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: 11801 Ventura Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 91604 (Map) - Tel:(818) 623-8883
In May of 1999, Bill Chait, Danilo Terribili and chef Jeff Sladicka partnered to open this Studio City restaurant specializing in mesquite-grilled meat and seafood. The second floor hosts a sleek black lounge and a dining room framed by wine racks, but the real action is downstairs, in a boisterous dining room with views of the exhibition kitchen. At lunch, expect to find entertainment execs. During the week, Spark draws locals, and on weekends, it’s a dater’s playground. Signature dishes include Roman-style pizzas, grilled Atlantic salmon, and steaks. No matter what you order, save room for the house-baked apple walnut cobbler.
Address: 617 South Olive Street, Los Angeles, CA 90014 (Map) - Tel:(213) 488-9488
Adelmo Zarif’s restaurant has occupied a dazzling Art Deco space in downtown’s historic core since moving from West Hollywood in May 1997. Cicada fills the bottom two stories of the Oviatt Building, featuring towering mahogany pillars, plenty of gold, and pristine white tablecloths. Cicada is a fine-dining establishment that’s especially popular for birthdays, weddings and the occasional marriage proposal. Tokyo native Suzay Cha prepares northern Italian cuisine with Asian accents. The menu changes twice a year, but typically includes Ahi Tuna Tartar with Avocado, Piquillo Peppers and Wasabi Caviar and Pappardelle with Filet Mignon Bolognese Sauce.