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May 7, 2007 08:30 AM

Seafood on the Westside

Hi all,
I'm looking for a place to have a graduation dinner/lunch. Something with both a good atmosphere and great food. It will be for quite a number of people, so nothing over $40 a plate, please. I'm thinking The Lobster or Crustacean? Any suggestions would be appreciated!

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  1. NOT Crustacean. Anything but Crustacean.

    1. Just a Cautionary Warning - If your going to invite people to "The Lobster", than your giving some of them a green light to order a Lobster. At $28/lb., a 1 1/2 lb. Lobster, caesar salad (i.e.), 2 basic glasses of wine, plus Tax & Tip will take you to $82. Add Dessert & Coffee, and you better budget at least $100 out-the-door for each Lobster orderering guest. Overall, they have a killer view but the food, at best, is just o.k.

      Crustacean - If you did a search on this board, you'd find a 90% + negative response on them.

      Alternative suggestions - At this moment, I'm not sure. I'll repost when, if, an idea materializes.

      1. $40 per person for brunch seems possible. For other meals, it seems tough. If you are really intent on having some seafood, then you could probably have a brunch at Joe's in Venice for $40 per person, depending on the size of the group (it's not that big of a restaurant). The food is excellent and their brunch is particularly well-priced.

        You could also go to Lilly's next door to Joe's -- they usually have a fish entrée on the menu. It is not quite as nice as Joe's, but it is cheaper, reliable, and nice. It's a French bistro with a nice outdoor patio in the back.

        You could probably do brunch at James Beach in Venice for $40/person. It's a good brunch in a nice, quasi-outdoor setting. They'll probably have a fish entrée of some sort, but I haven't had that there. I've always had huevos rancheros and things like that. Very pleasant setting.

        1. What about Ocean Avenue Seafood?

          1 Reply
          1. re: nosh

            I second Ocean Avenue - most of the entrees are much less than $40 a plate. Food is consistently good, and the service generally very good as well. Sitting outside on the covered patio would be nice, especially around sunset.


          2. have you considered ay ethnic restaurants, or does it have to be standard american/californian?

            'la serenata de garibaldi' in s.m. has amazing mexican food, and they offer a ton of seafood options on a pretty extensive menu. it's within your price range, and definitely a great atmosphere for a celebration.


            6 Replies
            1. re: 1_healthnut

              I like Ocean Ave too. Also thinking about Delmonico's on Pico in Bev Hills Adjacent. Definitely can get in for $40/person and the service is good. Food is american seafood standards with steaks.

                1. re: tony michaels

                  really? I was there in December...that is too bad.

                  1. re: Densible

                    Gulf Stream in Century City has some good seafood dishes...

                    Ocean Avenue Seafood is pretty good too and with a nice atmosphere. I. Cugini, also on Ocean Avenue and under the same ownership, has fresh seafood as well. Lilly's on Abbot Kinney always has seafood specials, is pretty on the patio and is very reasonable.

                    1. re: handlertaper

                      IMO Gulf Stream has the best crab cake in LA. Lump crab barely held together with egg and a touch of mayo (?). I like the wild rice salad and the beets with orange and walnuts. The ahi tuna burger is great too and they have those frites.
                      I have had very disappointing experiences at I Cugini-many group outings have suffered from indifferent service and mediocre food.
                      I like Lilly's very much especially on the patio in the evening. Been to a few party events for 10-20 people and they had a good prixe fix menu with cholices for appetizers/mains. I especially like the mussels.

                      1. re: Densible

                        i had a really disappointing experience at gulfstream recently.

                        when our waitress finally decided to grace us with her presence to take our order [it took 15 minutes just to get water, and another 15 before she came back to see if we actually wanted FOOD], i discussed the lightest, healthiest options with her, and she suggested the 'simple grilled salmon,' which is apparently always available even though it appears nowhere on their menu. i ordered it, asking for the fish to be cooked medium rare, and my dinner companion opted for the same thing.

                        when our plates arrived, the fish AND the accompanying vegetables were swimming in pools of grease. both pieces of fish were completely overcooked [my 'medium rare' was charred on top and dried out inside]. additionally, the vegetables were soggy and overcooked to a degree reminiscent of the mush you'd get in a high school cafeteria, and everything was way over-salted.

                        of course we were both so hungry and tired at this point we just picked at our food and didn't bother to send it back [not that we could have, considering that the waitress didn't reappear for another 30 minutes...]

                        anyway, silly me, when we ordered i didn't even realize that she never mentioned the it was a nice little slap in the face when we finally got the check...$28 each- a full $10 more than ANY of the other fish entrees on the menu- for this abomination.

                        i've had a couple of decent meals there in the past, and i'm a long-time fan of the veggie burger at their sister restaurant [houston's], but i just found the whole experience to be so unpleasant that i don't think i'll be going back...or recommending it to anyone.