My brother, father and I are in LA for the first time, staying in Santa Monica. Where could we go for dinner tonight on short notice? Any type of cuisine is OK; doesn't have to be in Santa Monica but it shouldn't be too far; something quintessentially LA would be cool.
Where else should we go while we're in town? We like to hit up non-fancy, extremely chow-ish lunch spots and the like.
Quintessential LA with no reservations in Santa Monica? Try the Border Grill on 4th St. Interesting Nuevo Latino by the "Two Hot Tamales"--also good margaritas.
For chowish lunch spots, there are just too many to list here. Search the board--you'll come up with a ton.
Border Grill is great! But for really good margaritas (the no fuss kind - on the rocks with salt on the rim) go to El Cholo on Wilshire. www.elcholo.com. Nearest cross street is 11th, the restaurant is on the North side of the street. Great mexican food (not tex-mex), delicious tortilla soup. These guys have been around since 1923! History-wise, it doesn't get more 'quintessentially LA' than that.
Well... how about Tommy's chiliburgers on the corner of Pico and Lincoln in SM? Open 24hrs. That is VERY LA.
Nate and Al's in Beverly Hills might be a good spot for L.A.'s version of upscale deli (Larry King supposedly eats breakfast there every day.)