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The Best Moderately Priced Restaurants

Ok so where does everyone go for their favorite meal at a reasonable price. I am looking for everyone's go-to location where the food is great and the service can't be beat. Somewhere that you walk out of and can't stop talking about how great a meal you just had. Atmosphere is important as well, as I feel it adds to the overall dining experience.

All types of food.
All locations through-out the LA area (please give approx location).
Mains should be $30 or less

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  1. I love Pho Cafe in Silverlake. Entrees are less than $10. Beers are $3-6. Service is excellent. And it is NOT a hole-in-the-wall. Very clean, white walls, well lit. It's in a small shopping center on Sunset at Silverlake Blvd. No signage.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mojoeater

      "well lit"

      Does it still have those shockingly bright giant light bulb light fixtures? I could never walk in because of those. I guess I like things on the darker side.

      1. re: diningdivala

        I second that. Pho has all the ambience of a high school biology classroom. Lighting is important -- and the glare from Pho renders it a non-starter in my book. I'd rather go next door to Rambutan.


        1. re: hungrygirl106

          It is very bright and stark (at least that is how I remember it!). I, too, would definitely prefer Rambutan. Yum!

    2. I love The Kitchen in Silverlake. It's small and the servers can be hurried, but you can't beat the corkage and the food for the price!! You get comfort foods like fried chicken and cornbread, but you can also get nicer entrees and salads. I usually go for the grilled veggie stack and their awesome thin-cut fries.

      1 Reply
      1. re: graffitipassion

        Is that the one that is on Fountain just off Sunset? I saw it the other day, but was not sure. Thanks!

      2. Cafe Beaujolais in Eagle Rock - always absolutely terrific.

        Briganti in South Pas - the Italian version of Beaujolais

        Clare K.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Clare K

          I agree - Cafe Beaujolais is the one I return to again and again. And it never misses.

        2. Thanks for the recs so far. Are there any more great moderately priced restaurants? Any little hidden gems as well?

          3 Replies
          1. re: camp1980

            Take a look at the "Mere Mortal's Ultimate Restaurants of 2006" thread, which lists all of the LA 'hounds favorite restaurants for under $30:


            1. re: DanaB

              Wow thanks for giving me that link. That was a great posting to find reasonably priced restaurants. Now I just need to figure out where all those places are located and how to fit as many into my visit as possible. =)

            2. re: camp1980

              I love Madame Matisse on Sunset. If they have their steak au poivre, get it!

            3. La Vie in Rosemead, on San Gabriel Blvd. - a little treasure of old-fashioned traditional French cooking, done by a classically-trained Vietnamese chef. Unpretentious room, no dress code, mains in the $20 range.

              Central Park on Fair Oaks in Pasadena. New, a bit noisy and crowdy but not excessively so, friendly and brisk service. Recommend the burger, sand dabs, flatiron steak. Grilled New York steak was pretty bad, though - a fluke? Don't know yet.

              Would've said Bistro de la Gare in South Pas, but they've been a tad disappointing lately. Too bad - run by the former owner of Cafe Beaujolais. Might try'em again some day.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Will Owen

                LA VIE ROCKS! i love that place. been going once a week for the past month. Will, i owe you one. i live just a few miles away from the place in sgv and have been there once many years ago. thanks to Will's posts, i gave it another try. at the price range, i've got absolutely no complaints and many compliments on the food. if i felt like nitpicking though, the appetizer section of the menu needs to be expanded and the main entrees portions could be a little bigger.

                1. re: Will Owen

                  Whenever I pass by La Vie, it's always closed. What are the hours? I've heard many good things about it.

                  1. re: willwork4food

                    I don't know exactly what their hours are, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were dinner-only. We always go at around 7:30, because we're always with Mrs. O's family and That Is When They Eat.

                    My only nitpick with the place is that just about all of the side-dishes on the main-course plates are identical, no matter what the main item is. If it's carrots and broccoli tonight, you will by golly get carrots and broccoli whether you've ordered the rabbit, the steak or the fish. However, I also understand that this may help to explain why all of these dishes come in under $20. That price may also help to explain why the portions aren't bigger, though I personally think they're sized exactly right - it's what you'd get in a restaurant in France. American portions tend to be grossly oversized, IMO.

                2. Green Street Cafe in Pasadena is one of my favorites. The atmosphere is great.. great food, great service... and I pretty much have enjoyed everything I've tried there. It's also a great "date" place. Very quaint. Oh and it has good sized portions that are reasonably priced.

                  1. i really like gingergrass in silverlake. i consider myself a big snob when it comes to vietnamese food. i prefer mine in the form of street vendor sitting on a plastic stool ambiance. so gingergrass with its clean utensils and organized tables seemed sketchy to me. but if you bypass the desire for authenticity, you'll enjoy gingergrass's huge portions and well composed versions of viet cuisine. i really liked it and thought it was very moderately priced for shishi ethnic cuisine.

                    1. Enoteca Drago in B.H. and Drago in Santa Monica. While you definitely could move beyond moderatly priced if you order app, pasta and main course there is no need to as many of their dishes are very filling. If they have the pork belly order it.

                      1. The French Quarter, 7985 Santa Monica Blvd., W. Hollywood
                        BLD, very good food, decor, service, prices, parking lot free.
                        See menu at www.frenchquarterwest.com
                        We've been going for years and have never had a bad meal.
                        I wish I owned it.

                        1. Bossa Nova on Sunset just west of La Brea (I've always gone here but apparently there are also locations in BH and WeHo) - great pizzas, esp. the pesto shrimp and the pepperoni, also great salads, and they have more Brazilian type stuff too - meats, plantains, rice, beans, etc.

                          26 Beach Cafe on Washington just west of Lincoln - everything is fantastic, big portions, very cozy/romantic ambience - American cuisine, also pastas and pizzas, the menu is enormous

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: LisaStitch

                            Bossa Nova's chocolate cake (I ask for it a la mode) is HUGE, and yummy too.

                          2. I'm surprised no one has mentioned Nook yet.