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Inexpensive-moderate places to take an out-of-towner?

I need to take an out-of-towner to lunch and dinner on Monday. Looking for places that have a special or fun vibe that would be appealing to an out-of-towner, but not too expensive. For lunch, we will be in the vicinity of either Beverly Hills or Santa Monica/Venice. For dinner, we will be in the vicinity of Manhattan Beach or Marina del Rey. Oh, and my friend does not eat red meat, but does eat chicken/fish. However, I'm not sure if she likes sushi, so I would like to avoid sushi places. Any thoughts?

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  1. Joe's on Abbot Kinney in Venice does a very nice lunch at a moderate price (about $15 before tax and tip).

    2 Replies
    1. re: sidwich

      I second Joe's; definitely my favorite restaurant in Venice.

      If you feel like driving a little further away to Hermosa Beach, I find Ragin Cajun to be a lot of fun. Versailles is also there in Manhattan Beach, and Havana Mania is in Redondo.

      In Marina del Rey, there's a decent Persian restaurant but it was close to empty last time I was there. I also enjoyed hanging out at the hotel bar opposite that Persian place. Unfortunately, my memory is failing me on both accounts.

      1. re: SauceSupreme

        Tajirish is probably the persian place you're thinking off...I really like this place too....a few different persian rices, stews and kabobs. They do have chicken/fish too I believe.

        Also in the area, although the food isn't great...but is someplace I always seem to take out of towners for a good time is C&O's Trattoria.

    2. in hermosa beach/redondo beach, there's a place called Green Temple that i like. Its a vegetarian restaurant. I am a major carnivore and i enjoyed the food here very much.
      The prices are very reasonable and i love the calming zen-like decor.

      1. The Rose Cafe in Venice for lunch (then show her the Venice boardwalk), Fritto Misto (in SM or Manhattan Beach) for dinner.

        2 Replies
        1. re: chowmominLA

          Ditto on Rose Cafe. We took my husband's aunt and uncle who just moved here. They've been back 4 times and recently took their son who was visiting from Chicago. I think the outdoor patio/proximity to the beach gives visitors an experience that is unique to LA and can't be done most other places in the winter!

          1. re: LissaB

            Wow - we Angelinos really take this for granted, don't we!

        2. the venice bistro on the boardwalk (cross street is Rose) has pretty good little snacks - nothing to die for, but the atmosphere is fun and it's one of the only places on the boardwalk that serves liquor.

          there's also a place right next door to the venice bistro that has great hamburgers. i haven't had anything else there - so ?

          there are also some other places on the boardwalk that have food and would just be fun to go to. I think figleaf is supposed to have pretty good food.

          1. Nook on Santa Monica Blvd. in West LA. The best quality food bargain in town

            1 Reply
            1. re: balzachertz

              I absolutely second, third and fourth this recommendation. The place is a fantastic marriage of quality and affordability. My absolute GO-TO neighborhood restaurant, hands down.

            2. For dinner, you might try 26 Beach. Good food at good prices. It is not haute cuisine, but sometimes you don't want to bother with that...

              1. I second ( of COURSE) Fritto Misto in Santa Monica; Rajun Cajun in Hermosa Beach is really fun. Michi in Manhattan Beach has lots of energy, good martini's and great people watching (a bit more expensive though.)

                For lunch, Newsroom in Beverly Hills has an only-in-LA vibe. The food at La Paella (San Vicente/Burton) or Il Buco (Wilshire/Robertson) is tastier and will set you back about $25 each, without alcohol.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                  Ditto on Fritto Misto and Rajun Cajun. FYI, there is a branch of Fritto Misto in Hermosa Beach also (actually, down the street from Rajun Cajun).

                2. Abbot Kinney's row of restaurants toward the north end of the street are hard to beat. Lilly's - French, Primativo - Spanish tapas, Joe's - French/Cal, and Axe (pronounced ah-shay) - kinda Cal organic.

                  They are all within 100 feet of each other - three of the four practically next to each other, and they all have menu items that could satisfy almost anyone's food preference, especially Axe with alot of vegetarian and seafood dishes.

                  If I had to rate them on uniqueness, I'd say Axe is the most unique - you don't get the sense that you've had a version of any of the meals elsewhere. And Joe's definitely is the best known of the four, as well as having lunch specials that are priced well, as does Lilly's. But they all have capable kitchens that create great food. For lunch or dinner, try to get there early as parking is always at a premium - I hate paying for parking - and you should be able to get seated immediately.