10 Fantastic Restaurants For Techies In LA's Silicon Beach

More and more startups are setting up offices on Los Angeles’ west side, making the nickname “Silicon Beach” even more appropriate. Santa Monica and Venice in particular have grown to be tech hotspots — Google, Snapchat, and Whisper are just a few of the companies with offices there.

These communities are known for their proximity to the beach and laid-back lifestyle, but there’s a huge foodie scene there as well. Chefs at the area’s top restaurants source ingredients from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market nearby, and the juice movement is still going strong.

We’ve asked some of our friends working in Silicon Beach startups where they like to eat and drink in their neighbourhood. Whether it’s for a quick power lunch or after-work drinks, the focus is on fresh, high-quality ingredients they can enjoy on the go.

Gjelina

1429 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice

Gjelina has a menu of inventive small plates meant to be shared among groups. Diners especially rave about the pizzas -- options include a gruyere version served with caramelized onion, fromage blanc, and arugula, as well as one that comes with house-made chorizo, tomato, cream, fennel, and basil.

Though techies say they enjoy Gjelina for a power lunch, it's a popular spot for people in lots of different L.A. industries. Plenty of celebrity sightings have been reported here.

OpenTable recently named it one of the hottest restaurants in the country.

Bar Chloe

1449 Second Street, Santa Monica

Bar Chloe's intimate atmosphere makes this lounge an ideal spot for after-work dinner or drinks. There are lots of cozy details inside, including vintage bar stools, maroon upholstery, and backgammon boards anyone can use.

The menu features upscale comfort food like bruschetta and macaroni cheese, while the chamomile mai tai and a classic sazerac are highlights on the cocktail menu.

Lemonade

1661 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice

With more than 20 types of salads, eight pot roasts, and a huge variety of flavorful soups and side dishes, Lemonade is an innovative, if overwhelming, take on the cafeteria lunch. There are currently 13 southern California locations, but the brand is growing, and there's even one heading to Dubai soon.

Don't forget the lemonade -- there are six flavours to choose from daily.

Tender Greens

201 Arizona Avenue, Santa Monica

Tender Greens is fresh, high-quality food served at a fast-food pace, and techies love the restaurant's big salads and sandwiches for a quick power lunch. Everything is organic, as Tender Greens sources most of its fresh produce from Oxnard-based Scarborough Farms.

The chain operates 13 restaurants across California, but executive chefs have control over operations and menu items at each one, giving them all their own unique feel. Forbes recently named Tender Greens one of the country's most promising companies, and it plans to open five more locations soon.

Zinque

600 Venice Boulevard, Venice

This French restaurant has delicious coffee, tartines, and quiches, and techies say it's a laid-back place to get work done during the day.

Zinque is just as welcoming after 5 p.m., with an extensive wine and beer list to be enjoyed after a long day of work.

Sugarfish

1345 2nd Street, Santa Monica

This upscale sushi joint is known for its 'trust me' menus, a take on the traditional Japanese omakase that offers a preset assortment of rolls. You won't find any California rolls here -- the focus is on simple, traditional ingredients, and chef Kazunori Nozawa even makes his own soy sauce and ponzu in-house.

There are nine locations scattered around the Los Angeles area, including a pop-up test kitchen at the Santa Monica Farmer's Market.

Kreation Kafe

1023 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica

1202 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice

When Kreation Kafe first opened in Santa Monica ten years ago, the owners purchased all of their produce from the nearby farmer's market. As the business expanded, they began sourcing directly from local farms.

The menu skews towards Middle Eastern influences, with a heavy focus on organic ingredients. It's also known for their fresh-pressed juices, with five juiceries and a juice truck in addition to its two brick-and-mortar cafes.

Fig

101 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica

Up-and-coming chef Ray Garcia does a little bit of everything at this restaurant, located in Santa Monica's Fairmont Miramar Hotel. Fig's menu is wide-ranging, with vegetarian-friendly dishes like a spinach-leaf lasagna to a dish called 'bacon-wrapped bacon.'

Fig is also known for having one of Los Angeles' best happy hours, when everything on the menu is half price.

True Food Kitchen

395 Santa Monica Place, Suite 172, Santa Monica

For startups based around the Santa Monica Promenade, True Food is a nice, healthy lunch destination. Edamame dumplings and the bison burger are among the favourites on the menu.

It also has a selection of natural refreshments -- the Medicine Man, a blend of sea buckthorn, pomegranate, cranberry, black tea, and soda, is especially popular with guests.

True Food also has locations in Dallas, Denver, Atlanta, Phoenix, San Diego, Newport Beach, and Scottsdale.

The Bungalow

101 Wilshire Boulevard, Santa Monica

On weekend nights, the Bungalow -- a lounge on the grounds of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel -- gets packed with a casual, college-aged crowd, and lines to get inside can get long.

But during the week, it's a great place to grab casual after-work cocktails and watch the sun set over the Santa Monica Mountains. It was designed to look like an actual bungalow, and each room has its own unique vibe to offer, from the formal Study to the oak-filled State Room.

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