From the outside, Lanea looks like every other colorful, social media-friendly cocktail bar in Santa Monica. And on the inside, not much will sway you from that opinion. With pink lounge cushions, scattered succulents, and sugary cocktails that look nice in photos, Lanea is definitely a bit by-the-books, but then you glance at the snacks menu and realize there’s a lot more going on here. All the food at Lanea comes from the team at Barba Kush, a family-run Mexican restaurant in East LA, and the results are tremendous. From loaded nachos to consome to their legendary lamb barbacoa tacos, this is exactly where you need to be eating after a long day of working a block from the beach.
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Sea Salt Fish Grill
Santa Monica’s Sea Salt Fish Grill is an affordable, tasty option for all things seafood.
Esters Wine Shop & Bar
Esters in Santa Monica might be known as that place you drink at before eating at Cassia, but this wine bar very much stands on its own.
Uovo in Santa Monica is a new pasta bar from the Sugarfish people. The food is nothing special, but it’s a good place for a solo meal.
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El Zarape is far from downtown Santa Barbara, and is usually packed with locals eating fantastic tacos.
You won’t know how much you need a chicken shawarma taco until you’ve had one from X’tiosu Kitchen, an order-at-the-window spot in Boyle Heights.
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Bay Cities is a Santa Monica classic that’s been open since 1925. Most importantly, it’s home to The Godmother, Los Angeles’ greatest sandwich.
Birdie G’s is a comfort-food spot in Santa Monica that feels both nostalgic and completely different from anything else in town.
The Father’s Office burger (in Santa Monica and Culver City) is amazing. If you don’t know that, you don’t get it.
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