Requesting Recommendations From The Readers (That’s You!)

Athena ScalziHello, everyone! I am back in Santa Monica once again, this time for eighteen days. I would really appreciate some recommendations of what to do in the area, just some places you’ve been and love or places you think I should check out. If you recommend a restaurant, tell me what dish I should get! I want to know what y’all like.

And here’s a cat picture!

A black cat laying on a green rug.

Have a great day!


25 Comments on “Requesting Recommendations From The Readers (That’s You!)”

  1. It’s not Santa Monica proper, but Sawtelle Japantown is not far away. Plenty of people will recommend the various Tsujita ramen shops, but I’m a huge fan of the Banh Mi at Nong La on Sawtelle. There’s also a bunch of assorted Japanese culture shops that are fun to wander in.

    Full disclosure: I live within walking distance.

  2. Going to second hitting Tsujita, specifically the dip ramen as that was invented by a chef from Los Angeles so I’m not sure that’s everywhere. Check out Bay Cities which is a sandwich shop that is pretty dang amazing. There is an amazing restaurant on top of The Huntley Hotel which has amazing views but is pricey. Also at the Huntley is the Bungalow which is a cool place to hang out.

  3. Well, you have a welcome cat (on a welcome mat) so that’s a good start.

    It’s not strictly speaking in Santa Monica, but rather just a bit north along the PCH in Pacific Palisades is the Getty Villa Museum, which has a collection of (real) Greek and Roman artifacts in a reproduction Roman villa, which is pretty neat. The main Getty museum isn’t all that far away either. You can get to the Villa easily by bus (the 134 bus runs from Santa Monica right to the Getty Villa entrance on the PCH). The main museum is a little more of a ride, but even that you can do without a car (taking the 2 bus to the 761 bus, changing lines at the Hammer Museum, which is pretty cool itself and free.) All these museums are well worth the trip.

  4. Hi De Ho Comics on Lincoln. It has a great selection of non-superhero comics.

    Either of the Getty Museums.

  5. Rent a bike at the Santa Monica Pier and cruise down to Venice on the paved path along the beach.

  6. If you have transportatation and some dinner companions, MB Post in Manhattan Beach is worth the trip. They offer small plates which change seasonally, although some classics are usually there. The maple-bacon biscuits are amazing. I really like their scallops and chimichurri steak. And their spicy green beans!

    Since the small plates are designed to be shared, it’s more fun to go with a small group so you can order more things to try. Dinner reservations can take a while to get if you want a popular time, but you can also wait for a table if you can’t get a reservation. They recently expanded so they have more tables than they used to.

    They also have terrific cocktails…I seem to remember you posting about cocktails here before. Before or after dinner, it’s nice to walk around downtown Manhattan Beach: walk out onto the pier (way smaller than Santa Monica, of course); check out the small, expensive shops; people-watch.

  7. I haven’t been there yet–and it’s Marina Del Rey, not Santa Monica. But my daughter just started as a server at Planta Cocina, and the menu is amazing. She says the food itself is amazing. Plus: bonus famous people sightings, if you’re in to that sort of thing.

  8. Hatchet Hall in Culver City is amazing. So far I have loved everything I’ve eaten there.

  9. I haven’t been to Santa Monica in many years. I don’t know why but this song jumped into my head:

    Pico and Sepulveda!

  10. This will be hellaciously out of date (I last lived in LA in 2002, and last visited in 2018), but when I was around Santa Monica, I liked:
    Father’s Office (delicious burger with no substitutions)
    Monte Alban (Oxacan food, I’d get the Tlayuda with Cecina and the Noplalitos salad)
    Chandni (vegetarian Indian, I used to love all their entrees)

    Someone else mentioned the plethora of Japanese restaurants on Sawtelle. Unfortunately, all of my favorites have closed, but I’m sure there must be some worthy successors for Japanese curry and fish roe spaghetti.

  11. Miles Archer! I remember that song. I used to live out there when I was a student at UCLA back in the 1970s. I’d forgotten about Doctor Demento. Thank you for the memory.

    I spent a good portion of my time during undergrad school on the Santa Monica beaches.

  12. What they said above about “the old Getty” in the Palisades. It’s a weird museum in the sense that it feels like it would never open now with the layout and collection.

  13. Do not patronize Tsujita.

    They are responsible, more than anyone else, for gentrifying Sawtelle. Before Tsujita, that corner had a nice little old time Japanese housewares store and the entire neighborhood was full of good, authentic, inexpensive, stores and restaurants. Once that was bulldozed and Tsujita moved in, everything changed. Not much of it for the better. I’d honestly like the Sawtelle of the late 90s back.

    Go to Marugame just up Sawtelle instead. You won’t have to wait in an hours long line for not great ramen, you’ll eat house made udon instead, you’ll spend half as much, and you’ll have fun picking out your tenpura side dishes. It’s essentially a clone of Hanamaru which you can find all over Tokyo.

  14. Bobs Big Boy. Get a cheeseburger.
    It’s NOT Frisch’s, despite the statue. Really.
    Locations in Burbank and Downey.

  15. Seconding Father’s Office. Burgers and beer, but excellent versions of both. Lunetta is lovely and casual (on Pico), as is the nearby Lazy Daisy for brunch. If you can get a reservation, Rustic Canyon is fabulous—great cocktails, interesting food.

    And I would say the Getty Villa is worth the trip even if I didn’t work there.

  16. My sister-in-law and her wife are regular’s at Art’s Table, and after taking us there for dinner on our last couple of visits I completely understand why.

    +1 to the Getty Villa, with bonus lol points for the drive taking you past the goth/Barbie houses from the “my music taste” meme. Will Rogers State Beach is also right there if you’re inclined to sit and watch the ocean for a while.

  17. Canters deli if you’ve never been. Grand Central Market downtown LA. Transit easy peasy via light rail/subway

  18. Sweet Lady Jane on Montana for coffee/tea and something sweet. Montana has some interesting shops on it.

    Huckleberry on Wilshire for breakfast/lunch and baked goods

    Santa Monica Seafood on Wilshire for fresh catch to eat there or take away to prepare at home

    Walk down the center median on San Vicente Blvd from Ocean to 26th Street. Cookie from the Farm Shop Bakery in the Country Mart, a veggie/vegan lunch at A Votre Sante (end of the block on San Vicente). Lots of interesting houses in the area bounded by Montana, San Vicente, 11th, and Burlington. The big places are north of San Vicente but more spread out, back from the street, and private.

  19. Presumably you’ve already been to LA Super Rica, yes?

    Also, visit Chausers Books.

  20. I lived in the area in the 80s and most everything I loved is long gone from there. The Huntington Beach Pier is probably still worth seeing and the Laguna Beach ocean preserve is a wonderful snorkeling “adventure.” Laguna Beach is pretty terrific, too.

  21. I was just in Santa Monica last week. We went to the Getty Center; the flower garden is beautiful right now.

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