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Challenge- where to eat with a group for under $20 a person

Here is the challenge, my group of 8 likes good food, but tired of big dinner bills ...we don't want fast food. We want good food, decent service and a variety. We like burgers, mexican, salads, sushi, indian, chinese...but it needs to be good.

We live on the west side, santa monica to weho...this seems like an easy challenge, yet dinner out always seems to cost $40 - 50 a head....

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  1. Go for dim sum (brunchish) instead of dinner. Not likely that you'll find sushi to fill you up for < $20.

    1. Monte Alban in West Los Angeles or Gueleguetza on Palms just east of Sepulveda, both Oaxacan food places.

      1. Move east, would be my best advice, but barring that...

        Culver City is my new favorite hot spot over your way, with Sabor A Mexico and Dijonnaise both offering good fare for not a lot of $$$. I know things are more expensive at night, but we had an awfully good lunch at Ford's for about $20 each, admittedly drinkless. Second City Bistro down in El Segundo was in the same range. Still, the SGV is awash in places where you can stuff yourself silly on great Chinese food for ten bucks a head or less - maybe you should carpool!

        3 Replies
        1. re: Will Owen

          Speaking of Culver City-- Tender Greens!! The freshest, delicious lettuces and veggies and flavorful and perfectly cooked free range chicken, I'm guessing the steak is good too but I wouldn't know.
          http://www.tendergreensfood.com/

          For me, I have no need to eat at Second City ever again in this or the next life. And I'll eat at Ford's again only if someone else pays, their food is way too uneven.

          1. re: slacker

            It seems like it would be hard to stuff 8 people into the Tender Greens tables. Would definitely fit the budget though.

          2. re: Will Owen

            i love sabor a mexico, but the service is so slow there that i would hesitate to recommend it to a group of 20.
            by the time the twentieth person in the group got his or her food, the first person will be home in bed for the night.

          3. The Last couple of times the SCARF group has been out, we have spent less the $20 pp. but the places we went had dishes that shared easily. For Chinese New Year Dommy! organized Mei Long Village we had Pork Pump, Dumplings, Jelly Fish and half a dozen other dishes and the 10 of us spent $14 pp and we were so stuffed we almost skipped Bearded Papa.

            1. Bossa Nova - has all kinds of food - pizza, pasta, sandwiches, Cuban platters & plaintains, Cajun chicken, etc.

              Barney's Gourmet Hamburgers - best for 8 people to sit outside though - the inside is a big cramped. They serve sides in baskets for sharing - get their spicy curly fries!