As the Guest Services Manager at the Channel Road Inn in Santa Monica, CA, I became very familiar with the Los Angeles restaurant scene, particularly places on the Westside. There are hundreds of amazing places to eat in LA, but here is a list (in no particular order) of some of my favorite:

Santa Monica - General
  • Border Grill - Nice Mexican place. Try the Tortilla Soup and the Green Corn Tamales!
  • Chez Mimi - So charming...great with mom, girlfriends or a romantic date. The Tomato Soup is an absolute must!
  • The Counter - Good burgers
  • The Lobster - Great views
  • The Penthouse - Great views and super swanky
  • Rustic Canyon - Delicious food with ingredients from local farmers. Great wines too!
Santa Monica - Main Street
  • Library Alehouse - Fun outdoor seating area
  • Urth Cafe - Great salads, sandwiches, tea etc. My personal favorite is the Urth Salad with extra feta. Yum!
  • World Cafe - Great outdoor seating with nice lighting and ambiance at night
Santa Monica - Montana Avenue
  • Father's Office - The BEST burgers in town (and possibly the world). Also, a great wine and beer bar. It can be tough to get into this small venue so you may also want to try their Culver City location which is quite a bit larger.
  • Locando Portofino - Italian
  • Marmalade Cafe - Great for lunch, eat-in or take-out
Santa Monica - Channel Road
  • Coral Tree Cafe - Casual and great food. Free wireless internet. I love the Penne Arrabiata (beware: the garlic chunks are so big I thought they were pieces of chicken the first time I had this dish)
  • Katsuya - Expensive but oh so good sushi

Venice - Abbott Kinney
  • Axe - It's about the food and the people
  • Hal's - Good food, art, and some nights they have live Jazz music
  • Joe's - California-French Cuisine
  • Lilly's - French. Great for lunch. Has a wonderful outdoor patio that is beautiful at night.
  • Primitivo - Tapas and wine
Culver City
Beverly Hills
  • Bossa Nova - Brazilian cuisine
  • Crazy Fish - A hole in the wall sushi place that is so good and inexpensive
  • Frida - Upscale Mexican restaurant
  • Geoffreys - Great views
  • Inn of the Seventh Ray - Nestled in Topanga Canyon, this is one of the most romantic places in town.
  • John's Garden - Located in the Malibu Country Mart, this spot is a great sandwich joint. A perfect place to stop on your way to the beach.
  • Diddy Reise Cookies - Loved by all, this great cookie shop is open late into the night and has the best ice cream sandwiches around (plus, each cookie is only .35 and an ice cream sandwich is just $1.50).
  • Native Foods - I'm afraid to tell you it's a vegan restaurant because you may judge this place before you've tried it.  I've taken South African rugby players here (I didn't tell them it was vegan beforehand) and they LOVED it.  My favorite is The Mama Mia pizza.
  • Shaherzad - My favorite Persian/Iranian restaurant. The #7 (Kashk Bademjan) is the main reason I go here.

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