re: Camille82
                              d
                              Dirtywextraolives Oct 3, 2013 10:35 AM

                              Great food, but loud, trendy & unromantic.

                            2. c
                              Camille82 Oct 3, 2013 08:14 AM

                              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
                                Servorg Oct 3, 2013 08:29 AM

                                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/918734

                                1. re: Camille82
                                  wienermobile Oct 3, 2013 09:08 AM

                                  Gjelina not romantic but great food.

                                  1. re: wienermobile
                                    cookie monster Oct 3, 2013 06:55 PM

                                    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.

                                  2. re: Camille82
                                    t
                                    Thor123 Oct 3, 2013 04:32 PM

                                    Giorgio Baldi

                                    1. re: Thor123
                                      d
                                      Dirtywextraolives Oct 3, 2013 08:14 PM

                                      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
                                        westsidegal Oct 10, 2013 09:54 AM

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

                                        1. re: Dirtywextraolives
                                          t
                                          Thor123 Oct 10, 2013 10:35 AM

                                          I dont see yours?

                                          1. re: Thor123
                                            westsidegal Oct 10, 2013 11:27 AM

                                            it's lower on the thread.

                                            1. re: westsidegal
                                              t
                                              Thor123 Oct 10, 2013 11:35 AM

                                              Still dont understand the point???

                                              1. re: Thor123
                                                d
                                                Dirtywextraolives Oct 10, 2013 01:10 PM

                                                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
                                                  t
                                                  Thor123 Oct 10, 2013 01:26 PM

                                                  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
                                                    d
                                                    Dirtywextraolives Oct 10, 2013 01:29 PM

                                                    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
                                                      J.L. Oct 10, 2013 04:32 PM

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

                                                      1. re: J.L.
                                                        d
                                                        Dirtywextraolives Oct 10, 2013 05:09 PM

                                                        LOL, good one....

                                    2. PommeDeGuerre Oct 3, 2013 02:08 AM

                                      +1 to Melisse

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: PommeDeGuerre
                                        ipsedixit Oct 3, 2013 08:07 AM

                                        @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
                                          f
                                          foodiemahoodie Oct 3, 2013 09:45 AM

                                          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
                                            c
                                            Camille82 Oct 3, 2013 10:08 AM

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

                                      2. f
                                        foodiemahoodie Oct 3, 2013 02:05 AM

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

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: foodiemahoodie
                                          b
                                          brandygirl Oct 3, 2013 04:17 PM

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

                                        2. m
                                          maudies5 Oct 2, 2013 10:22 PM

                                          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. re: maudies5
                                            t
                                            Thor123 Oct 3, 2013 12:10 PM

                                            Agree on all counts.

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