Dining out in Santa Monica

I will be going to a business conference in Santa Monica in the near future and I am looking for restaurant suggestions. The restaurants do not all have to be fancy, but my associates and I would like to have some good meals after long days. I love to cook and in the absence of my kitchen I would like to eat well. I would also love try restaurants that are unique to the area as I find that reveling in local flavors is the best way to fully appreciate a new town.

Thank you for you recomendations.

Re: Dining out in Santa Monica

I would highly recommend the following LA restaurants the top three I have written reviews which I recommend that you see:

  1. Nanbankan in West LA
  2. Yabu in West LA,
  3. Locanda Portofino in Santa Monica.
  4. For sushi, I would try Sushi Sasabune in Brentwood and go with the “trust me special.” Trust me it’s worth it. The address is 12400 Wilshire Blvd Suite 150 Brentwood, CA 90025;
  5. For authentic Mexican, I like La Serenata Garibaldi in Santa Monica. The address is 1416 4th Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401;
  6. and for creative Mexican and a yummy marguerita, Border Grill in Santa Monica is excellent. The address is 1445 4th St Santa Monica, CA 90401, [www.bordergrill.com]
  7. For high end Italian and a splurge, I would try Capo on 810 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica or
  8. Toscana in Brentwood, 11633 San Vicente Blvd.

Be sure to let me know what you think.

Re: Dining out in Santa Monica

Thx for the recommendations. Just returned from my L.A. trip and ate at both Capo and Locanda Portofino.

The meal at Capo may have been one of the best I’ve ever eaten in L.A. I started with the ravioli as an appetizer; it was excellent — slightly on the rich side, but perfect as a starter. As a main course, I ordered the veal chop which was also excellent, but my favorite part was the roasted vegetables which were cooked in the wood-fired fireplace. The restaurant interior is beautiful — simple, warm and comfortable; at times, I forgot I was in L.A. The wine list is extensive. While not inexpensive, the selection is well-priced. My colleagues loved Capo. I ended-up recommending it to other colleagues who thanked me for the best meal they had that week; but, they also complained that the meal left a hole in their wallet b/c they didn’t know when to stop ordering. Next time, I’m going to get the prix fixe dinner.

The food at Locanda Portofino was very good and well-priced. They use simple, good, fresh ingredients. I ate the seafood pasta; the pasta was cooked perfectly and the seafood was fresh. While the food was well-priced, the wine list is too high-priced. There were hardly any wines less than $60. Overall, though, I was very satisfied w/my meal at Locanda.

Thanks, again, for these excellent recommendations. I’m looking forward to my next trip to L.A. when I can re-visit these places and try your other suggestions.

Re: Dining out in Santa Monica

I concur with all of the restaurant recommendations. In addition to having one of best meals that I have had in LA (in a restaurant at lest) at Capo they also have an extraordinary sidecar cocktail.

And if you are looking for cheap Mexican, perhaps for lunch, and a good hamburger do go to Tortilla Grill on Abbot Kinney in Venice. It’s nothing fancy but the burritos are terrific and I will argue that they have one of the best hamburgers in LA. The burger is nothing fancy, it is simple and delicious. Be warned it takes 15-20 minutes to make and legions of burrito fans will be served ahead of you.

Re: Dining out in Santa Monica

Oh and for breakfast, brunch or lunch make your way up Wilshire Blvd. to Amandine a Japanese owned French Patisserie. It is a winning combination. The pastries as divine and the Croc Madam is really really good. The coffee is pretty darn good too.

12225 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(closed mondays)

Re: Dining out in Santa Monica

First off, you should definitely try Le Saigon Cafe on Santa Monica Blvd (up near Federal). It’s great for hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese (ideal for a quick lunch). Also, try any of the Asian joints on Sawtelle between Santa Monica and Olympic (also good for lunch). There is a great shabu shabu restaurant called Mizu 212. The seafood combo is fabulous. For a decent burger try Father’s Office on Montana. Be prepared to line up. Wide choice of beer makes for a fun night!