Address: 1212 3rd Street Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (Map) - Tel:(310) 576-9996
Dining at the Monsoon Café is a relaxing, spiritual experience provided by a unique atmosphere and fresh food. Even before diners walk through the door they are hypnotized by a pair of soothing yet intriguing eyes that adorn the front of the restaurant. The restaurant itself looks like a two story Eastern temple high ceilings and dazzling lighting fixtures, with lots of gold trim adorning columns and walls alike. There is plenty of seating in an open courtyard, with plenty of shade for even the sunniest days. Night is an exciting time at the Monsoon Café, with Salsa lessons and performances on Wednesdays and Saturdays and DJ battles on Friday nights.
Address: 55 North La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90211 (Map) - Tel:(310) 652-7673
If your idea of a great meal is garlic, garlic, and more garlic, head to Restaurant Row on La Cienega and visit The Stinking Rose. Executive Chef and owner Andrea Froncillo has created a garlic lover’s paradise, featuring great food in a wildly fun, garlic-themed atmosphere. Fantastic for large parties, the restaurant boasts a varied menu with specialties including roasted crab, prime rib, pastas, and giant tureens of steamed clams, all bathed in garlic. Don’t forget to visit "Dracula’s Grotto," one of many ornately decorated rooms, and to try Gilroy’s Famous Garlic Ice Cream.
Address: 453 Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, CA 92660 (Map) - Tel:(949) 640-7697
Nested in the center Newport’s ritzy Fashion Island, Roy’s offers a high-end dining experience which combines the freshest Pacific ingredients with European culinary techniques and Asian spices. While the service is not always spectacular, the food speaks for itself, from perfect lobster potstickers to perfect scallops to a dangerously palatable Hawaiian-style cosmopolitan. The atmosphere is dressy, yet comfortable, with a hipster musical playlist, older women wearing Chanel and pearls, and young girls in trendy boutique dresses. This is less of a place to be seen or treated like royalty, and more of a place to enjoy quality cuisine.