I’m coming up on 3 years as a westside resident. In these 3 lovely years, I have experienced many of the local establishments that surround me. From lazy days wandering Abbot Kinney to grabbing happy hour drinks on Main Street in Santa Monica to date night at one of the cute watering holes in downtown Culver City — there’s so much to do, see, eat and drink!
Quick & Dirty Main Street, Santa Monica Guide
If you’re a local looking to explore a little further than your usual stomping grounds or visiting Los Angeles for a few days, check out our quick and dirty guide to one of my favorite pockets of Santa Monica — Main Street.
Spanning from Pico to Rose Avenue, Main Street is a hodgepodge of restaurants, bars, and shops, sprinkled with tech companies, massage parlors, and coffee shops. It’s incredibly walkable, bikeable or bird-able (if that’s your style). See below for some avenues of exploration:
Date Night: Little Prince + Manchego
Both these restaurants are true gems when it comes to menu & ambiance: small plates, beautiful drinks, gorgeous, dimly lit interiors.
Depending on if you’re in the mood for Californian fare or tapas, both of these restaurants are great options that will most definitely impress your beau. Make sure to reserve a table in advance.
Little Prince ($$$)
-Food: Try the Fried Brussel Sprouts with Gribiche, Shishito Peppers Roasted with Jalapeno, Lime & Coconut Yogurt, and the Dry Aged NY Steak.
-Drink: Mic Drop (Gin, Blueberry, Meyer Lemon, Aquavit) and/or Deflower (Mezcal, Grapefruit, Hibiscus, Guajillo, Lime)
-Food: Try the Goat Cheese & Fig Tostado, Manchego Mac & Cheese, Gambas Al Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp) — they’re mighty delicious.
-Drink: A pitcher of sangria of course!
A Night on the Town: The Galley + The Victorian
Main Street has an abundance of bars and is the perfect mile-long stretch to go bar hopping. We cover a couple of hot spots below, but there are so many other options if you feel like exploring.
The Galley ($$)
The Galley is by far one of the most interesting spots in Santa Monica. The reason I say this is because the second you walk in, you feel as if you were transported to the inside of some weird boat that’s entirely lit up with Christmas lights. While this spot is also a restaurant, I highly recommend stopping by for their happy hour drink specials and sitting in one of the booths with a group of friends. Very #nautical.
The Victorian ($$)
If you’ve driven down Main Street before, you’ve probably seen a massive white Victorian-style mansion with a white picket fence, string lights, and a sprawling lawn. The Victorian (rightfully named) is one of the best spots to enjoy cocktails with friends in LA, and also happens to be a very popular wedding venue as well. There are three levels: The Basement, The Main Floor, and The Birdcage. Each level maintains a different vibe — you have live music in the Basement, large dancefloors and multiple DJ’s on the Main floor, and a disco ball and cute rooftop with neon signs at the Birdcage. With a variety of options, you’ll definitely not be bored during your time here.
Stay tuned for the second part of our Main Street, Santa Monica Guide next week!
photo via Little Prince