Nice, but casual dinner in Santa Monica by the beach on Sunday

We’re meeting some old friends for dinner in Santa Monica on Sunday evening. They want to have dinner by the beach so we can go for a walk afterwards. We’ll be bringing our boys (13, 11, and 10). Open to any cuisine. Budget is about $50 per person not including drinks. I haven’t been in the area in ages, so I’ve no idea where to go.
Thanks so much!

Blue Plate maybe? Though not sure the’ll have a table big enough. Only sat at the bar.

Hi @attran99,

Maybe Tar & Roses? They’re only 4 short blocks from 3rd Street Promenade.

Good luck!

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We recently had a good dinner at Aestus with our daughter (4 year old) (good charcuterie plate, pork chop, fresh pasta, cocktails)

JapaDog (on the pier).

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@J_L Maybe JapaDog after dinner while we stroll the beach :wink:

Thanks, @honkman! Aestus might be perfect. Solid menu, good bar, nice wine list…even the finickiest of eaters will have a great time. Reservations made! Can’t wait to try it.

Thanks, @Chowseeker1999! I’ll keep this one in my back pocket for the next meeting. Santa Monica is about the halfway point for both parties…I have a feeling we’ll be doing this more often in the future.

Good call - Aestus is under-reported on, around here, and other food-review places. New chef is excellent. Bar program is excellent. Charcouterie is excellent.

Gjusta (bottom photo), Wurstkuche or The Rose in Venice or Pono Burger (top photo) in Santa Monica. All very casual and under your budget.

Aestus was a huge hit last night.
We arrived early and had a few drinks at the bar while the kids sat off to the side to enjoy sodas and snacks. I appreciate the artisan cocktails.
They offer a pre-fixe Italian Sunday Supper for $45 for 4 courses. Dinner opens with a charcuterie board with (I think) sopressata, olives and roasted red peppers, speck, caciacavallo, and burrata. While I was there, I noticed that they get some of their cheese products from Gioia in South El Monte. The charcuterie came with fresh-baked salted focaccia bread. Second course was a simple Italian greens salad with lots of grated parm on top…simple and yummy. Third course was a choice between housemade cavatelli pasta with pork ragu, pan roasted branzino, and roasted chicken. Since our party was large enough, we were able to try all the dishes. Most of us ordered the highly recommended pasta, and it was divine! Rich and hearty ragu over perfectly al dente fluffy handmade pasta.

Sorry, didn’t take pictures of the other entrées. But I will say that the branzino was well-cooked with super crispy skin and some amazing balsamic greens. The chicken was perfectly cooked…my son said that the skin was so crispy and that he loved it. Everyone was happy with their choices.
Dessert was a choice of affogato or ricotta cheesecake. Get the cheesecake. It’s light and fluffy and rich all at the same time and topped with macerated blackberries.

We went along with the suggested Barolo to pair with dinner. It worked out very well with the pasta dish.
Service was attentive and excellent. Glasses were refilled without request.
It was a great night! Thanks, @honkman!


So glad you enjoyed it. We loved that charcuterie board as well.

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Glad to hear that you liked it - we also liked the table in front if the open kitchen which gave our daughter a lot of interaction with the chef, e.g. he brought out some broccoli flowers and other stuff for her to try (on a very busy Saturday night)