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good casual places on Westside for regular rotation?

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Hi there hounds,
I have lived in West Hollywood for the last 5 years and have recently moved to Pacific Palisades, where I seem to be the only person who isn't blond, doesn't have a kid, and makes (a lot) less than a million dollars a year. Please help me find some good inexpensive places to keep up my old habit of going out to eat all the time... I like burgers and tacos as much as the next person but ideally I'd like to find good breakfast/brunch places, sandwich/salad/soup places, cafes with good food, and pretty much any other casual-to-moderate places you can imagine - I eat everything. Everything delicious, that is.

If you live on the Westside, please let me know the places you go to on a regular basis. And by Westside, in general I mean the West side of the 405, maybe a mile or two past it (ie Westwood), and the north side of the 10, a mile or two past it (ie Venice).

Thanks!!

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  1. Thing to Remember - There are NO great restaurants in the Palisades's shopping center on Sunset. The ones there survive because they're convenient and have a large captive marketplace.

    I use to live in the Palisades for over 30 years and when the subject came up 6 years ago with similarly experienced Palisadian diners on "What's the best restaurant in Town for the Money" the agreed answer then was:

    Tivoli Cafe
    15306 Sunset Blvd.
    Corner of Swarthmore & Sunset
    (310) 459-7685

    I haven't been back to Tivoli in 6 years so? And by "Town" that excluded the Santa Monica Canyon and therefore Giorgio Baldi: which is not $$$$ friendly but does serve some wonderful food.

    Dante on Swarthmore - is a your average friendly neighborhood Italian which I use to go to at least 3 times a month. They've been there over 20 (?) years and I always ordered the same thing which I trained them to make "Exactly" the way I liked it - That's how local spots survive, even thrive, by responding and catering to their loyal and frequent customers. No Sushi Nazis!!!!

    I use to get a Chciken Tostada to go from Kay & Daves, that I improved with a few condiments at home from time to time, that was satisfying and affordable. Had pretty tasty, not very firey, Salsa which for me I poured liberally over the Tostada.

    15246 Sunset Blvd.
    (310) 459-8118

    You'll also be the beneficiary of agruably The "BEST" Market anywhere in L.A. - Gelson's (on Sunset in the central shopping center). Explore what that market has to offer.

    If you live further east, like in the Riviera section, then go to 26th and San Vicente and try Nagao {451-7733} for Sushi (o.k., not great) and many unique Japanese Salads. Nearby, and up a notch or two $$$-wise, is Chez Mimi for Country French {393-0558}.

    I realize you stated you'd be willing to drive farther, but you'll appreciate knowing of some decent spots closer to home.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JBC

      thanks for the close-by recommendations!!

    2. We love Jinkys in SM for breakfast/brunch
      Nagao for sushi and salads
      The Counter on Ocean Park for burgers
      Rosti on Montana
      Sunny Grill on Venice Blvd. for AMAZING "fast food" from burgers to Gyros to salmon..3 people can eat there for under 15 dollars!

      1. Well, for dinner, you should try the Golden Bull just east of Georgio Baldi in the canyon, especially for their Wed. night prime rib special. Yet, most all of the food is quite good, the menu is a collection of greatest hits of yesteryear, and it represents very good value in this day.
        http://www.goldenbull.us/Dinner.Menu.htm
        Other places might include Bay Cities on Lincoln for fixin's, sandwiches, etc., the Whole Foods Mkt. in either Brentwood or on Wilshire at 23rd.(preferred for pkg. if no other reason), Compartes Chocolate for not inexpensive but superb chocolate on Barrington about one-block south of San Vicente, Divino for dinner just off Sunset at Barrington(in same cul-de-sac as Starbux), and Belwood Bakery on the east side of Barrington in that same area for all your morning needs if you are not otherwise headed for Amadine at 12225 Wilshire for morning and lunch wonderfulness.
        Not necessarily the cheapest places, but all represent good value, which in that neighborhood is a relative term.
        For Oaxacan Mexican food, Monte Alban, Juquila, Guelaguetza and Tlapazola Grill will all do fine. Other places would include the Talpa, Lares, Chan Dara, Violet, Bombay Cafe on Pico's restaurant row, between Barrington and the Santa Monica city boundary.

        1. We like Maria's Kitchen for Italian. Good carbonara and great bread.

          Up some from a mom and pop and down a lot from the big name big $$ places.

          1. Not exactly the Palisades, but certainly 405 friendly...

            Nook Bistro
            Japanese along Sawtelle

            1. thanks very much to everyone, I knew about some of these places but others are completely new to me. by all means keep 'em coming.

              1. I moved to Santa Monica a year ago from hancock park and I have had the same problem---what I have found so far that I return to on a regular basis:

                alesio's homestyle italian - lincoln and washington
                reddi chick - brentwood mart
                the counter- ocean park
                sushi hikko - sawtelle/ national
                baby blues bbq- lincoln/ venice
                lemon moon - centinela/ olympic
                bravo pizzaria- main street (truly the best)
                bay cities - lincoln/ broadway
                maxwells- wshington/wlgrove diner
                swingers-lincoln/broadway

                1. in westwood,
                  shamshiri--good persian food (they even have a vegetarian section of their menu) lots of it for very reasonable prices.
                  i like the counter in santa monica for burgers.
                  for a really good falafal sandwich go to the hungry pocket on pico.

                  1. all casual - some are closer to Westwood, but on somewhat of a rotation for me and I would drive a little extra for them if I had to. i also realize some are repeats from above, but worth mentioning twice. :)

                    eduardo's (westwood blvd near SMB intersection)
                    zankou (sepulveda near SMB intersection)
                    damon & pythia's (westwood village)
                    bay cities (on lincoln in SM)
                    baby blues bbq (on lincoln closer to Venice)
                    il forno (on ocean blvd. in SM)
                    father's office (on Montana in SM)
                    clementine (side streets b/t westwood and century city - near LACC)
                    john o'groats - (on Pico b/t Beverly Glen and Overland)
                    sf saloon - (on pico just east of barrington)
                    la bottega marino (next to Il Grano) - (on SMB west of 405)
                    lemon moon - (olympic west of bundy)
                    coral tree cafe - (brentwood and also CC foodcourt)
                    library alehouse - (main st. SM)
                    lares - (pico in SM)
                    snug harbor - (Wilshire in SM)
                    bread & porridge - (Wilshire in SM)