Dinner - La Cienega/3rd
Sorry if this topic has been covered a bunch of times - but it seems we can't sort by post date anymore.
I'm looking for a reasonably priced restaurant to have dinner in the La Cienega/3rd area, will go as far as Fairfax/Wilshire area if necessary. Looking for something that's not trendy, can be in a super casual environment, and has excellent food. Not looking to spend a fortune. Am considering Ethiopean (and have lots of recos) but am open to anything else.
You're in the heart of the LA's fine dining scene, and so you'll be hard pressed to find something that isn't trendy in the sense that it's all pretty much busy. Fortunately, it's rarely crowded for crowd's sake, and many restaurants' popularity is due directly to its great food.
You can't go wrong with going low key and having Ethiopian. But when I think of super casual dinner in this area, I think of either Doughboys (does get crowded, though) or something in the Farmer's Market like Gumbo Pot, Loteria, or Banana Leaf. Tosca just got a rave review from a CH'er so I want to check that out, too. A little bit higher up on the economy scale are Cobras and Matadors as well as BLD on Beverly, though really at that point you start entering a whole new stratosphere.
If you want Indian instead of Ethiopian, Surya on 3rd & Crescent Heights is a favorite. That meets your criteria...
Another vote for Mishima, for the same reasons. Perhaps not "excellent", but I do like their combination meals - tons of food!
Another option is Hirozen, on Beverly. It's a couple blocks east of La Cienega. But it does get crowded, and recommendations are recommended. www.hirozen.com
I also like The Third Stop, on 3rd a couple blocks west of La Cienega. They have this chocolate pizza dessert which is positively addicting. Other dishes are good, although I don't know if I would say "excellent". It's also casual, but can get a little harried since you order at the bar, take a number, and they bring it to your table. Lots of beer on tap.
I recommend Tasca - great food, great service, and BYOW. A very good tapas place. Get the risotto fritters - yum!
Joan's on 3rd is a great casual spot with amazing sandwiches, soups and salads... and AWSOME desserts!! Just east of La Cienega a couple of blocks.