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The Best Moderately Priced Restaurants

camp1980 Mar 5, 2007 10:51 AM

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

  1. ipsedixit Mar 13, 2007 04:40 PM

    I'm surprised no one has mentioned Nook yet.


    1. l
      LisaStitch Mar 13, 2007 03:09 PM

      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
        snooze button Mar 13, 2007 04:44 PM

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

      2. b
        Barbara Ladden Mar 9, 2007 10:42 PM

        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. j
          joshekg Mar 9, 2007 05:29 PM

          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. m
            mommycat Mar 9, 2007 04:24 PM

            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. yellowfoodie Mar 9, 2007 11:02 AM

              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. Will Owen Mar 8, 2007 11:26 AM

                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
                  zack Mar 9, 2007 04:06 PM

                  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
                    willwork4food Mar 9, 2007 04:20 PM

                    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
                      Will Owen Mar 13, 2007 04:15 PM

                      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. c
                    camp1980 Mar 8, 2007 10:35 AM

                    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
                      DanaB Mar 9, 2007 02:24 PM

                      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
                        camp1980 Mar 13, 2007 12:28 PM

                        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
                        WildSwede Mar 13, 2007 12:32 PM

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

                      3. Clare K Mar 5, 2007 11:51 AM

                        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
                          JamesV Mar 9, 2007 04:41 PM

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

                        2. graffitipassion Mar 5, 2007 11:14 AM

                          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
                            WildSwede Mar 13, 2007 12:31 PM

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

                          2. m
                            mojoeater Mar 5, 2007 10:59 AM

                            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
                              diningdivala Mar 5, 2007 11:42 AM

                              "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
                                hungrygirl106 Mar 9, 2007 04:17 PM

                                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
                                  WildSwede Mar 13, 2007 12:30 PM

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

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