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AFFORDABLE places to eat in los angeles

I don't have a huge budget but I'm going to dinner with friends tonight, and I really really do not want to end up at CPK again.

Thanks in advance I am looking forward to your recommendations

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  1. What neighborhood? Any type of cuisine preference? This is a pretty broad question.

    1. if it's dinner with friends i always enjoy a nice atmosphere. i would suggest gingergrass in silverlake. they have nice-sized delicious noodle bowls for 6-7 bucks. dinner entrees range from 9-14 bucks. they have a very reasonably priced wine list with selections from silverlake wine store across the street. my favorite summertime glass is the cheapest white wine by the glass...i believe its listed first underneath the white wine selections...only five bucks a glass and described as "like an ocean breeze with a hint of grapefruit." it pairs wonderfully with the food.

      their menu is listed on their website: http://www.gingergrass.com/index.htm

      1 Reply
      1. re: love2eat

        That sounds nice. Dinner and wine and money to spare :)

      2. As far as neighborhood is concerned West Los Angeles, or the San Fernando Valley...or anywhere within 15 miles of west LA would be fine for all of us.

        It doesn't matter much but we're going tomororw night not tonight. :)

        And food preference...no preference. I think we all just want it to be good and in the 10-15 dollar range.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Diananeg

          I think you can do very well at Chabuya on Sawtelle in WLA. It is quite pleasant inside, and I like their traditional pork noodle bowl very much. If you add a few items in (seaweed, an egg, perhaps) you will be quite full and satisfied for $10 or $12/pp. Then, when you are done, you can walk for dessert: a boba drink, Nijiya Market has a wide selection of good-looking items, Beard Papas and the Fantasy bakery that is attached.

          1. re: liu

            How is Chabuya now? I haven't been since it first opened when the broth was very salty.

            I definitely second Beard Papa's!

            What about Cafe Brasil on Venice? Although, you've probably already gone to dinner . . . maybe next time. I enjoy their executive lunch.

            1. re: Alice

              i went about a month ago and drank about a gallon of water that evening.

              1. re: modernist

                Oh, I am so sorry to hear this. We have been there about 5 times, and I have never experienced anything inferior, including over-salted broth (although I have heard this from other Chowhounds).

                It has been a few months now, so I think it is time to try it again.

          2. re: Diananeg

            Terried Sake House is always a favorite of mine. Get a bunch of yakitori skewers and lots of non-sushi side dishes to share amongst yourselves. Lots of fun, and cheap.

            1. re: WBGuy

              this place looks really interesting :)

            2. re: Diananeg

              if you're willing to drive to westchester, near the airport, go to
              AYARA THAI CUISINE

            3. Have you ever tried Versailles Cuban food? I believe there is one in Manhattan Beach, one in Ventura and one in Culver City. I love it there, and it always is great. The garlic chicken is to die for, so my fiance says. :)

              1 Reply
              1. re: AmberWaves

                oh I have been to Versailles. They freakin give you a WHOLE CHICKEN. Not a huge fan, but a fun experience.

              2. Hmm.. Do you think you'll be in the mood for anything specific?

                1 Reply
                1. re: AmberWaves

                  I personally like "California style" whatever that means. Mexican is good too.

                2. What about Blue Marlin on Sawtelle. It's an intereseting place. It's Japanese with some fusion twists, but nothing ridiculous. Check it out.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: young_chower

                    That place looks nice, but I'm worried about the affordable part.

                    1. re: Diananeg

                      Granted I went for lunch, but most things on the menu were around $10. I can't speak of their dinner menu though.

                      1. re: Diananeg

                        Well, how about Hurry Curry next door? Lots of students there so you know it's affordable.

                        1. re: Chandavkl

                          I'd prefer Curry House across the street (or the much closer one in Little Tokyo)... prices are in the same range, but I often splurge (~$14) for their crab omelet curry! Very yum!

                    2. My dad and I go to this one place, Baja Bud's in West L.A. It's a small mexican place in a strip mall right on National between Sepulveda and Sawtelle. We love it.

                      Other mexican places (I'm half, so we go a lot): Cora's on Washington Blvd. and off Centinela.

                      Don Antonios, Pico and Sawtelle, I believe.

                      Pacos Tacos: Centinela and Washington, or Manchester and Sepulveda.

                      Casablanca- Favorite place of ours, on Lincoln and Rose in venice.

                      1. Hortobagy Hungarian in Studio City! I love that place. Entrees are good (like their duck), well-priced (around $15), and large. Waitress is a bit sassy, but that's okay. Their wines are from Hungary and are not to my taste, but they have cheap corkage ($5 I think, although you might want to check). Kinda kitschy atmosphere, but I always have a nice time.

                        Caoiti Pizza, also in Studio City, is a nice, casual place to meet friends for dinner. Neighborhood-y small place that specializes in wood-fired pizzas and simple pastas and meats. Entrees are $10-$15, corkage also very low. And, for your CPK-loving friends, Caioti is supposedly the birthplace of the famed CPK BBQ Chicken Pizza.

                        Closer to WLA but still in the valley, you can go to Spumoni on Ventura (near Van Nuys). I like their gnocchi, and the owner is super-sweet and accomdating. Really reasonably priced, neighborhood italian place.

                        4 Replies
                          1. re: modernist

                            doesn't look like you got a response to this; i would love if you know any place that serves tokai. I bought some decent bottles from the silver lake wine shop afew months ago, and they were very nice.

                            1. re: mr mouther

                              I'm sorry, I'm not sure what Tokaj/Takai is - I'm not familiar enough with Hungarian wine.

                              I do know however, that I went with a friend who had studied in Hungary and he was THRILLED that the restaurant had a few dessert wines from Hungary on their menu. We bought a bottle for the table, and then he bought another 2 to bring home! Sorry, I do not recall what the wine was, but can ask him and report back.

                              1. re: maybelle

                                tokaj (also spelled tokai) is a hungarian white dessert wine.


                                the last restaurant i tried a tokaj at was at spago about a few weeks ago.

                        1. How about:

                          Monte Alban - Oaxacan
                          11927 Santa Monica Blvd. - Not far from Bundy.
                          (310) 444-7736

                          Every Item on the menu is under $8 except the 3 Seafood items which are $8, $8.95, & $10.95 (unless they raised their prices fairly recently), they have beer & wine.

                          You can check their Menu at:


                          1. I like Frito Misto in Santa Monica at 6th and Colorado. They have good food at reasonable prices. Their salads are very big.

                            Here is a link Frito Misto's menu.


                            As an added bonus it is a short walk to the Santa Monica Pier for the Twilight Dance Series. I don't know the music of LYRICS BORN with DAARA J but they will start playing at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: FKA Andrew

                              Fritto Misto is very good, but it's very loud and you can have cost troubles if you do too many add-ons.

                              How about Gilbert's El Indio on Pico in SaMo for old-style California Mexican? The Ethiopian places on Fairfax (or the one on Washington and Motor) also would be interesting and cheap. In addition, you could go to Furaibo, Little Hong Kong Cafe, either of the curry houses, Manpuku or Mizu 212 on Sawtelle.

                            2. The Nook is great on Santa Monica just East of Barrington in WLA.
                              Check their website for menu.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Francesca

                                I like the Nook, but I am not sure I could do it for dinner for $10-$12/pp, especially if there are also drinks (even non-alcoholic ones).

                              2. You can't do CPK on $10-12 pp for dinner either. Nook is comparable in price or a tad higher for only a few entrees. Check their dinner menu on The Nook website.

                                1. Ethiopian on Fairfax? Split a few dishes...

                                  1. There's TONS of affordable eateries in Los Angeles; just avoid the westside or the gentro establishments in Silver Lake/Los Feliz/Eagle Rock

                                    1. you guys are so good! how have I never heard of these places! I really want to eat at the Nook now, but who knows what my freinds are willing to eat! I have a lot of choices to present them with, so I'll get one in I'm sure!

                                      I owe you guys!

                                      hah maybe i should save that for after we eat ;-)

                                      1. let us know where you end up! bon app :)