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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Cassia feels like a Santa Monica clubhouse. One filled with truly fantastic Southeast Asian food.
Satdha is a cozy, casual place on Lincoln serving plant-based Thai cuisine that will make you forget there are no animal products involved.
Cafe Bolivar in Santa Monica has great coffee, a decent selection of pastries, and fast wifi, and it never gets too loud to focus.
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Square One in East Hollywood is a neighborhood favorite for a simple, solid brunch. Beware: lines on weekends can get long.
Malibu Farm Cafe has simple, crowd-pleasing food at the end of Malibu pier, and is perfect for entertaining your third cousin when he’s in town.
Saint Felix is one of the rare chill options to grab a drink and some food in boystown.
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