We have an event to go to in Santa Monica this evening. They’re only serving “canapés”. My neighborhood (mid-city, beverly-grove) isn’t exactly long distance. But we rarely make it past Westwood these days. So my question is, if you had one shot at dining in Venice / S.M., where would it be for a casual, sit down dinner? Any type of food is fine. Thanks!
Tar & roses
To add to PorkBelly’s great recs, I’d add Rose Cafe, Willie Jane, Hatchet Hall, and Salt Air in Venice.
Do not forget Rustic Canyon.
Echoing above -
Cassia (I love the Laksa soup, and the chickpea curry, creamed kale are some of my favorites).
Gjelina -can’t go wrong there… mushroom toast, pizza…
now that my mind is on these two places – i don’t really have anything else to add except I wish I could transport myself.
Some good recommendations in here already.
Here are a few additions. I went more towards different than “If you only had one meal in SM/Venice,” so places like Cassia, Gjelina, Rustic Canyon, etc. may be more in line with what you’re looking for, but figured I’d add 'em anyway…
- Solidarity (Polish) - http://solidarityla.com/ - I haven’t been since they changed their name from Warszawa, but they have a solid happy hour till 7pm, good pierogies and some interesting vodkas.
- Wurstkuche (Sausages) - http://www.wurstkuche.com/food-index - Great for a casual dinner of sausages, big ole fries and Belgian beers.
- Banh Mi Venice - http://www.banhmivenice.com/menu/ - Would be a very casual dinner, but could also be fun to grab to go and head down towards the beach.
- Sawtelle! - Many choices over there… Tsujita, Restaurant 2117, Plan Check, Yakitori-Ya (never been to this place m’self, but just read @CiaoBob’s post about it and it looks great) , etc.
Okay. It looks like Cassia. Gjelina, Tar & Roses as runner-ups. Sentimental favorites are Rustic Canyon & The Rose. Govind’s Willie Jane is intriguing. Aesthete has frightened me away from Hatchet Hall.
Cassia because a lot of you loved Spice Table and we never went. I love french food and Vietnam. Plus the picture of the man on a Norton is pretty cool .
@TheCookie: you might want to call ahead to see if they have space. It’s been several mos (if not a yr) since I first/last went to Cassia, and I don’t recall them having same-night availability…
Oh shoot. Here comes @President_Mochi around the bend. May have to rethink things. I’m always complaining about all the good Japanese spots being on the Westside. Hmmm…
…Add to that, a good pierogi is hard to find… and Russian vodka is my favorite.
Cassia - feel free to call as @paranoidgarliclover suggests, maybe - but unlikely - there will be an open reservation. But if not, and you really want to go (and you should), just go.
Cassia takes walk-ins and has lots of bar space (seafood bar or drinking bar or wood-fire bar in the back). You may have to wait a bit but I am quite sure they will find space if you are patient. Doubt the wait would be more than 30-40 mins. I could say the same for Gjelina, by the way (but the wait is probably a little longer there).
Don’t forget Wadatsumi. Not in SaMo or Venice, but, in a relative sense, it’s on your way back home.
Charcoal is well worthwhile also.
We’re now thinking dinner afterwards… less traffic. On a Thursday night it could work at Cassia? But the bar situation you describe at Gjelina seems pretty good too. We won’t be that hungry, with the canapés and all…
Some great recs here already. But two more to consider:
Mori Sushi: Arguably the best Sushi in LA. Request to sit in front of Maru-san.
Shunji: Just as good in different ways. Fantastic Omakase.
Okay sorry. Scratch that. You meant the bar at Cassia is pretty big. F-it… I’m just gonna’ call and see what’s up. Thanks.
I wish the sushi recs had come in sooner or my brain was working better. Sushi is always my answer to the “Where should we eat?” question. I love it and need to better my knowledge. But the ole’ man says “I want to check out the Norton place.” He means Cassia.
We’ll see. Thanks!
Sorry I wasn’t terribly clear in my original posting.
Gjelina has quite a few table tops for walk ins, not bar(s); Cassia has many bar spaces (and tables) for walk ins. Both places are extremely popular and the conventional wisdom is that reservations are very hard to get and without a reservation you are totally hosed. I have never found that to be the case at either place. Be patient and they will accommodate a party of two without too much delay.