Dinner on the Westside
I'm trying to come up with places to suggest for dinner for 3 old friends to meet on the Westside (West LA/Brentwood/Westwood or close by). If I leave it up to the friend who usually does the picking, we'll wind up at Cheesecake Factory AGAIN!!
I've already suggested Nook, Violet & The Counter. She has nixed all, and also doesn't like Japanese. (She can be a little difficult....)
Help me, please!
If she needs a "chain" to feel reassured then we have had good food at the newish Daily Grill on Colorado Ave. in Santa Monica (at 26th). Nice booths and good service.
If your friend's open to ethnic, but just doesn't care for Japanese, how about Akbar for Indian or any of the multitude of great Persian places. In Culver City, there's a smattering of new restaurants including Ford's Filling Station, Wilson's, and Tender Greens. Beechwood in Venice for drinks and pretty tasty small plates (better than the entrees). Pizzicotto in Brentwood is pretty good for someone with conservative tastes.
Second the rec for Pizzicotto.
Is the Glen too far out of your way? You've got Fabrocini's and Le Chine Wok (chinese not japanese)...
For a chain, I like Sisley for their salads; I'm not endorsing any other items as I've only eaten salads there.
Bandera is a relative of Houston's and might also work, though it might be a bit loud.
26 Beach in Marina del Rey might be a decent middle-ground. The menu is huge and has a lot of the things that cheesecake factory people would like, but there are also some things that a foodie would enjoy. It's not revolutionary, but it's reliable and well-executed.
Other options... Lilly's in Venice, Chaya Venice, Monte Alban, BreadBar (in Century City mall)...