The Ocean Park part of Santa Monica feels laid-back and filled with actual locals, as opposed to neighboring strips like Abbot Kinney and Main Street. Local Kitchen + Wine Bar plays a big part in this. The food here isn’t going to be the best you’ve ever had, but it will be extremely solid. Share some starters, order a pizza or a pasta, and be out in an hour and a half. It’s the kind of casual neighborhood spot most parts of town wish they had.
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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.
Santa Monica’s Via Veneto has the kind of classic, upscale Italian food that New Yorkers claim you can’t find in LA.
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Elephante is a rooftop bar/restaurant in the heart of downtown Santa Monica with great views and a crowd of bankers.
La Puglia is a great all-day Italian cafe in Santa Monica. Come for coffee and a pastry, or a bowl of squid ink pasta at night.
One of LA’s finest Italian restaurants, Osteria Mozza in Hollywood is still very much at the top of its game.
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