Your Best Dinner Rec for Food/Value
Our group typically eats at the newer, trendier places, but I'd like to change it up and go somewhere more "under-the-radar", but still has a good atmosphere, great food and is modderately priced i.e. entrees in the low-mid $20s as opposed to the mid-high 30s.
As an example, Angeli Caffe would fit the bill, but we've been there and we don't want to drive that far in Hollywood.
Any ideas for similar places located in Santa Moncia, Venice, West LA, Culver City?
Thanks all for the recs! We ended up going old-school and went to La Dolce Vita and the six of us loved it!
We brought wine ('00 barolo, '05 Palmina "Mattia" blend, '03 Piocho blend) and started with table-side caesar salad, tricolore salad and prosciutto with melon. Caesar had a tasty dressing bursting with garlic and anchovy, but I still think Dan Tana's makes the best.
For entrees we had lasagne, cioppino, veal marsala, veal picatta, chicken picatta and I forget the last dish.
Every dish was spot-on in terms of flavor; veal cutlets were tender, the marsala sauce was rich and earthy and the cioppino was one of the best I've had and surprisingly it was served on a plate.
For dessert, we had to get cheese cake and tiramisu; both excellent and the cheese cake was different than most since it wasn't overly sweet and had a dense,firm custard-like texture.
Considering the menu is straight-forward Italian, the prices are fairly steep (veal dishes in the low $30s), but you're paying more for just fine food. The ambiance is warm and intimate, you can carry on a conversation by simply talking, the service is impeccable and once you sit, you're never rushed.
We enjoyed talking with Reuben (the maitre'd); he's a genial host and has a lot of fun stories about old Hollywood.
Highly recommend if you're looking for the complete dining experience...
Joe's in Venice might be a smidge out of your price range (entrees range from $20-$30) but the food is consistently good and it's in the geographic region. Probably not "under the radar".
On Sunday nights, Dominick's has a good "Sunday Supper" that is $15/per person:
i always enjoyed la vecchia on main street in santa monica and hal's on abbot kinney in venice every time i ate at either place. i also enjoyed wabi-sabi when it first opened. admittedly, i haven't been to any of the three places in several years and don't know what they're like at this point.