Ippudo is a Japanese ramen chain, and their NYC locations have pretty insane wait times. The Santa Monica one is significantly calmer, and they serve good, casual Japanese comfort food, with absolutely top-notch service. It’s known as a ramen spot, but our favorite dishes are the small plates. The karaage and shishitos are both solid, and the best are the buns - the vegetarian ones come with a deep-fried eggplant patty, and the pork belly is tender but not too fatty. Add in a bottle of sake - served in a fancy wooden box filled with ice - and this makes for a great date spot.
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Cha Cha Chicken
An outdoor, island-like Caribbean BYOB that’s a great time. In Santa Monica, no less.
Giorgio Baldi is an Italian restaurant in the Palisades and one of the most insane celebrity hideouts in the city.
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Uerukamu is a casual sushi restaurant that’s perfect for lunch or a midweek dinner.
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Sawtelle’s Tsujita does the best tsukemen-style ramen this side of the Pacific and some of the best overall ramen in Los Angeles.
Santa Monica’s HiHo Cheeseburger is home to the best classic burger in Los Angeles.
Marugame Udon is a casual, cafeteria-style spot to get your weekly (daily?) noodle fix on Sawtelle.
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