Noteworthy new eateries are close to Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel, while deals can be found at local spots for AFM badgeholders — 20% off lunch at Chaya Venice for one. There are some good grab-‘n-go options and after market hours, Santa Monica’s on-trend bars feature potent craft cocktails, craft beers and farm-to-fork menus.
New to town
Opened by top L.A. cocktail artisans Julian Cox and Josh Goldman, Brilliantshine feels like vintage-meets-beach shack. The food has Peruvian touches, courtesy of a former chef from Paiche, while drinks that emphasize whiskey, rum and tequila are influenced by Cox’s world travels. Brunch on weekends; closed Mondays and full menu served until 1 a.m. Complimentary bar bites for AFM badgeholders.
522 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-451-0045
Fork in the Road
On Santa Monica’s Main Street, a block south of the Loews, chef/owner Drew Adams, who trained in Thomas Keller’s kitchens, aims to make everything from scratch and has the chops to do it. Flatbreads, salmon tartar, a wide range of vegetables and edible flowers grace his plates. Inventive cocktails, craft beers and organic and biodynamic wines are on the menu too. Open until 1 a.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Happy hour from 5-7 p.m. Closed Mondays.
2424 Main St., Santa Monica, 310-450-2244
Superba Food + Bread
Despite its location on a busy Lincoln Boulevard corner (just east of Venice’s walk streets), Superba Food + Bread is an oasis of fresh and flavorful indulgences. Pastries are top-notch; breakfast might be artisan toast (thick slabs of pain au levain topped by a choice of toppings like jam or cheesy scrambled eggs) or a kale, sausage and egg breakfast sandwich. Worth a visit for a power breakfast, lunch, dinner or the late afternoon (3-5 p.m.) menu of upscale comfort food. Open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
1900 S. Lincoln Blvd., Los Angeles, 310-907-5075
Steak n’ Shake
This is the first Los Angeles outlet of the popular Midwest burger chain. The name says it all: Expect hearty beef patties and milkshakes made the old fashioned way — hand blended to order. Open to midnight weeknights and until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday nights.
1453 Third St. Promenade, Santa Monica, 310-260-1516
Del Frisco’s Grille
At the popular eatery and bar directly across from the Santa Monica Pier, badgeholders can get a $7 vodka-infused pineapple cocktail and a buy-one get one free appetizer after 4 p.m. Express lunch options include flatbread pizza with a side.
1551 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310-395-7333
Lebanese-born Yousef Ghalaini is the new chef but there’s no change to the popular FIG at Five promotion when the seasonally fresh Cal-Mediterranean menu is offered half-price. Look for Ghalaini’s small plates menu at the happening Bungalow indoor/outdoor lounge.
101 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310-319-3111
Terrazza at Casa del Mar
Opened in May, the eatery is a re-do of the western end of the hotel’s grand lobby, now lightened up with a beachy-casual feel and a menu of Italian-inspired dishes. There’s a happy hour Monday-Friday from 3-6 p.m. and entertainment nightly. Sip on craft beers, wine and cocktails while taking in the sunset view.
1910 Ocean Way, 310-430-7144
Cast at the Viceroy Santa Monica
In August, chef Tony DiSalvo revamped the menu at the Viceroy’s restaurant Cast. Now there’s a focus on comfort food from all regions from the American South (buttermilk fried chicken) to charcuterie and seasonal offerings. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, specialty cocktails are on the menu as well as a champagne happy hour (Monday-Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.) at the Cameo bar.
1819 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, 310-260-7511
— Pat Saperstein contributed to this report.