Michael’s is the almost-middle-aged mainstay of Santa Monica. Like plenty of 39-year-olds, Michael’s has gone through a few stages (some of which were boring), but with a new chef who’s younger than the actual restaurant, Michael’s is back on our radar. The atmosphere can’t be beat - the garden patio is an excellent place to hang, and the owner will definitely come past to say hi while you eat - but the food leans a little heavy and sweet. This could just be growing pains, so we’ll be back to see if anything changes.
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FIG is an all-around solid restaurant but that Happy Hour of theirs is the best on the Westside.
Birdie G’s is a comfort-food spot in Santa Monica that feels both nostalgic and completely different from anything else in town.
Stout is a burger and beer bar with good food and a low-key space that provides a needed break from the chaos of downtown Santa Monica.
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The Misfit Restaurant + Bar
The Misfit is located uncomfortably close to The Promenade tourist hellzone, but when it comes to this laid-back restaurant, we grin and bear it.
The Butcher’s Daughter
The New York health conscious-spot arrives in Venice. The food won’t blow you away, but it’s better than most other options in this part of town.
Ray's & Stark Bar
Ray's & Stark Bar is the ground floor restaurant of the LACMA and solid place to grab some food before staring at some art.
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