Dinner/Drinks, Westside on a budget!
So I'm a poor student, I usually eat out at cheap, hole-in-the wall places. However, friends are coming to visit this weekend. It still needs to be cheap, but a little trendy/ambience would be nice.
What I need is a place like Father's Office in Brentwood, without the zoo involved:
Food - $20 is the absolute max! (without tax & tip)
Drinks (Can be just beer & wine) - $10 and under
West of La Brea
Please - no places that can be found outside of LA!
Thanks for any advice y'all can give.
Happy hour at McCormick & Shmick's on Rodeo Drive? $2 burgers, $4.50 per person drink order required. I had a pretty good glass of zinfandel too, even though it set me back $9 a glass.
I wouldn't order anything but the burger. It's pretty big, and comes with some nicely cooked fat fries. Not as big as steak fries, but fatter than McD's fries. My boyfriend's chicken fingers, on the other hand, really were the size of fingers. Small fingers. And he got a grand total of three. No one else seemed to be eating anything but burgers.
It wasn't crowded when we went last Friday around 5, and even by the time we left an hour later it would have been easy for any size group to get a table. It's trendy in a "tourists who have been spending money all day on Rodeo Drive + people who work nearby" sort of way.
Maybe too casual -- counter service -- but standout L.A. fare of the Mexican streetfood variety at Tacos Por Favor (Olympic at 14th in Santa Monica) or Taqueria Sanchez (Centinela south of Washington). Really inexpensive.
Persian kabobs and tasty rice at Shamshiri or Sheherezad on Westwood south of Wilshire.
Second the rec for Nook -- see my posting a few entries above.
for california-chinese (NOT authentic chinese for which you need to go to the san gabriel valley) go to mao's kitchen in venice.
because there is NO corkage fee, so you can come in well under your budget by bringing your own.
also, you can go to c&o trattoria near the venice pier for huge plates of pasta and salads that can be shared, but the prices for wine start at around $5/glass.
Depends how many friends, because if you're a large part C&O forces you to buy a minimum purchase per person. It might still come in under $20/pp but it'll be tight.
You CAN eat at Musha for under $20/pp, but you have to know which dishes are more filling. Last time I went, we spent $25/pp but were stuffed.
Library Ale House is a good suggestion.
I usually take people to Lares on Pico for Mexican. Bombay Cafe for Indian is another good choice. If they are still here on Sunday you can't beat Dominick's $15 3 course dinner w/ $10 bottles of wine and $2 beers.
I'd personally stay clear of C&O.
Thank you all for your suggestions! I ended up trying out The Nook with a friend instead of with the group. Was excellent - really good service and food.
The ambiance is somewhat trendy (concrete floor, exposed beams etc.) However, the place is well lit (and not in some tacky red light either). It does get loud, and they don't take reservations past 8:00 p.m. on weekdays.
On Price: Unless all you ordered was an entree, you won't be able to escape on 20 dollars. However, the servings are big enough that you could just have an entree and be OK.
We shared the mussel appetizer. He had the pork chop and I had the chicken pallard. We shared a chocolate banana bread pudding (which was surprisingly good...i'm not really into bannana-y desserts).
I had a beer.
The tab came to 78 dollars after tip. Pretty reasonable. The food is simple but well made...will be back!