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Casual dinner tonight - Santa Monica / Westside ~ $12 entrees

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Looking for a casual place to grab a bite in the Santa Monica / Westside area after the UCLA game. Preferably cheap - around $12 entrees. Looking for something new or a hole in the wall I havn't yet checked out (off the top of my head, we've already done Fritto Misto, Gilbert's, Lares...). "Ambiance" doesn't really matter - just good food. Was let down yesterday by Yokohama Ramen's new title "Asian Ya"

Thanks!

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  1. Sunin - Lebanese - has the best shwarmas and hummus (Westwood & Santa Monica).
    Zankou - on Sepulveda and Santa Monica.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Leon

      It is Sunnin that is on the west side of Westwood Blvd. just north of Santa Monica Blvd. Across the street and just further north is Shamshiri for good Persian kabobs. Their shirazi salad, with small diced cucumber, onion, tomato, parsley and lemon juice is tasty and refreshing, and their freshbaked flatbread is served warm. I liked the ground beef Koobideh; the shawarma was a bit overcooked but a huge portion.

      Philly West for cheesesteaks and burgers in a divy sports bar. The Shack is bigger, brighter, and has a more extensive bar food menu with daily specials.

      Tacos Por Favor, Taqueria Sanchez, El Super Taco, or Gallegos for tacos and other simple Mexican with salsa bars. Monte Alban for Oaxacan.

      Thai Boom is on Venice at Midvale and beats the pants over any other westside Thai that I've tried. Fresh, well-prepared, and not afraid to heat things up if desired extra-spicy.

      1. re: nosh

        Been to both Sunnin and Zankou - very good but looking for something new. Shamshiri Grill sounds interesting - funny, I've passed the place so many times on an old commute and never even thought to go!

        1. re: umeakai

          I just happen to have the Shahshiri's Menu in front of me and for $12 & under:

          Ghormeh Sabzi (under House Stews) - $9.95
          Fesenjan severed over Chicken, Veal, or Lamb shank - $10.95
          5 Sandwichews with salad, humus, & Tahini - $7.95
          Poultry - 5 iterms at $11.95 or less
          Beef - 2 iterms at $10.95 or less
          Lamb Shank - $9.95

          The above 3 line items all come with grilled tomotoes, veggies and rice.

          There are others, but you get the idea.

          1. re: JBC

            After living in Westwood for two decades, I finally had a craving recently to try the local Persian palaces. I liked Shamshiri better than Sheherzad -- koobideh similar, but Shamshiri clearly superior bread, salad, and sides. Also thought the decor and service was a touch better. Will try Flame next if anyone has anything good to say about it.

            1. re: nosh

              Thanks guys - went to Shamshiri and got enough food for lunch!

    2. We really like the food and the casual neighborhood feeling of Rutt's Cafe on Washington Blvd. in Mar Vista. Their Royale with fried rice is great, they make their own macaroni salad which my wife is addicted to and I am partial to their loco moco, (but just about everything I have had is good). Nice people and good, quick service. And their prices are downright cheap.

      http://www.ruttscafes.com/index.htm

      5 Replies
      1. re: tony michaels

        Blarg - we just had takeaway Hawaiian food earlier this week. But I'll def keep this in mind for future weekend munchies. :)

        1. re: umeakai

          We also like Pepy's Galley in the Mar Vista Bowling Alley on the NE corner of Venice Blvd. and Grandview (just east of Centinela a couple of blocks). Very divey with good food and little booths along the windows.

        2. re: tony michaels

          We also like Rutt's but my Hawaiian/Samoan counterparts (read big big eaters) prefer L&L for their larger portions. Amazingly, L&L opened a counter in Santa Monica on Lincoln and Pico. I found this kind of odd, since they usually open up in enclaves that seem to have a more South Bay feel to them, but I welcome them just the same.

          1. re: bulavinaka

            Yeah, we go to the local L&L at Pico/Lincoln. It tastes exactly the same as the stuff in Hawaii, although I wish they had more choices for sides.

            1. re: umeakai

              The folks I mentioned above who are from the Islands - Hawaii and US Samoa - say that Rutt's is like tourist food - the portions are "too small." But these are guys who can individually put away a pit-roasted suckling pig along with taro, chow mein, and oka (fish marinated with coconut milk and lime juice, onions and cooked taro leaves). Try Rutt's and see what you think... I'm betting you'll like them for the things what you wish L&L had... Just don't expect to see guys who like they pull out trees with their bare hands for a living lining up outside...

        3. i'd go directly to shamshiri grill on westwood blvd.
          tons of choices, solid food, huge portions, very reasonable prices.