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Visiting LA, Need Recs

Hey...coming to visit LA this weekend and looking for some recommendations for good places to eat. Nothing that requires a reservation (we don't exactly plan ahead) and nothing too far of a drive outside the main areas. We are from DC and staying in Santa Monica, so anything quintessentially LA or just totally awesome that we should try?

PS In N Out is already on the agenda.

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  1. Just off the top: maybe cue up at Father's Office to get their signature burger; Oaxacan at Monte Alban or Guelaguetza; Sushi Zo for the expected; follow your nose around the old Farmer's Market (3rd & Fairfax) possibly ending up at Loteria! Grill for whatever strikes your fancy there.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mc michael

      Father's office is a pain in the ass and not worth the wait, noise, or attitude. You can't make substitutions or change the burger in any way, nor the other food. Twit Yoon makes everyone take his creation in all its glory. Ego maniac! The burger isn't THAT good. The wait is forever, the volume of noise is barely standable.

      Definitely tryhte Wednesday or Saturday Farmer's market on the Prominade, Wednesday is the best one.

      Pradeeps is "healthy" indian. it's OK

      Chez Mimi is a lovely little French place with fabulous ambiance and food.
      Library Ale house is OK for beer, food not fabulous, but not awful. There is an Urth Cafe on Main in Santa Monica. Very Californian.
      I Like The Lobster, but not everyone does. The trick is to get a good res and order the steamed lobster. The other dishes are only so-so.

      I like Locanda Del Lago on the promindae for Italian. Some peole disagree, but I have always found it nice.

      Head south to Venice and visit 3 Square for Lunch Brekkers or yummy baked goods. Joe's for Brunch, and Jin Patisserie for tea.

      1. re: Diana

        Yeah, but at least at Father's office, you're neck-deep in elbows and asses, and pretention flows from Yoon down throughout all ten square feet of the place... ;}

        Library Ale House is definitely a nice stop for a break while cruising down Main Street... Go for the brew - who needs food?! ;} Again! You can walk it off on the way to Urth...

        And don't forget Axe on Abbot Kinney as well... You'd swear Joanne was Alice Waters' long lost daughter...

    2. In Santa Monica go to:
      - Skip In N Out and go to Father's Office for burgers and beer or wine.
      - Musha for Japanese pub food (call in the afternoon and you will probably get in that night)
      - Cha Cha Chicken and Tacos Por Favor taste so good after the beach!
      - Bay Cities for a Godmother sandwich to take to the beach.
      - Josie's for a more elegant, fine dining experience (American/game) and Via Veneto (amazing Italian), if your concierge can get you in.
      - Buffalo Club and Michaels for patio dining
      - The Penthouse for a late afternoon drink and watching the sunset.

      5 Replies
      1. re: whatsfordinner

        Second the rec for Josie and Bay Cities although I've never understood the fascination with the godmother sandwich. DO go to In-n-Out...

        1. re: vinosnob

          If you don't like the Godmother, they make a delicious prosciutto sandwich. Not cheap, but really tasty.

          1. re: mc michael

            Good to know, I'll check that out; my usuals are the sausage/peppers or (hot) pastrami or roast beef.

            1. re: vinosnob

              Speaking of pastrami, we forgot to mention Langer's for hand cut pastrami on great rye at 7th & Alvarado until 4 p.m.

      2. Oh, thanks! Skipping In N Out isn't really an option, but going to both places certainly is!!

        What is Loteria?

        1 Reply
        1. re: caphill2320

          Loteria! is in the old permanent (?) Farmer's Market at 3rd & Fairfax in LA.
          Second the rec for the Godmother at Bay Cities on Lincoln in SM. Sorry, Loteria! makes all sorts of Mexican goodies while you sit right at their counter. Tacos, gorditas, agua frescas, whatever.

        2. best burger - hinano in venice (just mins from santa monica) it's such a dive bar and the burger is out of this world.

          for a nice dinner - james beach, it's right by the beach and the food is great

          for breakfast - the omelette parlor on main st. is a local's favorite

          italian - go to fritto misto, 601 Colorado Ave or c&o, the place is fun and the food is decent.

          indian - akbar on wilshire, the food is great

          i hope that helps

          1. I adore the Lobster Bisque (with the puff pastry) at Enterprise Fish Company. Enterprise is just off Main Street in the heart of Santa Monica. I also definitely second the Bay Cities Italian Deli recc. You have to go there at least once during your visit, maybe even twice! They have the best bread! Bay Cities is on Lincoln Blvd. at Broadway.