Gastronomy 101, a blog about food and Los Angeles restaurants

LOS ANGELES: Hidden Los Angeles Part 7a: Tracy's Picks

Our next set of Hidden Los Angeles destinations comes from Tracy, also a recent MBA, educational consultant, poet, and supermodel. These are more Westside picks, which I am happy to have, since that's like a whole different country to me, so rarely do I find myself over that way.

Tracy helpfully grouped her picks into categories for me, and since she has quite a few, I will leave them that way. I will also post her picks in separate posts, so as not to create a mammoth post.


Joe's Diner: Tracy picks Joe's as just a good old-fashioned diner, with kind of an NYC feel to it. It's located on Main Street in Santa Monica, so it seems like a good place to get your breakfast on in the morning before shopping, or to fill your stomach with alcohol-soaking foods in the evening before drinking. The internet review roundup consensus indicates that this is a great little local place with food that's decent although a little pricey. Looking at examples of the prices, I would say it's the same as anything in the area. It always pains me to go to breakfast in Santa Monica so I would say you're not going to get a worse deal here than anywhere else nearby.

Joe's Diner
2917 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA
(310) 392-5804
Cholada Thai: Tracy picks Cholada for its delicious Thai food in a laid-back setting that's not scene-y, even though it's in Malibu. Cholada is right on the beach in the type of little shack you would expect to find tacos or burgers. The menu consists of the usual Thai favorites, and there's a lunch special if you're able to take a weekday jaunt to the beach.

Foodie Universe gives it a thumbs up. It also won the AOL Cityguide award for Best Surfside Dining. Do not confuse it with Cholada Thai in Ventura, which once was affiliated but now has been taken over by different owners.

Cholada Thai Beach Cuisine
18763 Pacific Coast Highway
Malibu, CA
(310) 317-0025

Chez Jay's: Tracy heads to Chez Jay's for old-school food. Not necessarily for a gourmand, she explains, but it has a funky atmosphere with a good jukebox and it's a bar as well. Chez Jay has been parked in its spot in Santa Monica for almost 50 years. It offers good old-fashioned surf and turf for your dining pleasure and prides itself on being a "celebrity dive." Also on being a "well-known hideaway," so I guess oxymorons are their specialty.

They also have to go and throw in their about section, a tidbit about one of their peanuts going to the moon. But you have to go visit the restaurant to find out the story. Damn you, Chez Jay's! I want to know about the peanut! Luckily, the LA Times provides me with the story, without my having to truck my butt to Santa Monica.

Chez Jay Restaurant
1657 Ocean Avenue
Santa Monica, CA
(310) 395-1741


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