Shane's Restaurant, Main Street, Santa Monica - Late nights venue with a difference

From the outside it would be difficult to discern the difference between this restaurant and most others.  However Shane's has some hidden secrets and obviously some talent behind the operation. Angel, one of the family owners, is obviously an extremely capable influence in this highly successful venue.  The place has scarcely been open nine months. It's difficult to conceive this considering its obvious popularity.

Larry and Angel (Ed meets an Angel).

Our editor Larry, the big hungry looking guy whose mug shot appears right next to the beautiful Angel, could hardly believe his eyes as some of the platters wafted by.   This entire happening was quite by chance as we toured Santa Monica/Venice last Friday eve looking for ... well, I can't say exactly what, but we did find this interesting restaurant.

The first clue that something is going on is stark.  As we approached down Main Street, the line outside the door had already formed.  Through the front windows we  could see the diners and many others at the bar already enjoying the "Scene" at  Shane's after Sundown.

On weekend nights this is a lively oasis.  The Pico end of Main Street is otherwise deserted once the daily bustle has past and evening falls.  However there was not a single car park space available on the street near the restaurant.  This was quickly and easily overcome by the discovery of an opening right next door leading to a well-lit, ensuite, huge street-level car park.  Mind you the meters expressed their own feeding requirements and we had to throw a few 25c coins into their ever-open jaws.  It was still quite early, around 9:30 p.m.. We were greeted with a friendly smile by the polite door staff. 

A quick scan on entering revealed that this was the hip place to be on Friday Night.  Every table was occupied with diners and there was little available space at the well stocked bar.  Well dressed casual but obviously upwardly mobile people mingled comfortably, some gyrating to the pop music being played audibly through the PA system.  The girls, above average in numbers for such venues, looked spectacular and this is obviously a meeting place to be at the weekends.

A real meeting Place.

The beauty of the people aside, it was the plentiful platters that caught Larry's hungry eye, even though most were disappearing into the rear of the restaurant.  Larry's  eyes immediately focused intensely on one particular platter.  "I'll have to have some of that," he mused as he pulled a waitress aside.  He then asked unreservedly, "What was that? ..... What was on those plates that just went by?"

We followed the platters, which disappeared into another room in the rear of the restaurant.  This is in fact the patio area.  It has a rustic hue and is open yet well sheltered from the elements.  Obviously this is where you can smoke if you really must!  It's a real big bonus for the many who do.  This is the party room with some table configurations catering for up to 20 diners.  The DJ plays popular music to eat and dance to, just loud enough to create a party atmosphere but not totally spoil the art of conversation.  The entire area is candle lit giving this part of the restaurant a romantic yet lively ambiance well suited to couples getting to know each other or already well acquainted as well as the party people.

We returned immediately to the front desk where Matthew, the affable Maitre D' and manager,  informed us that there was an hour's waiting list for food.  After a few whispers in the right ears we were seated within 20 minutes or so, much to Larry's delight.  He could hardly wait to get his teeth into his meal despite having proclaimed not to be hungry before entering the restaurant.

The menus displayed a good range of appetizers, entrees and deserts all reasonably priced.  However the great value here lies in the quality   of the food, and the unusual way it is served.  I had the shrimp appetizer.  It came on skewers accompanied with a flaming burner.  What a great idea! You can cook the shrimp to your own perfection...... quasi-fondue style.  Be careful though, don't burn your fingers!  Our Larry couldn't wait to get his teeth into his 1 1/2 inch thick Pork Chop.  This was served with sweet mashed potatoes and an apricot sauce........ this is obviously a house specialty.  He followed it quickly with a treacle pudding with ice cream on top.  The desert, of which he only allowed me to taste but one small morsel, was WOW! 

I've never seen our Editor look so content. He was extremely polite, giving lots of praise to everyone and everything in sight.  He even stumped up the entire bill with a smile on his face.  It gave a whole new meaning to the words, "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach."

Our beautiful and friendly waitress, had the biggest smile on her face as she politely told us to enjoy the rest of our evening.  The bill for two with wine came to a very reasonable $60  including tax and tip.

We returned to the front of the restaurant to mingle with the beautiful people.  Everyone appeared to be having fun.  This is the area of the restaurant where the more casual diners socialize.

All in all this makes for an interesting, enjoyable and inexpensive place to dine, dance a little and press the flesh.  This is a very friendly and popular venue at the weekends for late 'nighters'.  A worthwhile visit not only for those who are hungry, (although not for the "fast food" variety more readily available late at night) but also for those who just want to enjoy meeting others in a casual yet upscale friendly venue.

For dinner reservations telephone (310) 396-4122........... 

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