Bar Recommendation: 31Ten in Santa Monica

12 Apr

31Ten in Santa Monica is literally located at 3110 Main Street, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Despite the fact that its name should make locating this bar a piece of cake, it is actually hidden towards the back of a building, where you need to climb up a few steps to get to the main entrance. It looks like this:

I realize that aside from the lush flowers, it doesn’t look like much. But once you get inside, 31Ten looks like this:

And this:

And this:

The best time to go is 8:30PM on a Saturday. The reasons are two-fold: 1.) You will get in immediately and avoid an increasingly huge line waiting outside. 2.) You will get in immediately and avoid an increasingly huge line waiting outside.

I’m not kidding. At 8:30PM, things are just warming up. You’re guaranteed to get the food and drinks you want in a timely manner, and you’re probably going to enjoy having a bar stool to rest your tush on for an hour or two. Once the clock strikes 10:00PM, though, it gets extremely crowded and the bar will need to remove all the stools to make room for more people. And honestly, I can see why this venue is growing quite popular among the Los Angeles nightlife.

Tucked away in Santa Monica, it is surrounded by boutique stores, authentic cuisine restaurants, a plethora of hotels, bars, and pubs, and it is within walking distance from the beach. Although most of the bar consists of a patio, it boasts an indoor area, numerous heat lamps, a pretty huge fire pit (See that blast of light surrounded by trees and located to the center-left side of the 2nd photo? That’s the fire pit). I was there last weekend, when the winds were particular nippy and the ocean breeze wasn’t helping. Once I stepped inside 31Ten, I had to take my jacket off and I regretted wearing a turtleneck as opposed to a little black dress like all the other ladies.

As for the bar, they have wonderful specialty cocktails (such as a white sangria) and a wide selection of wines and beers. Their menu is very good, but I would have to say that the best deal is their $10.00 Margherita pizza. Not only is it delicious (the cheese and sauce are amazing), but the pizza comes in a pretty good size for the price. The other tasty appetizers, however, run small especially during happy hour. In example, grilled tuna sliders come as only two pieces during happy hour, and three pieces during normal hours. The size of these pieces? Probably 2.5 inches across! Granted, it is an appetizer, but for $8.00 it’s a bit steep. The main entrees on the menu include such fair as steak and seared scallops. These are on the pricier side, but the taste and presentation, along with the ambiance, justify the price.

The atmosphere is great: wonderful club and lounge music played at just the right volume, lovely trees and flowers, and romantic candlelight everywhere. This is a perfect place for couples to stoke the “fires” and dance, and for singles to snatch-up a number or two. But like I said, you may want to come a little early to avoid waiting to get past the bouncer.

Scale: OMG I CAN DIE NOW -> Pretty Awesome -> Good -> Okay -> Yikes! -> RUNAWAY!

FOOD: Pretty Awesome
AMBIANCE: Pretty Awesome

DISCLAIMER: Photos are not mine. I poached them from Google images.



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2 responses to “Bar Recommendation: 31Ten in Santa Monica

  1. Cree

    April 20, 2011 at 2:14 am

    Wow, the pictures make it look really inviting. I’ll have to wait ’till my brother’s 21 later this year and drag him there with me. hehe. How is the parking?

    • bettyvine

      April 20, 2011 at 4:29 am

      Parking is a bit of a challenge depending on the time of day. For instance, if you go on a weekday, around 7:00PM, the traffic will be nasty, but the bar will be empty and there will be parking spaces available. It’s the opposite on a weekend, but I wouldn’t go any earlier than 8:30PM without feeling like a loner at the 31Ten. It really comes alive when the sun goes down. 🙂

      As for more parking, you can valet at the front for $8.00 and there are a bunch of loading zones you can park at after 6:00PM (I think). On the times I’ve went, my s.o. and I either got street parking or a loading zone right in front of the bar. Of course, we tend to get in before other people arrive.


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