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Need rec's for good chow in Westwood for Thursday night dinner

I have friends coming up from the OC for the UCLA-Oregon basketball game Thursday night at Pauley Pavillion. They are looking for a good chowish spot, preferably in the village, for an early pre-game dinner. They will go for anything except Persian. Any suggestions? Is the Napa Grill still open? Any good?

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  1. There is no high-end Chowish "dining" in Westwood Village. Once you accept that, you will be able to find a satisfactory meal.

    Tengu or Sushi Isshin can give you a decent sushi experience (Isshin is half as expensive, but much less trendy than Tengu).

    Napa Valley Grille is still there. That's about all I can say in its favor. It's two clicks better than the cheesecake factory, yet less consistent. The Gardens and Palomino are about the same.

    If you're Chowishly inclined, then you'll sacrifice decor and comfort for good grub. In that case, choose from:

    Damon & Pythias - Steak caesar, Onion Rings, Good chicken or turkey sandwiches.

    Lamonica's - Some of the city's best NY-style pizza (also, pretty good sicilian).

    In N Out/Tommy's - two kinds of burgers - pick 'em.

    The hidden gem, if you're into veganism, is Native Foods. Lots of innovative "I can't believe it's not beef/chicken/etc." dishes from which to choose. Dig the pizzas here too.

    I may have missed something, there's a lot to choose from in Westwood. Lower your expectations as you cross into the Village, and you'll probably wind up impressed.

    Go Bruins.

    1 Reply
    1. re: techbod

      I would disagree a bit with the assertion that there is no high-end "chowish" dining in the Village. At times Tanino reaches that distinction, and does so in a fairly nice setting as well.


    2. Your request parameters are: 1) "good chowish spot", 2) Westwood Village, & 3) No Middle Eastern food. If a "chowish spot" means best value for money dining, then it's

      One of the 19 all day specials at Mr. Noodle for $7.25 + soft drink $1.45 followed by a stop next door at Diddy Riese for a $1.25 Ice cream sandwich which one can consume as one walks to Pauely. Total cost is about $12.50 per person including Tax & Tip. However, there are no adult beverages at Mr. Noodle. Does that matter?

      Mr. Noodle - Exotic Asian Cusine (Thai & Chinese mainly)
      936 Broxton Ave. - 1/2 block to Le Conte, then 1 block east to enter UCLA campus

      1. There is an italian place 3 blocks south of Wilshire that I love. The food is good, the ambiance is warm and homey and it is reasonably priced. http://www.pomodorowestwood.com\

        1. Here is my survey of what's decent or better and not Persian in Westwood, as one who works there:
          Gayley -- Lamonica's, Mio Babbo, Bombay Bite, Whole Foods, Novel Cafe
          Broxton -- CPK, Damon & Pythias, haven't been to the new Good Earth yet
          Westwood N of Wilshire -- Tanino
          Westwood S of Wilshire -- Pomodoro, Sprazzo, Mary & Robb's, La Bruschetta, some have said Asuka has improved lately (it needed to), heard Fresh Corn Grill is good
          Glendon -- Sak's, Gardens on Glendon, Palomino, NVG at its best can be decent
          Lindbrook -- Tengu, Clementine at the Hammer, Jamba Juice, Pinkberry

          Sure I missed a few...

          2 Replies
          1. re: jcwla

            Second on Asuka for a good time and good food; also the under appreciated Soleil, just down the block - welcoming host, nice room and the food pretty good. Try the Rose salad - a whole butter lettuce fanned out with a really delicious vinegarette.

            1. re: ZoeZ

              I second Soleil! For the same reasons. I recommend the tomato bisque, as well as any of a small number of their inexpensive wines by the glass. And of course the Poutine Christine, with the peppercorn pan gravy!


          2. I live in Westwood so am pretty familiar with the area:

            I would say Palomino is your best choice. They actually have a great happy hour/appetizer special from about 5 to 7. Their pizzas and crab dip are delicious. They have great pomegranite martinis too.

            Other options: ALCU supposedly is a good kaiten (sushi-go-round) with sushi 20% off through 2/6.

            Isshin is normally good but I had a disappointing lunch there last week.

            Emporium Thai on Westwood across from the Crest is excellent Thai, but no atmosphere.

            Next to Sprazzo (which is very good) on Westwood, south of Wilshire is a good Greek place called Delphi's, very good food, excellent and friendly service.

            Tomodachi sushi in the Village (across from CPK) is one of the better sushi places in the village in my opinion, although I've never been to Asuka.

            If you're willing to drive, go to Orris on Sawtelle!

            1. I would suggest Thai House on Gayley across from Whole Foods. Much nicer decor, atmosphere, and service than most Thai places, yet the prices are no higher. They serve beer and wine. I like the mee krob, the yellow curry, and some of the sitr-fry dishes. All entrees (except elaborate seafood or duck) under $10 and generous portions to be shared. Not significantly more expensive than Mr. Noodle and many levels better -- real chairs, real table-settings and glassware, nicer lighting, much more quiet and sedate.

              1 Reply
              1. re: nosh

                I second this place. Try the duck curry; I just can't get enough of it. Their thai ice tea is actually good too. I usually hate that stuff but they start out with very strong tea so it winds up being sweet but delicious nonetheless. The owners are very, very nice as well -- really a terrific kid restaurant. I can't wait to try the mee krob you suggest -- unless that's the same as the duck curry (!?).

              2. as stated - lamonica's has great pizza!

                i've had a very good meal at tanino - but it was a few years back.

                There's also Nine-Thirty at the W Hotel which I have not been to - but has received some very good reviews from the LA times, etc.

                1. Palamino's has a great happy hour. Gourmet pizza's are only 4.99 and all appetizers are half off (the gorgonzola fries are terrific). The atmosphere is definitely more grown up then most places in the village.

                  Damon & Pythias has great sandwiches and salads and is very informal.

                  And I've heard pretty good things about Nine-Thirty in the W.

                  1. I agree that Westwood isn't the best chow-ish spot. I'd travel about 2 miles west. Go to Literati II in Brentwood. It's right on the corner of wilshire and bundy. They have great seasonal food. The menu is small but varied, there is something for everyone. But the overall favorite with our crowd is the roasted chicken...with the lemon cake for dessert. We have been no less than 20 times.

                    1. Ramenya isn't too far away either on Olympic. Nook is on Santa Monica Blvd. Both are west of the 405.

                      1. Westwood has the worst value to good food ratio ever. An exception of Pizza.
                        Di Amore's Pizza on Broxton however, has some of the best pizza in LA
                        Lamonicas on Gayley is a close second
                        both of these places lack atmosphere, most good pizza does...
                        The philly cheese steak place on Broxton is good also but "westwood" prices same with damien and pithias which actually has a pretty good steak sandwich

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Carnivore

                          I had lunch at the philly cheesesteak place last week (South Street) and I thought it was terrible. I've eaten there before and thought it was fairly good but last week it wasn't good. The fries weren't even good and I didn't even touch the salad that came as apart of the lunch deal.

                        2. One place I would SKIP is Eurochow. I was initially impressed with this joint several years back but recently...poor service, mediocre food, lousy value.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: running pig

                            Well the Good News is Eurochow has been closed for about 9 months now, so skip it we must.

                          2. Eurochow is open, however only on Thurs-Sun. I believe they have been taken over by new management. In the updated menu, they hung on to some Eurochow favorites such as Prawns in XO sauce, but the menu seems to lean more toward the Italian fare. I still do appreciate the ambiance, and a Kir Royale there. We did have our rehearsal dinner there (lots of out of towners hadnt seen a restaurant designed like this ever) and they treated us like royalty. We stuck to their family style prix-fixe menu, and it definitely served its purpose.

                            1. I think that Damon & Pythias is the best lunch spot in Westwood. I recommend the California Cheesesteak. It's nothing like a traditional cheesesteak so don't do in with that in mind. The garlic fries are also excellent, as are the onion rings. Really good salads too. Around $10 for a really big lunch.

                              Napa Valley Grille is also good for a nice dinner. They also have reasonably prcies lunches, I think in the $10-15 range before drinks.

                              For pizza, I enjoy Lamonicas. For a to-go lunch, Whole Foods has a lot of prepared items. They also make a good sandwich to-go, have burger made to order as well as a few mexican items.