The sounds of agony and distress were unavoidable and frightening.

My neighbor rushed to my rescue.  It wasn’t pretty.

What seemed like minutes…hours…days…passed before I could muster the strength to finally say aloud, “Conny Andersson has left AK!!  What will we EAT NOW?”

Chef Connie was my FaceBook “friend!”  I was inconsolable.

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Just a few short years ago, I refused to even visit the west side of Los Angeles. 

What would I DO?  Where would I EAT?

Forget about it! 

Until now, that is…

I like to believe that good karma – and good restaurants – follow me where ever I go.  And so, as I moved to Santa Monica, suddenly we westsiders (I like to pretend that I am a westsider now) have an embarrassment of riches.  Alas, to the layman it probably appears that I brought some spectacularly talented chefs and some extraordinary restaurants to the west side with me.  I know that I shouldn’t really attempt to accept credit, but….well,  I am.  It can NOT just be coincidence that as soon as I arrived, so did the restaurants.

Just this week, we will enjoy the opening of the Blue Plate Oysterette, from the chef & owner of ritzy Montana Ave’s Blue Plate Diner.  I eat about 1/3 of my weekly lunches at Blue Plate, and I am likely to enjoy just as many dinners at the new place.  Modeled after an east coast oyster shack, I can almost taste my first lobster roll now. 

Just down Ocean Avenue, one of LA’s greatest French chefs, Jean Francois Meteigner, has just opened the doors to the La Cachette Bistro.  The left side of town has suffered unwarranted punishment with the obvious lack of a great French bistro!  It’s almost impossible to get a designated driver to travel downtown to fav Church & State.  Now, we can only smile at the dream of wobbling home from La Cachette in a happy haze of pate and escargot. 

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The Fairmont Hotel recently opened Fig and we Cannot. Get. Enough.  Delicious, creative cooking in beautiful surroundings.  This place has studied the details of dining, right down to the white covers for the televisions, enabling them to blend into the white brick walls when not in use.  The chef arrived in Santa Monica via The French Laundry.  And it shows.

Many of our favorites over the past few months include SEED, Gjelina, Tavern, Cache & Riva, and the old school favorites that just keep knockin ‘em outta the park – Joe’s, Bar Pintxo, Border Grill, Melisse, Vincenti, Drago, Josie and JiRaffe.  I should also mention the only business whose doors I darken daily: Intelligentsia Venice - Not so much a coffee shop, as a celebration of all things caffeinated.  Pricey and worth every penny, teeny tiny old school shots of caffeine that could easily become the most delicious part of your day.  That is, if you don’t have time for lunch.  Or dinner.

So many places to eat.  So little time. 

What’s a boy on a diet to do?

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Note to the gentle reader:  Need a holiday?  A staycation? A great date spot? A reprieve from the heat and smoke of the city?

Come visit us on the west side.  We are now accepting visitors!

I’m thinking of selling my car….and settling in…