With the opening of The Mar Vista, locals now have something to do other than look at cute houses, hang out in casual cafes, and pretend they live in Venice. This big, bright space on Venice Boulevard has quickly become a neighborhood hangout, with tables that work for groups, and lots of space to drop in a grab a meal at the bar. The menu seems all over the place - there's everything from a fontina bacon crab melt and ceviche, to hot pots and a short rib ragu. But somehow it all works, and it’s also a relief to read a menu on the Westside that doesn't include the words "brussels sprouts.” Get the mushroom fundido.
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Coffee Connection is a great spot to kill a few hours and get some work done before your next appointment.
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Saddle Peak Lodge
Saddle Peak is a massive, lodge-themed restaurant up in the Santa Monica mountains and a meat-lovers paradise worthy of the trip.
R+D Kitchen in Santa Monica is perpetually crowded, but the burgers and lively crowd are worth the guaranteed 45 minute wait for dinner.
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