6 Santa Monica Restaurants Jonathan Gold Loves and How to Get to Them Without Your Car
November 1, 2017 2:30 PM
by Jack Moreau
Once again, Jonathan Gold picked 6 Santa Monica mainstays for his list of 101 best restaurants. Whether you live, work, or play in the city, it’s always good to have the best food a few steps away. But before you order the egg custard with sea urchin, prefix menus of truffle pasta and aged duck breast, fried chicken sandwiches, and fine Italian wines – why not consider how will you get there and back?
Don’t let traffic and parking sour your palate, Santa Monica provides many ways to move you to your destination stress free. Riding bikes, relaxing on the Expo Line, and hopping a Big Blue Bus are all easy methods for going out in evenings without being tethered to an automobile. Unfamiliar with the new routines? This list will tell you how to get to Jonathan’s favorite restaurants in California metropolitan style.
Cassia & Erven
Getting to two of Downtown’s best restaurants by bike is a piece of cake. Bike lanes on Arizona Ave. and Broadway stretch from Ocean to Centinela avenues, connecting through the Mid-City neighborhood. There are also lanes on 7th and 6th streets, providing connections to Wilmont. There are bike racks and a Breeze station conveniently located right in front of Cassia. Or, take the Expo Line to Downtown Santa Monica and walk just 10 minutes up 5th street. Myriad Big Blue Bus lines stop nearby, including routes 1, 10, 18 at Santa Monica/6th, route 2 at Wilshire/6th, route 3 at Arizona/5th, routes 5 and 9 at Santa Monica/4th, and route 8 at Broadway/4th.
Rustic Canyon & Mélisse
Dine at these two adjacent hot spots for ultra-seasonal vegetables sourced from Santa Monica’s farmers markets. Bike lanes on California Ave. stretch from Ocean Ave. to 17th Street and Arizona Ave. from Ocean to Centinela avenues, connecting Downtown Santa Monica through the Mid-City and Wilmont neighborhood. Bike lanes are also available on 11th Street from San Vicente Blvd. to Marine Street. Park your bike at a rack out front or use the Breeze Bike Share station around the corner on 11th Street (in front of El Cholo). If you prefer the bus, take Big Blue Bus Route 2 to Wilshire /11th or Route 41/42 to Wilshire/14th.
Michael's Santa Monica
A short walk from the 3rd Street Promenade, Michael’s is a great place to meet up with friends. Bike lanes on California Ave. run from Ocean Ave. to 17th Street, Main/2nd Street from Montana Ave. to Venice, and Arizona Ave. from Ocean to Centinela avenues. Bike racks are located right out front and the nearest Breeze Bike Share station is at Wilshire Blvd. and 2nd Street. Take Big Blue Bus routes 2 and 9 to Wilshire/4th. Ride routes 1, 3, 5, or 10 to Santa Monica/4th. Or take route 8 to Broadway/3rd. If you’re coming from the east, ride the Metro Expo Line to Downtown Santa Monica station, then walk about 15 minutes up the 3rd Street Promenade.
Set back off Pico Blvd., Valentino serves up decadent, romantic classic Italian dinners. Get to Valentino via Expo Bike Path, a fully separated roadway for bicycles, pedestrians, skateboards, and scooters. Bike lanes on Pearl and 28th streets connect through Sunset Park. Big Blue Bus route 7 runs frequently up and down Pico Boulevard--hop off at Pico/33rd or Pico/30th. Park your bike at a rack out front or use the Breeze Bike Share stations located on Pico Blvd. at 29th Street or 34th Street.