Barney’s Beanery in Santa Monica doesn’t hold a candle to the allure (and history) of the original West Hollywood location, but considering your pretty dismal options in this particular area, Barney’s kitschy vibe (and very solid beer stock) feels like heaven. The food is typical bar standards, but just a little bit better than you’d expect. Bonus - their great front patio is a perfect place to get your buzz on and watch vacationing families regret everything.
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R+D Kitchen in Santa Monica is perpetually crowded, but the burgers and lively crowd are worth the guaranteed 45 minute wait for dinner.
Santa Monica’s Via Veneto has the kind of classic, upscale Italian food that New Yorkers claim you can’t find in LA.
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The Fountain Coffee Room
The Fountain Coffee Room is a classic morning counter service spot in the Beverly Hills Hotel.
Sqirl is a perpetually-crowded cafe/bakery in Virgil Village and our favorite brunch spot in LA.
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