Looking for an interesting place with nice vibe and good food for lunch in Venice or Santa Monica.
Not appearing on the LA Board. A friendly reminder that when you post a new thread, it’s best to be already on the destination Board of your choice, else the new thread appears in a ‘netherworld’ where fewer people will focus on it.
Gjusta. Followed by Gjusta. Then Gjusta.
Now moved to LA Board (danke schoen, ipse)…
Superba Food and Bread
Salt Air on Abbot Kinney - bright, open, good food
Absolutely agree with Gjusta
gjusta, james beach, dudley markets
Anything new you Westsiders are loving? Doesn’t have to be fancy just yummy.
Not sure which of these have lunch and which don’t
Gjlina (not new but so much easier to deal with at lunch)
Mala Town or Mogumogu (not Samo or Venice)
Massilia, Ester’s Wine.
Colapasta if you’re feeling carbs. Salt and Tart is acceptable; probably wouldn’t go out of my way for it. R+D is basically an oldtimer but I’ve been really digging their consistency lately.
My favorite for lunch:
Sweet Lady Jane (they have terrific salads and soups)
Chinois (Wed-Sat only)
nothing new of note, to me - I like the consistency of the above restaurants.
Elephante (Italian, rooftop dining)
MTN (Japanese by way of the folk at Gjelina)
Neither Onda nor Birdie G’s offer lunch, at least as yet.
Socalo - Santa Monica
There were other recs I wanted to try more but we were at the DMV and Socalo was in walking distance, so. It’s a nice looking, open space with a full bar and two TVs. A good spot for workday lunch (quick food service), Happy Hour and casual dinners & cocktails.
Chinola Margarita - Altos Plata Tequila (blue agave), Passionfruit Liqueur, Lime, Mint, Tajin Rim / Old Fashioned w/Monkey Shoulder Whiskey
Half Order of Guacamole & Chips w/Macha Salsa (chiles, ground nuts, garlic, herbs, oil) & Quemada Salsa (paste-like, roasted tomato salsa)
Your basic Guacamole. Chips were kinda’ hard. The oily Macha Salsa has good heat and went well w/the meat, but does nothing for chips. The Quemada has a strange, sweet flavor like raisins.
Chicken Chicharrones, Crudités w/Chile Lime, Blue Cheese Salsa & Avocado Tomatillo Salsa
I’m more of a cracklin’ lover and these deep fried chicken skin Chicharrones are a little fat on fat, rich and definitely a shared appetizer not a meal, but they’re chickeny and tasty… in small doses. There was a little freezer burn on one of them. The sauces didn’t add anything. I liked the Avocado Tomatillo Salsa with the chips & guac more. The Farmers Market Crudités (jicama & turnip are hiding) are a delicious way of getting the daily allowance of veggies. They had a nice chili spice and the cucumbers (persian i think) were lightly pickled.
Carne Asada Tacos - Hanger Steak, Guacamole, Fresca & Quemada Salsas, Organic Tortilla, Organic Rice & Beans
I wish I took a better photo because these are standouts tender, juicy, nicely seasoned steak, good with the spicy, herby, oily Macha Salsa, tortillas with good masa flavor. I don’t know what the cup of mushy green veggie w/pomegranate seeds was, but it looked weird and I didn’t try it. Also didn’t try the beans because we had a big pot at home and I was beaned-out. Don’t expect big, smoky, street taco char or prices, but I would definitely order them again.
I was a little hesitant after reading @Xochitl’s report. If you’re expecting a standout from the ladies of Border Grill &Too Hot Tamales you’ll be disappointed. But in this case low expectations lead to pleasantly surprised. Some things were off, like the salsas were fine but didn’t compliment the dishes they came with. But if Socalo were close I could see us patronizing them for Happy Hour.
Counter Service w/table numbers - service was friendly but we received our food immediately and had to wait for cocktails.
Meal was $69+tip. Cocktails put it over the usual weekday lunch price.
If you’re driving they will validate your parking for the lot behind the restaurant.
Happy S.M. Lunching!
Hi @bruins - I saw Salt and Tart when I was buying fruit from the fruit cart but didn’t see your rec until later. Thanks!
Nice to see you posting @yogachik. Thanks!