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Jan 29, 2007 08:00 PM

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.\

        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!