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jbass Mar 9th, 2007 08:44 AM

LA West side - Hip restaurant suggestion please
Hi-Going to LA in a few weeks. Want to take my Mother and Aunt to lunch. Need ideas for a hip west LA restaurant (Santa Monica). My aunt lives in that area but I doubt frequents anything "in". They don't eat much ethnic food; so anything else fine; $$ not a consideration. Thanks in advance. ;;)

rjw_lgb_ca Mar 9th, 2007 09:02 AM

BOA Steakhouse (Ocean Ave. and Santa Monica Blvd.) is pretty nice, rather stylish, and as a bonus, the food's actually good. Nothing innovative, but good. If the weather's nice, take lunch on their little outside patio.

"Hip" is a bit hard to come by for lunch anywhere. I work in SM and am having a really hard time thinking of anything good that's open for lunch. For nice views, there's always One Pico at Shutters, the dining room at Casa del Mar, the Lobster....

The Lobster might do. I'm not a lobster fan, and the non-lobster entrées on the menu are only fair, but it's at the Pier, the views are wonderful, and it has a full bar. I'm pretty sure it's open for lunch.

The Ivy at the Shore is another possibility, although it's grotesquely overpriced for the basically indifferent food you get. Still, it's an Industry Grazing Place in an Industry Town-- you might just see someone famous. Il Fornaio della Spiaggia is just down the block if you decide pretty-good Italian is more your speed.

Border Grill on Fourth is pretty hip, and the food's Mexican-inspired and tasty (mostly untraditional), but the noise level gets unbearable if more than 15 people are in the place.

Waittaminute.... How about kitschy, yummy Monsoon on the Third Street Promenade? It's just about the only fun place on the Promenade (otherwise a bit of a culinary wasteland, frankly), it's just silly enough in the décor to be cool in a retro way.... But the food's pan-Asian. It's good, but it's ethnic. Oh well....

jbass Mar 9th, 2007 11:54 AM

Thanks very much for your thorough answer--it was very helpful. They used to like to eat at the place (hesitate to mention) where Nicole Brown ate (Ron Goldman worked?). Can't think of the name. But thanks for your help.

crosscheck Mar 9th, 2007 01:04 PM

That would be Mezzaluna in Brentwood. Has been closed for years. Now the site of a Peet's coffee.

There are now MANY other Italian places right near the ex-Mezzaluna on San Vicente (but that's Brentwood, not SM.) My favorite of the bunch is Osteria Latini.

For truly "in" you need to go to Katsuya (ethnic) or Venice. Many of the hip non-ethnic lunch spots in SM are now old standby's:

- Whist at the Viceroy hotel (get a cabana)
- Jiraffe (no patio, but excellent food)
- Ivy at the Shore (ridiculously priced as noted above, sit on patio)
- Buffalo Club (sit outside)
- Wilshire (beautiful people, maybe too hip for your aunt, sit in garden)
- Michael's (around too long to be cutting edge, but one of the original pioneer of Califonia cuisine in fabulous garden setting, safe bet)

There's also Pedal's, the casual restaurant at Shutters Hotel. Not as trendy as the above, but right on the beach.

Bikom Mar 9th, 2007 01:12 PM

I believe that restaurant closed, if I remember correctly.

For a "hip" restaurant out there, I would suggest Giorgio's, although its very pricey. Across the street is Cafe Delfini, which is equally as good.

If you wanted to travel a little east, some of the hippest restaurants currently are MOZZA (Nancy Silverton"s incredible pizza), JAR, an upscale and great steak and seafood place, PROVIDENCE, for seafood, and CUT, Wolfgangs steak house.

NeoPatrick Mar 9th, 2007 01:39 PM

Lunch at the Getty is wonderful and impressive. Is it "hip" enough?

seetheglobey Mar 9th, 2007 03:22 PM

You could always go to Moonshadows towards Malibu ... pretty hip and nice views as well

TTess Mar 9th, 2007 03:55 PM

Bikom - great list! We have reservations at Pizzeria Mozza for next weekend. Crosscheck, we love >:D<

Bikom Mar 9th, 2007 04:07 PM

TTess, ty, been there a few times already, its amazing. My favorite pizza is the one with goat cheese and leeks, but any one that sounds good to you will be terrific. But be sure, if you can, to get a couple antipasta plates (I love the slow cooked broccoli, and the beans), and there are a number of delicious desserts, as well. Have fun.

TTess Mar 9th, 2007 05:01 PM

Bikom - Thanks for your suggestions at P Mozza. We're also dining at Katsuya, next weekend. Last time we were there, we sat next to Martin Short. We're going to the Lakers game on Friday night, too! What a fun weekend. Spoiled, spoiled teenagers. Actually our oldest is in her third year at UCLA and not a teenager any longer, oops. B-)

Bikom Mar 9th, 2007 05:21 PM

You're certainly welcome. A Laker game will be a blast.

jbass, one last suggestion. If you haven't already, searching will give you tons of choices and opinions. I hadn't noticed before that you specified lunch. Type in "Lunch, Santa Monica" or "lunch westside LA", etc.

crosscheck Mar 9th, 2007 05:41 PM

We had to cancel our reservation at Mozza, which was very hard to get indeed. Hope they won't hold it against us.

Love Georgio's and go often, but don't consider it a lunch place. The other places on your list might be too far from SM for the OP.

My son will be at the same game. Wish we were going to Katsuya as well.

Bikom Mar 9th, 2007 05:51 PM

I'm not even sure Giorgios is open for lunch, sorry.

elnap29 Mar 9th, 2007 09:15 PM

Is Chaya Venice open for lunch?

crosscheck Mar 9th, 2007 11:41 PM

Yes, that's a great idea, but the OP did not want ethnic.

socialworker Mar 10th, 2007 08:29 AM

We have eaten at Chaya, and I would not consider it exactly "ethnic", Asian-eclectic maybe, and at dinner there are some pasta dishes that are Northern Italian-ish. The place is definitely--I think--hip.
Here is a link that shows the lunch menu that includes many salad and sandwich offerings:

TTess Mar 10th, 2007 10:29 AM

Chaya is a Japanese fusion restaurant. Your aunt could probably find something on the menu that she likes. You ought to take a look at the suggestions, scan the menus online and then decide.

If you decide to try Pizzeria Mozza, you probably can't get a luncheon reservation this late but you can drop by and sit at the counter where the seating is first come, first served. They prepare the pizzas in that area so it would be most enjoyable.

Crosscheck - we're sitting right behind the Lakers' bench. I've already been told to make sure I wink at Jack. Where is your son sitting? By the way, I got the tickets for an anniversary present for my husband. Am I good wife or what?

elnap29 Mar 10th, 2007 10:46 AM

We had great fresh fish at Chaya Venice, not really what I call ethnic. Do check the menu to see if it appeals.
Loved the service and atmosphere there - and great food!

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