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eating alone on the westside

  • t

Every once in a while, I get to eat totally alone in a real restaurant -- without the kids. You cannot believe how wonderful this is, to read a book and actually be able to taste the food in quiet rather than worry about the kids acting up, etc. Do you guys have any suggestions about where to eat where I will not be looked on with pity OR get terrible service because I am a woman eating alone? In the westside, please -- and I like almost all kinds of food, and prefer "ethnic" food (middle eastern, mexican, etc.)
TIA!

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  1. I doubt anybody would think twice about someone eating alone at Monte Alban or Juquila, which are both Oaxacan places. Also, you could probably eat alone at the bar at Ford's Filling Station, but that might be more hustle-and-bustle than you care for if you want to read a book. Lastly, you might consider some of the sushi options on the westside (Sushi Zo, Hide Sushi, Sasabune, Kiriko, etc.) because they typically have sushi bars where it is easy to eat alone without getting any pitiful looks from passers-by.

    3 Replies
    1. re: glutton

      I've got to veto Juquila. It would be a fine place to eat alone and it would be quiet, but frankly the food stinks! All of the sauces are sour and the prices, while cheap, also mean that they use less than top quality ingredients. I only go there because it is open late and can accomodate groups easily, but if you are treating yourself to a rare dinner occassion, you might as well have good food to enjoy too.

      1. re: GI Joe

        juquila is awful! i have tried to eat there a couple times and the service was bad, they charged me wrong and i hated the food. it was almost bad on purpose.

        1. re: jbelle

          Thanks for setting the record straight... I was reacting to the stellar review in the LA Times last week. They made it sound just as good, or better, than Monte Alban. Apparently, it is not. I'll take your review before I take the LA Times review...

    2. Dining alone is fun! I never get "pitiful" looks when I do it. I actually find it a rare, exciting way to meet new people, especially celebrities.

      I don't know of too many ethnic restaurants on the westside. However, I have found that sushi bars are the best bet to carry a conversation with strangers, or simply have a good book in hand and savor a fabulous meal. That said, it depends on what kind of Japanese restaurant - Mako is tapas-style; places like Sushi Sasabune are more authentic; Takao is more in the middle, with fusion.

      Whatever you decide, I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time - alone or not.

      2 Replies
      1. re: chica

        I'm a woman, and I eat alone all the time. I enjoy it, and have never felt I was being given pitiful looks.

        There are lots of good places on Sawtelle, you can just wander along and see what you like. Take in the shops, too.

        In Westwood, try Angelina's Cafe on Kinross - it's a tiny hole in the wall with great italian sandwiches. Or go south of Wilshire and take in the persian restaurants along the east side of Westwood Blvd. There is supposed to be a great Persian sandwich place here I haven't been to yet --- maybe I'll run into you there!

        Monte Alban is a good place, too. The staff is very gracious to a single diner.

        1. re: g

          That great Persian Sandwich shop with a very enjoyable outdoor courtyard where too many camp out all afternoon is:

          Atari Sandwiches
          1388 Westwood Blvd., #103
          Westwood
          (310) 441-5488

          The entrance is actually on that side street right behind Soleil, or better, just due North from the 7-11.

      2. Dining alone is fun! I never get "pitiful" looks when I do it. I actually find it a rare, exciting way to meet new people, especially celebrities.

        I don't know of too many ethnic restaurants on the westside. However, I have found that sushi bars are the best bet to carry a conversation with strangers, or simply have a good book in hand and savor a fabulous meal. That said, it depends on what kind of Japanese restaurant - Mako is tapas-style; places like Sushi Sasabune are more authentic; Takao is more in the middle, with fusion.

        Whatever you decide, I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time - alone or not.

        1 Reply
        1. re: chica

          actually Sushi Zo would be a nice addition and it's not too noisy yet, so you can read your book in peace if that's what you're after.

          i do eat alone often and do enjoy it, though sometimes really pretentious places are not as comfortable.

          one of my new faves for coffee shop/diner food is Cora's Coffee shop, you might get a little ocean breeze too.

          Also, mako is great, you're inton counter action and watching the chefs do there thing.

          musso and frank for martinis and flannel cakes, although i haven't been in years.

          there are a lot of others, but right now drawing a brain freeze.

        2. Counter dining is the answer! For terrific Lebanese try Sunnin. For an over the top experience sit at the bar at Josie's - food's the best, Frank would love to anyone with wine choices and the back room is great. The other post is spot on about Mako - everything is awesome if you like "tapanese" portions of duck, sake salmon, lobster and rack of lamb. Cheers

          1. Orris and Nook are both great places to eat alone: excellent food quality, nice beverage selection and small plates available. If you live nearby, Violet is a good bet too - go on a weeknight and sit at their bar; its chef will design a tasty menu for you. (prob not worth a long drive though)

            1 Reply
            1. re: Elissa

              I ditto Nook--I used to eat at their bar frequently last year and always met nice people--also the communal table. Orris I love but have not been there alone, but there is also a great bar there and you can watch the chefs work. If you consider Beverly Drive (Bev Hills) westside--Mako also has a nice bar overlooking the kitchen and you could probably chat with Mako himself (he's a hottie by the way and a great guy and he's always there--lunch or dinner). Mako is also small plates at dinner and just about my favorite restaurant in all of L.A. If you go early esp. on a weeknight, you will feel very comfortable eating there at a table (I did). I think AOC would probably be fine for eating at the bar as well or maybe the cheese bar would be even better.

            2. I eat out alone too and love great food, a great glass of wine and being comfortable eating alone...Josie's has a great back bar you can sit at - only about 6 seats. Usually a few people there eating alone also. Mako in BH has a small bar (eating, not drinking bar) grab one of the far left seats. one of my favorite restaurants in town