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We’ve had our boutique in Santa Monica for two years and we love its relaxed yet sophisticated vibe. Native New Yorkers that we are, every time we land in Santa Monica, we find another gem in the neighborhood. So, we thought we’d share. Next time you’re strolling Montana Avenue, do stop in our boutique and say hi. Our pug, Mr. Greenberg will be so happy to see you when he’s in town. And if he’s not, his portrait will.
Sleepy Jones 1318 Montana Ave.
Mid-century modern meets surf shack at Andy Spade, Anthony Sperduti and Chad Buri’s shop that centers around a crisp pajama collection. But the store also sells cool accessories, as well as quirky vintage items. This is a great go-to for gifts.
Clare V. 1318A Montana Ave.
Clare Vivier is as down-to-earth and funny as she is talented. Her cute shop offers signature bags and clutches, embedded with the aforementioned cheeky humor, but we have a soft spot for the messages of her t-shirts—“Folle Furieuse,” “Masculin/Feminin,” to name just two.
Giorgio Baldi 114 West Channel Road
Simply put, a Los Angeles institution. As impressive as the celebrity sighting odds are, the food is even better. The burratta is incomparable, and if you’re a truffle lover, their Ricciarelle al Tartufo is a must.
Tallula’s 118 Entrada Drive
Not sure if there is an actual Tallula, but someone in that kitchen makes a serious salsa, and the chips and tortillas are fresh-from-the-oven fantastic. Tallula’s swordfish tacos are a must, as are her chile rellenos, but be sure to make room for dessert, if sweet corn ice cream sundae with blueberry compote and caramel popcorn does to you what reading it on the menu does to us.
Beaming 1426 Montana Ave.
Should you prefer to be more virtuous in your dining but don’t want to forfeit flavor, Beaming is the answer. Vegans will love its acai bowls, salads, soups, juices and a rather impressive snack selection. Chocolate Avocado Mousse for two, please…
Sidecar Doughnuts 631 Wilshire Blvd.
Bomb-ass donuts, with outrageously thoughtful flavors like basil eggs, benedict, maple bacon and cookie dough. Just be prepared to wait in line, so wear sunscreen.
Caffe Luxxe 925 Montana Ave.
The artistic presentation of their capuccinos is only surpassed by the taste (there’s also an impressive selection of loose leaf teas, should that be more your thing). The atmosphere is chill, friendly, and ideal for hanging out—families sit next to first dates, business meetings or screenwriters.
Aero Theatre 1328 Montana Ave.
Step into history, literally and figuratively at this 1940’s movie theatre that’s been restored with as much care and thought as its film lineups. Classics and indies are usually the genre, but the likelihood of a feature being attached to a live talk with the director afterwards is wonderfully high.
Gloveworx 1415 Wilshire Blvd.
If a tough workout is what you’re looking for, this is the place. Reliable sources tell us that this is the hardest workout in town. And that’s enough for us to both recommend it.
Exir 1134 Montana Ave.
This is one of those places where you walk in and wish your home looked as cool—or that you won the lottery so you could buy everything in the place. For the time being, start with their wooden bowls or cheese plates. Or glasses. Or vases.
Lost & Found Home 2000 Main St.
Owner Jamie Rosenthal manages to find the perfect everything: French bed linens, chambray tablecloths, comfy pillows. If you like what you see, check out Jamie’s other Lost & Founds (clothing and kids) just down the street.
Guidi Marcello 1649 10th St.
Slightly off the beaten path, located in a warehouse in the industrial part of town, this Italian import shop is a gastronome’s paradise. Great finds, from olive oils, fresh mozzarella, Sicilian tuna fish (they even sell bottarga!), real parmigianno reggiano, black licorice and an impressive wine selection, is all here. Truly, a hidden gem.
The Now 2407 Main St.
The Now has managed to put great massage in a no-frills atmosphere (you are separated from the other patrons by only a curtain) that’s also chic and calming, thanks to billowing curtains, white-washed walls and beach-waves sound system that drown out the fact that Main Street is mere steps away. Try The Stretch, The Roots (lower leg and feet) or, our personal favorite, The (head and neck-focused) Crown.
By: Jane Larkworthy