Need a really good place, full bar and fun to meet some friends who live in Malibu. Usually eat east of the 405 so looking for some suggestions. Prefer to stay south of Sunset.
Thor, maybe too casual for your purposes but your post made me think of this spot i met some westside friends at recently by WIlshire and Bundy.
large beer and liquor selection. Sculpin IPA, check. Friendly bartender from Glasgow. Smoked chicken wings, giant pretzels…there is sit down food and tables too…fun drinkers atmosphere and happy hour specials til 8.
Any other hounds check this spot out?
I always like Hillstone - but it’s expensive (drinks about $16 or so, usually about $60-75/person).
If looking for new, hot, and solid: There’s Estate, Aestus, and also Ingo’s Tasty Diner (fantastic happy hour)
Thanks. Hillstone is good. Houstons is as good of a chain as there is. Looking for something more creative and special occasion.
+1 on Ingo’s Tasty Diner. Food isn’t AMAZING, but it’s very solid, as yogachik says. My partner loves the drinks he’s had there.
@Mr_JJ: I’ve been to Bar Food a few times. I think of it as a respectable low-key neighborhood bar. Food is fine, but a step below Ingo’s Tasty Diner, IMHO.
CiaoBob mentioned he had a good meal at Ox and Son’s on Montana. I have no idea if it has a full bar, though.
Reports have been mixed, but there’s Belcampo, as well.
I’ll have to try Ingo’s – I rarely get over to that side of town but when I do it’s usually for something delicious!
the GCM burger joint, full bar, and great drinks and that eponymous fucking burger.
and meaty, beefy steaks of course steaks are going to be beefy, but real beef flavor.
and a great chocolate cremaux dessert.
Cassia might work too, very creative interprestations of SA grub and a Vietnamese coffee pudding with softly whipped cream par excellence.
I’m not the hugest fan and it is pricey.
But full bar too, creative mixed drinks.
Bar Food’s fish and chips is quite good, one of the better ones in memory, but not as great as the one from Golden State.
I haven’t been to Bar Food, but I’ve had a number of very good meals at Rustic Canyon. It can add up quickly, but it has a full bar, interesting wines, and a broad variety of really well made food.
not a full bar at Ox and Sons or Forma.
Bel Air Bar and Grill (criminally overlooked, IMHO) but it is just North of Sunset and E of 405 - but barely.
Santa Monica Yacht Club
Kevin has a nice point here. If you like solid drinks in a dark, updated clubby atmosphere, BELCAMPO could be in the running. Kev, can’t remember if there are tables in the bar. My recollection is that it’s just barstools. Haven’t eaten there and have been dismayed at some of the reports.
CASSIA drinks are terrific, but unless you go early and secure a table on the patio, it could be tough. SMYC has tables in their bar and awesome cocktails too.
Good fallback is HUNGRY CAT in the Canyon right off of PCH. Have a couple of recent solids there.
Any updates? Maybe will start a new post.
I truly enjoyed Cadet, good food, great service, full bar and best of all not too noisy (photo from Zagat). Did not enjoy Belcampo Santa Monica at all….
I agree Cadet’s food has been decent to quite good but I strongly dissent on the acoustics, the two or three times I have Cadeted it was DEAFENINGLY LOUD.
Weiner, were you there when it was empty?
Was there around 7pm. Does it turn ear deafening later like Rustic Canyon?
Prob no too full at 7 PM.
Later, just as bad as, maybe worse than, Rustic.
Yes, that’s why I suggested Ingo’s, Aestus and Estate. Hillstone is my fallback, but the others are my suggestions.
A classic veteran: Chinois on Main.
If going to Cassia, make a reservation…
I live a couple of blocks from Ingo’s. I went there several weeks after they opened and the salmon I ordered was so overcooked, I had to send it back. Tasteless, really. I then ordered a pork chop and it was just so-so. I have no desire to go back. What am I missing about this place that so many people like it? Belcampo, which is also walking distance from home for me, as been quite a disappointment too–overpriced with a very limited menu. It was much better during the soft opening in 2014–I’m convinced the burger was bigger and much better then, and the price was at least $2.00 less.
For me, the only really great restaurant in Santa Monica right now is Cassia. Aestus is overpriced and small portions–went there 4 or 5 times soon after they opened. Food tastes good, but menu is not very interesting and price/value is off. Santa Monica Yacht Club is decent but not memorable. Have been there twice. Will certainly go back but with Cassia a half-block away, it’s hard to get very excited, since Cassia makes spectacular fish dishes (black cod and incredible sea bass–best I’ve ever had) and has such an interesting menu. Tried Ox & Son once and didn’t like my dish (poutine), but I don’t think they have it on the menu anymore. People around me were very enthusiastic about their food, however, so I’m wanting to go back. Cadet was okay, not enough to induce me to go back (and loud).
Can anybody tell me whether Estate, the new place on Wilshire, is good? It’s been great to have so many new places open in the last year, but as somebody said above–mid-range around here has been pretty disappointing to me.