Arriving about 8 hours too late to the set of the Price is Right (no joke, those “we love bob barker” blue hairs line up at SIX AM for noon tapings!), fellow writers Donovan and Alex and I figured we’d adventure down the coast a bit from the gay-bour-hood to find some patio action for our lunch. Loving the promenade on Santa Monica- mostly for the Pink Berry as far as Donovan is concerned- we headed South West and found ourselves in front of the luxurious and beach-hugging Huntley Hotel. The entrance smacks you with a little too much fresh flower waft but once you get accustomed to the “grandma’s house”-esque scent, you see how severely underdressed you are. That is assuming you walk in wearing flip flops and a vintage T with a sailboat on it like I did ;) But, the staff will kindly direct you to the elevator and right up to the top of the hotel where the appropriately named restaurant “Penthouse” can be found.

We got there mid-day on a Monday so the clientèle was few and varied: some “hardy, midwesterners” up for the week because Disney must have had some 4$ off coupon, a couple business meetings about something too boring for this nosey writer to care to listen in on and a woman who had spent more time getting ready that morning than it took us to drive there from 60 blocks away. Basically, my worries about my faded shirt and open toe shoes quickly flew by the wayside. Sitting in a booth for 6, the three of us spread out along the South-West facing window and had a spectacular view of the Santa Monica promenade and the beach going off into a Steven King-esque mist. The view is definitely a big seller for this place and it was agreed upon that it would make a killer birthday venue to rent out and go nuts at 20 stories above the streets. White walls, white upholstery, white settings, the place was a scene from an 80s soap opera “I’m having a near death experience and am dinning in heaven with my dead Grandpa” shot- but a little less kitsch ;)

The staff was of course very friendly and attentive- but not overly so- so that was definitely appreciated. Still, the big seller of this place is the food. Extremely reasonably priced and a fair-sized menu, sandwiches got for between 11-15$ and salads with protein around the same. Entrees were about 5 bucks more and sounded delicious. We each got a sandwhich (mine the chicken, pesto and roasted red peppers) and we anxiously awaited to see A) if it was going to be one of “those” LA places that serve a tablespoon of food and call it a meal or B) if we were gonna get a side with our ‘wiches cause it didn’t say either way on the menu. Final result: pleasantly appeased on both accounts.

The portions were great in size- nothing Cheesecake Factory big thank god though- and our fries came in funnel type wax paper and they were amazeballs. While I can bore you stories of how great my chicken was, the runaway lead of this meal was definitely the super skinny fries. Not all of us finished our main dish, but those crispy fried potatoes didn’t stand a chance.

Overall, a definite thumbs up for me as my first official meal in LA this trip and I absolutely recommend this joint to anyone looking to dine it up while in Santa Monica and have a cheap, amazing view while doing it!

(Click here to see the menu)

(Click here to see a virtual tour)