Have a friend making a week-long business trip to Santa Monica in the coming month and he's asked that I do a little research for him. His current favorite cuisines are sushi and Thai. He'll be expensing the whole trip so money shouldn't be too much of an issue. But he'll go to any dive if the food is good, too. (But please note, if you can, if a place doesn't take credit cards.)
So there are three things I'm looking forward:
1) Best Thai, especially that which is reasonably close to Santa Monica, eg, in Thai Town
2) Best Sushi, again especially that which is reasonably close to Santa Monica
3) Best restaurants of any kind in Santa Monica's immediate area, although my friend isn't big on any place that would require a tie (he works for a tech company) or that is too frou-frou.