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Santa Monica Travel Tips

4.0 stars

Insider advice for your Santa Monica vacation , west coast


Haiduc
Ocean Ave Seafood 4 stars
Ocean Ave Seafood is located at, ironically enough, 1401 Ocean Ave in Santa Monica, California. Original? No. Tasty? Yes. Popular? Most definitely, so be sure to dress "business casual," at least.

When I came here my first time, I tried their seared ahi tuna, which came with steamed rice and fresh vegetables, and it was wonderful. A friend of mine who came with me here would highly recommend their oysters, as well, if you're in to that sort of thing. Naturally, though, there is a wide variety of American fare on the menu besides seafood, though.

Ocean Ave Seafood is open from 11:30 am to 10 pm from Sunday through Thursday and from 11:30 am to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday.


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Haiduc
The Lobster 4 stars
The Lobster is a long-standing, well-known seafood restaurant that first opened in 1925, therefore it is, naturally, an incredibly popular place to eat, especially on the weekends.

When I came here, I had their lobster while a friend of mine had something I had never seen at any other restaurant: white seabass. I tried it and it was actually quite good, therefore I can recommend it, as well, along with the lobster. The menu changes daily, therefore there is always a different variety of fish available on different days.

The Lobster is open from 11:30 am to 10 pm from Sunday through Thursday and from 11:30 am to 11 pm on Friday and Saturday.


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Haiduc
Valentino 5 stars
Valentino, ah, what a wonderful name for such a beautiful restaurant.

Expect a warm, elegant ambience that is perfect for a quiet, intimate dinner between two lovers, making it an ideal place to wine and dine a new flame.

As far as my recommendations go, I prefer some of their more unusual fare offered here, including their garlic-infused spaghetti with clams, potato and spinach gnocchi, grilled squab in honey-fig-red wine sauce, osso buco and their swordfish with onion and olive caponata. If it's your first time coming here, try their tasting menu, which is $55.00 without wine pairings or $95.00 with wine pairings.

Valentino is located at 3115 Pico Boulevard in Santa Monica, California.


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sonoflaw
Sushi King 5 stars
I am a big fan of sushi. Ever since I was a little boy, I have been eating yellowtail and eel, and to this day I seek out the best sushi bars that I can find. What makes a great sushi bar? Fresh fish always comes first, but price is also important. The price of a roll tells me the quality I expect, so a roll for over $10 had better be godly. Last, the combinations of flavor and Japanese cultural origins make up the best sushi restaurants. Obviously, it would seem, the best sushi on Earth would be found in Japan. By my personal experience, however, even Japan is second to Sushi King, located on 14th St. and Wilshire in Santa Monica, CA. Sushi King has the best sushi in the world, in my opinion. The fish is always the freshest I have ever experienced, the rolls come in a variety of interesting combinations, the style stays distinctly Japanese through and through, and the prices are, amazingly enough, very affordable. While you cannot make reservations at Sushi King, arriving early will guarantee you a seat soon enough. For the best experience, sit at the sushi bar, and one of the sushi chefs (who have always been in a good mood) will take your order. Ask them what is special that night, and they will undoubtedly give you a piece of fish perfectly sliced on top of warm, perfectly cooked rice. The California rolls and Shrimp Tempura rolls are different than those I’ve had anywhere else, and blow every other restaurant away in terms of quality, and at $4 and $8 respectively, they are more than worth the order. Sushi King even has main courses that will blow away the taste buds, including Misoyaki Seabass and Teriyaki Beef and Chicken, and for dessert they offer a brandy/port soaked pear that is insanely delicious. Sushi King may look like a hole-in-the-wall from the outside, but the inside is constructed in classic wooden sushi-bar style, as any good sushi restaurant should be. If you have not been to Sushi King and you live in Los Angeles, try it soon. It has been around longer than most branches in the city, and in my opinion it is the best sushi in the world.

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sonoflaw
City of Santa Monica 4 stars
There are many things about my home town of Los Angeles that I love, but whenever I think of returning for a visit, the main reason is always to visit Santa Monica. I love the gigantic houses of Beverly Hills, the movie theaters of Westwood, and the memories of going to school in Culver City, but the beach is what continues to captivate me about Los Angeles, so I always wind up back there every time I visit. While Venice Beach may have its muscle and Zuma Beach may have its quality, Santa Monica still has the most personality to me. While the beaches are covered in tourists during the summer, and the pier is over-expensive and a bit of a gimmick, Santa Monica is still, thanks to its outdoor shopping and huge public schools, a wonderful part of L.A. to visit. One thing that separates Santa Monica from the rest of Los Angeles is its ‘walkability.’ While most areas in L.A. don’t seem to be made for strolling around (I was once stopped by a cop for trying to walk through West L.A.), Santa Monica is always full of just as many pedestrians as drivers, thanks I am sure to the amazing weather there. While Downtown L.A. has its heat waves, being next to the water keeps even the hottest days a little cooler (even the warm Santa Ana Winds have trouble blowing in this part of town). While the beaches in Santa Monica are not the cleanest, they still make for a great place read alone under the sun or to meet new people, visitors and locals, year round. The other great thing about Santa Monica is its restaurants. The closer to the water you get, the better the quality of food becomes, and because of restaurants like Thai Dishes and Sushi King, I could experience real culinary delight for a very decent price. I will always be fond of Santa Monica, and will always believe that for the best vacation experience Los Angeles has to offer, this is the place to be.

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