Michael’s is the almost-middle-aged mainstay of Santa Monica. Like plenty of 39-year-olds, Michael’s has gone through a few stages (some of which were boring), but with a new chef who’s younger than the actual restaurant, Michael’s is back on our radar. The atmosphere can’t be beat - the garden patio is an excellent place to hang, and the owner will definitely come past to say hi while you eat - but the food leans a little heavy and sweet. This could just be growing pains, so we’ll be back to see if anything changes.
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Sidecar Doughnuts & Coffee
The arrival of Sidecar means Santa Monica's donut game just became legitimate.
The Santa Monica location of downtown deli Wexler’s is just as good as the original.
Bardonna's Santa Monica location sells fresh, but not too flavorful, salads and grain bowls - sorry, "squad bowls".
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Hinano Cafe is a Venice icon and the kind of place you go into for one drink and walk out plastered and maybe with a lower-back henna tattoo.
Jackson Market and Deli
Jackson Market is a neighborhood deli/general store/hang out spot in Culver City and one of the best local gems in the area.
With Little Prince, Main St. in Santa Monica finally has a cool, neighborhood-y spot for brunch and dinner.
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