Whenever I have visitors in LA, I urge them to go to the Main St. part of Santa Monica instead of the Promenade part. But there’s one catch - lunch. The options on Main St. are mediocre at best, and a certain mini-chain still somehow attracts everyone and their mother’s allergist for soulless sandwiches, salads, and coffee. But one block down from Urth Caffe, you’ll find Alfalfa, a new transplant from Hoboken, New Jersey (we didn’t see that coming) that nails the salad-wrap-coffee thing. Their back patio is a sunny little nook that’s ideal for catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in a few months over great coffee and salads or an excellent breakfast burrito with silky eggs and charred shredded potatoes. Work this into your Santa Monica brunch/lunch rotation.
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The Cafe At The Getty Villa
The Cafe at the Getty Villa is far more than your average museum restaurant.
Manchego in Santa Monica is a quieter, Spanish-tinged spot for a casual bottomless brunch or group dinner.
Jinya Ramen Bar
Jinya is a bonafide chain with locations across the country, but still makes a very solid tonkotsu ramen.
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Crudo e Nudo
Crudo e Nudo is a great little spot on Main Street in Santa Monica where you should sit back, eat raw fish, and split a bottle of wine.
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