Downtown Santa Monica isn’t exactly lacking in Italian options, which is why we’re fans of Massilia’s mix of French/Italian/Moroccan flavors. Yes, there’s meaty spaghetti Bolognese and bruschetta, but there’s also fluffy couscous with merguez sausage and lamb, fat Spanish meatballs in spicy tomato sauce you’ll want to sop up with grilled sourdough, and a lamb shank braised for eight hours until its soft, marinated meat basically collapses off the bone. The perfect Sunday afternoon is spent on Massilia’s leafy outdoor patio, designed to echo Europe’s alfresco dining vibes, while sipping on one of their excellent negronis. Don’t miss a weekday happy hour from 4–6:30 pm, which offers $5 off cocktails, $4 off glasses of wine, and an array of tasty nibbles (like quiche bites and calamari) all under $10.
How to book: Make reservations online or order pickup via one of the options on their website.