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restaurants in westchester/playa del rey

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Does anyone know of any moderately priced restaurants in the Westchester/Playa del Rey area that are worth taking out of towners to?


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  1. Depends on what you want. La marina is good in an old continental way. Not green goddess old but good and broken in. I understand it's closing soon after 50 or so years so get there soon if you want to try it.

    The shack is good for seeing surfers. May be good for some people.

    Ayara in Westchester is genuainely good thai food. Very good actually.

    Cafe Milan is the place to go for breakfast and political conversation in the morning.Coffee is decent and the food is OK but it has a strong locals vibe.

    And there is always In 'N Out Burger

    1 Reply
    1. re: quielo

      i must respectfully disagree about la marina inn.
      i live in playa del rey, and believe me, i've TRIED to like this place, and actually i do like it for everything EXCEPT their food.
      it is awful and overpriced imho and their dishwashing leaves something to be desired.

    2. you can go to the new place called piknic, although it's in plaa vista and not playa del rey. it's really decent, though.

      1. I've heard good things about the tapas place on Culver in Playa but have not been there yet.

        1. You might try Truxton's, on Truxton, just south of Manchester in downtown Westchester. Posts in the search function will ilicit various thoughts on the place. Just opened about 4 or so months ago.
          Info here:

          I have not been.

          1 Reply
          1. re: carter

            I did not care for Truxtons.

            ===>> However I would recommend it with a warning.

            Be sure that you ask about the dishes. I ordered a
            caesar salad and it did not resemble the salad I was expecting.

            They have a "twist" on their recipes where they tweak the standards.

            If you ask or are adventureous I would recommend Truxtons because it is a nice place and the food is well prepared.

          2. Minotaur gets good reviews on this board, although I haven't managed to check it out yet.

            1. I have lived in Playa Del Rey for 5 years and I love to dine out. I'd have to say that Caffe Pinguini is by far the best restraunt I have ever eaten at in a 100 mile radius. Although the service is really quirky, but you get greeted by a beautiful hostess, the food is delicious, it's romantic when it's not crowded and the prices are resonable enough because the food tastes great.

              Cantellini's is good, La Marina is just too salty for me but it's really chill and I can't wait to see what comes in next after it closes.

              Even the Berri's reopened the service previous to it was too traumatizing for me and my girlfriend to come back. I do not know how Berri's is going to gain a good reputation after that.

              Truxton's is pretty good but I'd prefer Paco's Cantina before anything and Outlaws, amazing food except for the steaks in which they should specialize in to get more cash flow.

              Minotaure Tapas, forget it what is it for anorexic rich people? THe portions are just as small as Chloe's the restaurant before it.

              Go to Caffe Pinguini, even though they had a reputation of inattentive service, I think their owners gave them a wooping for it and they are back on to being great.

              1. Westchester... Playa del Rey:

                KC's Crepes - DON'T go.... just a warning... awful

                Bistro du Soleil -- yuck - $10 so-so hamburgers? Please!

                Truxton's - GREAT place - wonderfully prepared food

                Minotaur - quirky, lousy parking, small (will expand in future),
                large portions (not small tapas plates), but very good food! The
                bread pudding is to die for!!!

                Hanks at Manchester & Pershing - yes, absolutely the best pizza

                Tandoori India - good lunch buffet, although I prefer Shershah in the Marina

                Sushi Kura on Manchester by the police academy - THE BEST!!

                Coffee Company in Westchester - bought by a Greek family a couple of
                years back and they really have improved the menu - they make an
                absolutely terrific 'Middle East Feast' - be sure to get the grilled
                chicken with it - it's the best. Beautiful display case of desserts,
                nice people, great breakfast

                1 Reply
                1. re: cheezz

                  who goes to a french restaurante for a cheap hamburger? better to try the french food.

                2. The BUGGY WHIP is in good ol' Westchester and always gets a reasonably good write up in ZAGAT's. I cannot get my contemporary-minded husband to go there, but it's longevity must mean something!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Moreforyou

                    having been dragged there many times--go with your husband's better judgement.

                  2. OK, just a mile or so away is/was Cafe del Rey in the marina which has in recent years been a jewel. Memorable lunches, Romantic Dinners, bar none. However, can't vouch for what will be now that Chef Frank Fronda has left the helm for BH. Very disappointing as a local, but a talent like that is bound to be snatched up!

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: deek

                      not to mention their fantastic, and reasonably priced, weekend brunches.

                    2. OK, just a mile or so away is/was Cafe del Rey in the marina which has in recent years been a jewel. Memorable lunches, Romantic Dinners, bar none. However, can't vouch for what will be now that Chef Frank Fronda has left the helm for BH. Very disappointing as a local, but a talent like that is bound to be snatched up!

                      1. The Buggy Whip is mediocre at best. Steaks only O.K. and the vegetables are tried. I have heard that the Fish is good but no first hand experience.

                        1 Reply
                        1. I agree. The Buggy Whip is worth avoiding. The first time was kind of fun especially with a couple of strong pours from the bar. The second time I realized that I my judgment had been compromised during the first visit.

                          1. Alejo's can't be beat for fresh Italian food and old school hospitality.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Lucien

                              Warning - Alejo's means lots of families, vinyl uncomfortable chairs, and oily-over garliced food. Service is good though - and it's inexpensive. I don't personally like it, but my dad loved it.

                              So much depends on your family's preferences. I like Trattoria Fioretto - off Culver, just west of the 90, for fresh seasonal Italian.

                              I'd also take my family to some of the other recomendations: Cafe del Rey, Paco's Cantina (on Manchester), Cantalini and Outlaws.

                              Rumor has is that La Marina has been sold to the people who run Beachwood. I'm watching/hoping for something new there.

                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                  My two cents:
                                  I heartily second the vote for Cafe Pinguini. I have been going there for 5 yrs and the food is consistently good. Great place to bring out of towners. Service can be a bit quirky but ALWAYS gracious and charming. One of the owners is always there and the place is small enugh that it is hard to be ignored. The jalepeno pasta, and fish are always great. I ask for the grilled prawns-not on the menu but often a special, servwed with spinach and potatoes. Your guests will be impressed.

                                  I agree on the consensus nays on La Marina, Truxtons, Cantellinis (yuch), Minitapas (what we call it), Berris (also traumatized ). Aliotta's is in my opinion is not conducive to treating out of towners (not if you like them) and the food is mediocre and one note (GARLIC).

                                  I disagree on Buggy Whip. I take my out of town father there to enjoy oysters, wonderful stone crab claws and good drinks and Peter the Piano Player/Singer. Get a table in the bar (better service and closer to my man Peter) It is a trip. The steaks are decent too, especially if you order it rare with a baked potato and salad. Forget the veggies or anything sauced.

                                  If you like pizza-Antica on Lincoln and Maxella in MDR (right off the 90) is an excellent choice. It's in a mini-mall but there is good patio seating. The pizza is in the style of Naples, good salads and a really good eggplant parmagiana.

                            2. I also recommend Caffe Pinguini. It's a nicer ambience at night though - lunch time can be pretty dead.

                              1. i live in playa del rey.
                                unfortunately, imho, there is no place in the area good enough for me to recommend it for out of towners .

                                for myself, and my neighbors, our regular rotation is usually limited to Ayara Thai Cuisine in westchester (excellent food, pleasant but unassuming ambiance), and Metro Cafe (which is slightly outside the area on washington place and sepulveda -- a very small restaurant serving very good food).

                                this neighborhood is sort of a wasteland for good eats.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: westsidegal

                                  The one good place is The Shack for a burger and a beer.

                                  1. re: tony michaels

                                    The Hellboy of burgers... make that plural on the grog if you're walking there...

                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                      What could possibly be wrong with a Louisiana hot link on top of your double cheese burger? I would probably blow a .08 after just the burger alone. ;-D

                                      1. re: tony michaels

                                        LOL...LOL... the brew would probably bring the reading down...