Best of LA: Order-and-sit-down spots
The comfortable *non-chain* in-between that doesn't have a good name to distinguish it... far more than fast food, but a notch less than full-waitservice restaurants, perfect for a lunch with a friend. Where you order at the counter, find a table, and wait til the staff brings it.
Along the lines of Auntie Em's Kitchen, Leaf Cafe, Coral Tree, Tender Greens... What places are out there in LA.?
I personally find Le Pain Quotidien (LPQ) a great chain that seems very modest in its identity. To me, it's the model that any chain should follow, where its food and service does the talking, and not its branding. Although it's not order-and-sit-down (in fact, the staff at the pastry counter will direct you to engage one of the waiters if you want a pastry to eat there), I also feel it deserves a good mention.
In a similar vein, Amandine in West LA, while not a chain like LPQ, seems to always take great care in their food and service. While not a destination eatery in most foodies' minds, I can't help but think of this place at least once a day for the great meals and pastries that I've enjoyed here. The quiches put to rest the motto, "real men don't eat quiche," as I would think "real" men or not, most would find their versions very tasty and substantial, as well as having croissants and other pastries that would please just about any Euro-phile...
I couldn't have said this better, bulavinaka...and you couldn't have said it better, either. Le Pain Quotidien and Amandine are two of our favorites!
I will add Paris Baguette Bakery/Cafe to this list (125 N. Western Ave.). We were there yesterday (trying to get there with our Clover coffee from Groundworks downtown...gone, however, before we made it!) and Paris Baguette is now featuring several more savory items that we had not seen before along with a few choices of divine looking shave ices (with fresh fruit, red beans, condensed milk).
I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that Joan's On Third would be at or near the top of the list. And Rose Cafe too if you order at the counter. (Funny, I think of these two places as sort of east/west counterparts to each other.)
Also on Third Street is the relatively new The Little Next Door. (Another favorite on this board.)
And I'll add a vote for Amandine as well.
Wow! this thread is making me understand more about the way I like to eat out. Walk in and order at the counter (no waiting for a server to ask what you want to drink). Then take your seat and settle in knowing you have done everything you can to seepd it up but not have to stress-out about "did they call my number yet?" They bring it to you pretty quickly because these kinds of places do not have the counter space to let food sit and stack-up. Good post!
Lunch plus DESSERT.
For sandwiches, salads, cake, cookies, shakes
7290 Beverly Boulevard (at Poinsettia)
Los Angeles 90036
Mon - Closed
Sun, Tue – Thur 9 a.m.– 10 p.m.
Fri-Sat 9 a.m. - 11 p.m.
Fo dat ono kine grinz and da shave ice
Shakas (The best Bacon Fried Rice this side of the islands)
101 W. Main St. #C (Enter from First Street behind Starbucks Coffee)
Shakas (Sorry, no bacon fried rice at this location but plenty good grinz and shave ice)
2300 Garfield Ave.
Monterey Park CA
Shakey's Pizza Restaurant (Very special fried chicken at this location).
1422 N Azusa Ave
Covina, CA 91722-1251
Original Rinaldi's (Italian combo sub, Meat Ball sandwich, Hot Chicken sandwich, Turkey, liverwurst – on & on)
323 Main St.
El Segundo, CA 90245
From N. Sepulveda Blvd go West on E. Grand to Main St.
From W. Imperial Ave. Go South on Main
Right across from the Fire Department
Salads or Chicken
California Chicken Café (The best Chinese Chicken Salad anyplace, great rotisserie
chicken, wraps) Closed Sunday.
Burgers, fish& chips, Beer
Clearman's Galley (Aka, The Boat) Chili cheese burger, fish and chips, salad with great cheese toast, cold beer) Note, The Boat is being totally rebuilt but for now the menu is served at North Woods Inn M-F until 4:00 pm).
7247 Rosemead Blvd.
San Gabriel, CA
I have been to MILK only once, and I thought it was really good and REALLY rich! We shared a tres leches cake -- although our choice was just random as we could have tried anything in the case! The portion was very generous and the three milks were very distinct. With your reminder, JeetJet (love your name!), I would love to return to try something savory...a sandwich.
Okay, here's our list so far for all of you order-and-sit-down fans like myself.
Auntie Em's (Eagle Rock)
Lovebirds Cafe (Pasadena)
Pitfire Pizza (DTLA)
Clearman's (San Gabriel)
Leaf Cafe (Culver City)
Tender Greens (Culver City)
Fresh Corn Grill (WLA)
M Cafe de Chaya <-- my next spot to try
Clementine (Century City)
Joan's on Third
Rose Cafe (Venice)
Little Next Door
Coral Tree (chain)
Stonefire Grill (chain)
Corner Bakery (chain)
u-Wink <-- never heard of this one..
Le Pain Quotidien (chain)
California Chicken Cafe (chain)
Paris Baguette Cafe
Original Rinaldi's (El Segundo)
Awesome everyone... keep the suggestions coming and I'll update the list
I'm a little surprised that no one has mentioned Honey's Kettle in Culver City. I guess you could call it a mini-chain, since there's one other in Compton, but it's quite tasty. It's not Amandine (LOVE that place), but it hits the spot for comfort food mid-day between meetings and traffic. The chicken is good, the biscuits are delicious, and drizzling both with honey and hot sauce is fattening perfection.
9537 Culver Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
Teri & Yaki Chicken House has some good soups. I like the dumpling soup, spicy chicken soup and the pot stickers. The Chinese Chicken Salad is good also and has a house made dressing that you would either really like or really dislike. The won-tons remind me of Feast from the East style. Many people like them because they taste great but to me they are heavy grease. The chicken meal with noodles is pretty good also. Good prices. I go to the Monrovia location 2 to 3 times each month. They have inside seating as well as outdoor. Sitting out front above the sidewalk is nice.
Teri & Yaki Chicken House
106 S Myrtle Ave
Monrovia, CA 91016
Teri & Yaki Chicken House
319 S. Arroyo Parkway #9 (x-st. Del Mar