My friends and I (8 of us) live down in Orange County, but we are coming up up to Santa Monica for a getaway weekend (yay!). We are looking for a fancy, tasty, and exciting restaurant that will help us really feel like we're on vacation. We're looking for something around $20-$30 a plate (with extra for drinks, appetizers, tip, etc.). We want to get dressed up and feel (for a night at least) like we are young(er) and even a little hip. It doesn't need to be a crazy scene or anything, but something we'll talk about for awhile afterward.
We need a place we can make reservations. We don't want to go more than 30 minutes from, say, the Santa Monica pier, and it would be better if is was closer to 20 minutes.
This is actually our second year for this Mom Weekend, and last year some very helpful hounds sent us to Abode. We really liked it and had a great time, even thought the servings were really small and pretty expensive.
Thanks ahead, for the help!