UCLA Chow: Recs?
I'm going to be going to UCLA for a sporting event. I'm not too familiar with the area but would like some good chow near UCLA.
I like Japanese, French, American, seafoodm, etc.. No Thai, Pho, Indian or Chinese. Since we are going to a sporting event, the restaurant should be pretty casual. Looking for something yummy and not too expensive ($10 to $20 for entrees, although I could go up to $25-$30). Happy hour specials work, and Spanish tapas sound good also.
What would you recommend? I prefer a non-chain place, but if there is nothing else, I guess I could do chains.
UPDATE: On that note, I'm willing to go anyway on the drive from Woodland Hills out to UCLA, so if you know of any good spots that fits into the above description, please make a rec.
Westwood Village is hit and miss from a chow point of view in my opinion. I work there and it's not so bad for lunch if you know where you are going. But there is a fair amount of pretty bad food to avoid and lots of chains.
Lately, I've been partial to a place called Novel Cafe. They have a pretty nice patio and serve sandwiches, pasta and other entrees, burgers and breakfast fare. I really have been liking a rosemary turkey burger. I'd describe their menu as one with fresh ingredients and above average care in the food preparation.
It's not fancy.
They have good coffee. It's at the corner of Gayley and Kinross in Westwood Village.
On Westwood Boulevard are some good Middle East/Persian type places. (I hate to sound ignorant, but I honestly don't always know how to distinguish between the Lebanese, the Persian, the Syrian, the Israeli and the other MIddle Eastern styles -- my bad, I know). If you search the board, you'll find some good choices -- I've eaten in a few of them, but am not expert enough to make recommendations. (In the village is Falafel King, where I go -- good food, but not very fancy.)
For Japanese I go outside the village to Hamasaku. It's at Sepulveda and Santa Monica (they have a web site). It's about two miles from campus, give or take. Not traditional (or what I think of as traditional) but they have really nice rolls and other sushi.
For happy hour, I wonder if the W Hotel has a happy hour. Their restaurants are really good, but I don't know if they have a happy hour.
Good luck with your search ...
I recently checked out Shahrzad restaurant on Westwood Blvd. Everything was very good. They give you fresh Persian bread, made right inside the restaurant, in a tanoor (clay oven).
I also like Shamshiri Grill. They do not have the fresh-made bread, but everything on the menu that I've had has been good. Both Shamshiri and Shahrzad are moderately priced Persian restaurants on Westwood Blvd., between Wilshire Blvd. and Santa Monica Blvd. You can park at the meters on the street in front of the restaurants on Westwood Blvd.
WHills: I don't know if you like Persian food, but these are just some suggestions, since you didn't mention either way (yay or nay) re. this type of food.
1712 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024
1422 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024
Don't know if the food is any good, but Palomino (right in the Village) has happy hours that seems to be quite popular.
Asuka on Westwood just south of Wilshire for Japanese sushi and robata-yaki.
If you are coming out on a Tuesday, Il Moro (on Purdue, just south of Olympic) has a $25 wine tasting that includes a really good Italian appetizer buffet. It's from 6 to 8 pm. On Monday thru Friday, they have happy hours from 5 to 7. It's about 15 to 30 min. drive from UCLA, depending on the time of the day.
American nearby at Bandera
Furaibo over on Sawtelle or Blue Marlin or Orris as suggested
Over on San Vicente, Pizzicotto and Palmeri.
Nearby, Upstairs2 on Cotner is higher end.
2131 Sawtelle Blvd. It's in the shopping center with Katsu, Blue Marlin, Volcano Tea House (maybe the best boba in town, including the SGV) and a bunch of other places. It's on the west side of Sawtelle, in the block immediately north of Olympic. Better than Curry House. I believe the chicken cutlet is the most popular item, though I'm partial to the fish cutlet.
You don't mention whether you're going before or after the sporting event; dinner or lunch?
BTW - parking and transporation is an issue. Are you parking at UCLA? then you'll want to leave the car there and walk, which means the northern part of WW village is best.
You can walk from the campus to the Gypsy Cafe on Broxton; Habibi on Broxton, Jerry's Deli (meh), Damon & Pythias on lower Broxton, or you can park in the structure on Broxton. There are also a couple of Italian and pizza places on Gayley and a sushi place on ....whatever that street is that the Bruin Theatre is on at Gayley, and also a California Pizza Kitchen. There's a kinda fusion Japanese place on Kinross west of Gayley, and the south end of Gayley has an assortment of Asian and natural food joints.
If you don't mind paying for valet, you can go to Palomino or Napa Valley or Tanino. Tanino you could probably walk to, also, Napa and Pal would be more of a hike from the UCLA parking structures.
If you get in the car, then you can go further south of Wilshire, to the Persian places and some nice Italian places like Bruschetta on Westwood south of the Bristol Farms, and Asuka for sushi. Also the various offerings on Sawtelle.
Anyway - if it's lunch, a good choice is Damon & Pythias on Broxton. And you can park in the structure on Broxton.
Novel, as someone above has mentioned, is good, too.