The first thing you notice about Fia is the back patio - it’s tremendous. Taking over the old Wilshire space in Santa Monica, they’ve added seating above the bar, aggressive string lighting, and enough pine trees to make you feel like you’re on the Mendocino coastline, making this one of the best places to eat outside on the Westside. That said, the food at Fia is good too. While the Italian-ish menu isn’t doing anything mind-blowingly different (expect plenty of burrata, some pasta, and a raw bar), this is the kind of crowd-pleasing food that absolutely anyone will enjoy. If you’ve got an important date night coming up, make a reservation at Fia immediately.
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Osteria Bigoli is another Italian spot on Montana Ave. in Santa Monica. Except this one's actually worth it.
Santa Monica’s KazuNori is a hand roll-only sushi option from the people behind Sugarfish. Expect the same quality without the crazy wait.
Chinois On Main
There are a whole bunch of reasons why you shouldn’t go to Chinois On Main in Santa Monica - but the most important one is that the food is terrible.
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Rossoblu is a fancy Italian restaurant in the Fashion District, and one of the best restaurants to open in LA in a long time.
Amiga Amore is an Italian/Mexican fusion pop-up and one of the most personalized dining experience in LA.
Terroni is a casual Italian joint in Beverly Grove with aggressively mediocre food, but a really fun atmosphere.
Suggested by our writers
Salazar is a Mexican BBQ restaurant in Frogtown that’s gone from excellent to average in just a few short years. The patio, however, remains great.
Cassia feels like a Santa Monica clubhouse. One filled with truly fantastic Southeast Asian food.
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