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May 3, 2007 03:47 PM

Looking for not expensive downtown eatery

Meeting my best girl friend for food and wine tomorrow night. Does anyone have any recommendations for great/good food that is not Japanese. Wine is mandatory unless I can bring my own. Help!!!

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    1. re: scrappydog

      Dinner for two say around $60.00. Please keep in mind that we are not looking for quanity but quality is definitely a must. Thanks for you help!!!

      1. re: ladybythebay

        Downtown itself is a little tough at night. There are expense account type options that are open at night that have quality food but exceed your desired price. (Patina, Water Grill, Nic and Stefs, etc) There are inexpensive options that are only open at lunch. There is an italian place in California Plaza by the Omni Hotel - Tersoro in your price range. The best options at Tersoro are the dinner salads, fish and pastas. I have had the steak and it is weak. There is also a California Pizza Kitchen in the Wells Fargo Center across the street. Downtown is relatively close to chinatown, and that may be a better value option if you like chinese.

      1. re: MeAndroo

        $60 for two with wine is tough.
        I'd look at the Engine Company and Ciudad. Maybe try the happy hour menu at either of those places.

        1. re: MeAndroo

          Liberty Grill on Flower and 11th-diagonally across the street from The Palm. I think they are open for dinner and in the price range.
          I agree with Scrappy on Tesorro (or whatever it is called). I have been there a few times and find it mediocre. There is another Italian place-Zucca? Perhaps a CH will know more about it.
          Is Pacific Dining car an option, given the budget? Maybe you can check it out online?

        2. Pete's Cafe and Bar on 4th and Main. It's a nice space and has reasonable prices for both food and wine. I've only had their hamburger, but it was really, really good.

          4 Replies
          1. re: whatsfordinner

            One of the restaurants on Olvera Street might be fun, and definitely within your range.

            1. re: whatsfordinner

              Pete's is an excellent suggestion and should fall within the OP's range pretty easily. Make sure you get an order of the blue cheese fries. Even though Liberty Grill falls within that price range as well, I really couldn't recommend it. While they may have been good initially, it's really terrible now. I think it's pretty tough to screw up a grilled cheese sandwhich, but they couldn't even get that right the last time I was there.

              1. re: mollyomormon

                What about Zucca? I belive they have $0 corkage, (at least they used to) and the price point should be okay, (especially the pasta dishes).

              2. re: whatsfordinner

                No offense to Pete's fans, but they are really overpriced for what you get. Also the service is all over the place.

                I wood go for The Wooden Spoon (Wood Spoon) for Brazilian comfort food in a great, intimate space. No problem going over-budget. Around 8th or 9th St.

                Blossom Restaurant is Vietnamese and gets good reviews. The space is nice... kind of modern. It's down Main Street (between 4th & 5th), not far from Pete's.

              3. i usually go capperi in j-town and take my own wine all the time.

                3 Replies
                1. re: rickym13

                  Thank you all! Now what type of food is capperi??


                  1. re: ladybythebay

                    italian. on 2nd street by san pedro.

                    1. re: ladybythebay

                      capperi is a not fancy place but nice. its not a dive and you can get away with under $50 easy. not sure if they have corkage either? they never charge us since we are regular there....

                  2. Grill Lyon in Little Tokyo, Honda Center, would fit your parameters.

                    Wood Spoon is another option, but I don't know how extensive their dinner menu is.

                    *Avoid Caperri - it sucks. Better off at California Pizza Kitchen.