Santa Monica, restaurant ideas with teens

Old May 9th, 2004, 03:33 PM
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Santa Monica, restaurant ideas with teens

We are going for one night to take teen daughter to a leadership conferance. That night is Fathers Day. H and I LOVE fish and seafood and sushi, they hate it. They love most other foods. Any ideas for a nice, not outrageous, but nice place to sit down and enjoy dining together and having good food, nice atmosphere, service? Would also be open to Malibu or Venice Beach.
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Old May 10th, 2004, 04:31 PM
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Hello, any help here? Non seafood, but maybe funky and fun? Anybody try I Cugini? That is one of the one's that we were looking at. They are part of the group that also owns Ocean. H and I love Ocean but they serve ONLY FISH, and that will not do.

Is Il Fornaio part of the chain that is in Del Mar and Coronado? Not real crazy about that restaurant.

So, any ideas on restaurant would be helpful. Also any funky shopping ideas in SM besides Third Street Promenade? Thanks.
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Old May 11th, 2004, 08:18 AM
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I. Cugini is a great place. Wonderful Italian food, excellent baked goods, superb service. This is not a "noodles and red sauce" joint-- this is much more artfully done. I love it.

Il Fornaio della Spiaggia is most closely related to the Il Fornaio in Beverly Hills. I'm not sure if it's related to the ones in the San Diego area. It's good, but I prefer I. Cugini.

If you want to try the SM outpost of an LA institution, there's always El Cholo on Wilshire. Off-the-chain Mexican food. There's an outpost of La Serenata de Garibaldi on Fourth, across from Border Grill. The latter place is run by the "Two Hot Tamales", Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger, and is stylish and popular (if extremely noisy). The food polarizes people-- some love it, some hate it. I love it.

Chinois on Main might be another possibility. It's a Wolfgang Puck restaurant, run by his ex-wife (they're still buddies). Food's still good, it's still a pretty popular place. In fact, that part of Main Street (running down to Rose) is a pretty funky area of shops, coffee houses and what-not. Might be worth a visit. There's also Montana St., which is a more genteel shopping and strolling area (and the preferred noshing grounds of The Ladies Who Lunch on the coast). Third Street isn't that funky any more (unless you count the smelly skateboard punks)-- it's now the chain stores you find in every mall in the US, with some pretty good restaurants mixed in. Around the corner you'll find a couple of good chains: PF Chang and Houston's.

Oh yeah! A "hidden" gem on the Promenade is a place called Monsoon, which serves Pan-Asian cuisine in a reconstituted tiki lounge. They have live entertainment most evenings, and the food is quite good (the service can be, shall we say, leisurely, but never less than friendly).

Geoffrey's in Malibu used to be the slam-dunk recommendation up the coast, but a recent LA Times review was very bad. It's a shame. Wolfgang has another place up there called Granita that gets good write-ups. Down in Venice, Joe's is considered one of the new Cal Cuisine hot spots. None of these places will be cheap.
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Old May 11th, 2004, 04:14 PM
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Thanks rjw,

I think we will go with ICugini. We will make reservations there. Or Border Grill. Will try the Italian first. SM has so much to choose from. Actually, H and I ate at Monsoon last year. Had fabulous sushi. The chef even fixed us a special tuna belly roll. It was to die for. Also think we will go to Broadway deli for breakfast. And Toppers for a drink.

Thanks for recs on shops. Just wanted to make sure that we didn't miss any "must sees". I do really like Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters, those are not as common as the rest. Also the people scene.

Can you tell me anything about the Farmers Market in SM? When do they hold that?
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Old May 11th, 2004, 04:51 PM
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The Farmer's Market on Arizona, between Ocean and Fourth, is every Wednesday 9 AM to 2 PM, and Saturdays from 9 AM to noon, or maybe later. It's just outside my office building, so I'll be walking through it tomorrow to get lunch. Incredible produce. I'm thinking of a nice fresh pint of strawberries right now....

I understand there's another Market a little south of the "main" one-- but I'm not exactly sure where. There's a market in Venice (on Venice Blvd a couple of blocks east of Pacific) on Fridays.
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