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Places to eat in Marina del Rey?

j
jamaicaplain Jul 9, 2007 10:22 AM

We are staying at the Marriott Marina del Rey for a week and are looking for fairly inexpensive, but good food nearby. Any suggestions?

  1. j
    jamaicaplain Jul 16, 2007 09:58 AM

    Hey everyone,
    Thanks for all the recs! We tried 26 Beach for lunch - great atmosphere and decent food. The salads were really fresh and huge, and the hamburger was tasty. Fries were so-so. We didn't have much for drinks - a lemonade (which was advertised as fresh, but tasted more like it was from a Nantucket Nectars bottle) and a reliable beer. Overall, good choice. We wanted to go again, but ran out of time.

    We also hit both Ballona and Irori, and everyone who wrote in was right on, in my opinion. Irori was amazing - the fish was really fresh. We got the seaweed salad, the sushi combo special (with spicy tuna rolls and nigiri -- salmon, tuna, yellowtail, and one I can't remember), a spicy tuna handroll, and an order of the yellowtail rolls plus a flight of sake and a beer. The ambience was great, the service really attentive, and sushi completely fresh and tasty.

    Ballona was fine - decent. As many of you said, the rolls they have are more "creative," but the fish wasn't as flavorful, and I thought that the "sauces" in the rolls sort of masked the fish. Seemed like the happy hour deal would be more of a draw, as the rolls were overpriced in my opinion.

    On a side note, we did check out the new hot spot, Pizzeria Mozza in West Hollywood. Very good pizza and well worth the trip at least once. And we also hit this hole in the wall Pho place in Silver Lake. I can't remember it's exact name, but it's on Sunset at the corner of Sunset and Parkman. It wouldn't help anyways, because the restaurant doesn't have a sign anywhere out front! REALLY great soups and spring rolls. Cheap and very good eats (prices less than $10) and they serve beer, wine, and sake.

    So those were my experiences - thanks again and next time I'm in LA, will be sure to try some of the other recommendations you all provided!

    1. w
      will47 Jul 11, 2007 01:17 PM

      Tamara's Tamales... not sure how close it is to where you're staying and whether it's technically in MDR or not, but should be pretty close. Tasty and very reasonable in price as far as I can remember.

      1. j
        Juliebeth Jul 10, 2007 05:04 PM

        There are plenty of restaurants in Marina del Rey but sadly they are all mediocre.
        26 Beach has slipped. the food is just fair although the atmosphere is lovely. 12 Washington is not consistent.
        Charthouse, Wherehouse, Harbor House, TonyP's, C & O etc. all have barely edible food. The newly opened Tlapazolla is pretty good. I had an awful meal at Ballona Fish Market but maybe it was an off night as most people speak highly of it. Alejos and Pasta Factory can be decent but never great. Gabys and Mercedes are interesting but never delicious. I have only been to Beechwood once but I was not impressed. Believe it or not, the best salads in the area are at the Cheesecake Factory.
        With all of the new residences being built in the Marina and the neighboring Playa Vista someone should wake up and open a great restaurant in the Marina!

        4 Replies
        1. re: Juliebeth
          Servorg Jul 10, 2007 05:10 PM

          Cafe Del Rey can still turn out great food. Inconsistent, but still it's the destination dining spot right in the Marina.

          Have you ever tried Sapori in Fisherman's Village? Not a bad effort for the tourist trappings of the V.

          Sapori Italian Restaurant. 13723 Fiji Way, Fisherman's Village Marina del Rey, CA 90292 Tel: (310) 821-1740

          1. re: Servorg
            j
            Juliebeth Jul 10, 2007 05:43 PM

            Cafe del Rey can be very good but it's more of a production, not a place you can just have a casual meal at.
            Sapori is on my list to try again. It was very good a few times and then just fair. Why can't restaurants in the Marina be consistent?

            1. re: Juliebeth
              westsidegal Jul 11, 2007 07:31 PM

              i wouldn't consider cafe del rey 'fairly inexpensive.'
              when i went there for brunch early june, i found that they raised their brunch prices substantially; they probably raised all their other prices too.

          2. re: Juliebeth
            westsidegal Jul 11, 2007 07:29 PM

            dunno about their entire menu, but i had a terrific tuscan salad at 26 beach a couple of weeks ago. at least that item (one of my favorites) is consistent.

          3. Emme Jul 10, 2007 02:18 AM

            Second the rec for 26 Beach, Alejo's and Gaby's Mediterranean

            Also, Cooks Double Dutch, Pann's, Abbot's, Uncle Darrow's, Aunt Kizzy's Backporch, Thai Boom.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Emme
              j
              JeetJet Jul 10, 2007 06:10 PM

              Emme, you made some very very strong recs for some good food at good prices – I second.

              Aunt Kizzys Backporch (Good fried chicken, peach cobbler – soul food)
              4325 Glencoe Ave Ste 2731 1
              Marina del Rey, California 90292
              (310) 578-1005

              Uncle Darrow’s (Deep fried Shrimp po-boy, peach cobler)
              2560 S. Lincoln Blvd.
              Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
              (corner of Lincoln & Washiington Blvds.)
              310.306.4862
              http://www.uncledarrows.com/

              Pann’s (Do a search on Chowhound for this place and you will get hungry. What ever you order also get a order of Fried Chicken wings and waffles)
              6710 La Tijera Blvd
              Los Angeles, CA
              90045
              (323) 776-3770
              Cross Street: La Cienega Boulevard
              http://www.panns.com/

              Also, these places are very near to MDR.

              Venice is nearby and IMO this is the best Chinese Chicken salad you will find in L.A.. I ask for extra almonds but request no pasta and no wontons – a very large salad. Great rotisserie chicken and fresh fruit salad also
              California Chicken Café
              424 Lincoln Boulevard(South of Rose, North of Venice Boulevard
              )Venice, CA 90291
              (310) 392-3500
              Open Mon thu Sat – Delivery Closed Sunday.
              California Chicken Cafe locations & menu
              http://www.californiachickencafe.com/

              El Sugundo is just the other side of LAX

              Original Rinaldi's (Italian combo, Meat Ball sandwich, Hot Chicken sandwich or anything they make)
              323 Main St.
              El Segundo, CA 90245
              (310) 647-2860
              From N. Sepulveda Blvd go West on E. Grand to Main St.
              From W. Imperial Ave. Go South on MainRight across from the Fire Department

              Big Mike's Philly Steaks and Sub (Best Cheese steak in L.A., Get the 18" – Nuff Said!
              )507 Main St.
              El Segundo, CA 90245
              (310) 726-9638

              Culver City is very nearby also.

              Rutt’s Hawaiian Café (Breakfast / Lunch, I like the bacon FRIED RICE “Royale,” or Loco Moco, or Fried fish plates. Check da grinz on da link below)
              12114 Washington Blvd.,
              Los Angeles, CA 90066
              (310) 398-6326
              http://www.ruttscafe.com/

              Check out this post for more about Culver City.
              http://www.chowhound.com/topics/415091

            2. d
              Dav Jul 9, 2007 04:19 PM

              If you're looking for not-too-adventurous-but-good mexican, try Paco's Tacos. It's not in Marina Del Rey, but it's close (2.3 miles according to Google Maps). The food is solid, and the flour tortillas are homemade and DELICIOUS. They also have good margaritas.

              From your hotel, drive east down Washington, veer right at the fork (staying on Washington Blvd) and then right on Centinela.

              -----
              Pacos Tacos
              4141 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

              1. Servorg Jul 9, 2007 02:49 PM

                You are within easy walking distance of one of the best burgers in LA at Hinano's. Just go west on Washington Blvd. and right before you walk on to the Venice Beach Pier (stroll out to the end to catch the sun setting over the Pacific if the time is right) you will see it on your right.

                http://www.aboutvenicebeach.com/Hinan...

                1. q
                  quizwrangler Jul 9, 2007 01:07 PM

                  Not sure if these recs are too expensive, but: we like Wharo Korean BBQ on Lincoln just south of Washington. Food is good, not too pricey. Two people can eat there for $30-40 without alcohol. You'll pay more than in K-town, but it's still reasonable and I believe it's the only Korean place in the general vicinity. Also we recently tried the new branch of Tlapazola which advertises itself as "southern Mexican." It's upscale casual, and not super-expensive. We ate there Sat. night; cost was $62 (not including tip) for two entrees, one ceviche app and two glasses of wine. Desserts looked good, but we did not indulge. Be sure to ask the cost of the specials. My yellowtail (served with two delicious mole sauces on a bed of haricots verts) was $20. While this is not terrible expensive, it was considerably more than the $12.95/13.95 for the carnitas and carne asada. Wine list is small, but OK. Corkage $12. The resto is small and attractive, the service very sweet. We intend to support this neighborhood place. It's on Lincoln south of Washington near Benny's BBQ and the car wash.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: quizwrangler
                    m
                    markabauman Jul 9, 2007 01:22 PM

                    Just got back from LA-we stayed in that Courtyard Marriott. Someone had recommended for sushi Tsuji No Hana- a little south on Lincoln, but still near the marina. Didn't get a chance to go-anyone know anything about it? Went on a recommendation to Cafe Del Rey- overall wasn't great nor cheap-but we actually had some decent sushi to begin.

                    1. re: markabauman
                      q
                      quizwrangler Jul 9, 2007 01:57 PM

                      We really, really want to like Tsuji No Hana - it's right around the corner from our place. We have eaten there twice and both times it was only all right. Not bad, but not particularly notable or worth recommending. However, we will try again, but only because it's right around the corner and hope springs eternal.

                      1. re: quizwrangler
                        westsidegal Jul 9, 2007 07:46 PM

                        i'd recommend that you not bother trying it anymore.
                        save your money.
                        of the local sushi places, irori is the best bet.

                  2. l
                    LisaStitch Jul 9, 2007 11:48 AM

                    Deending on your definition of fairly inexpensive, 26 Beach on Washington just west of Lincoln could work. Burgers, salads, sandwiches, pizzas, and pastas are all huge and priced in the teens, and no entree is over $29 including the filet mignon. Great cute place. The pastas and burgers on their own brioche bread are my favorites. I think it's technically Venice, but I live right near the Marriott Marina Del Rey and go there all the time.
                    http://www.26beach.com/

                    There are also a ton of chain restaurants in your immediate vicinity, within walking distance. You could also walk to Ballona Sushi on the corner of Lincoln & Maxella that is nice and has decent, inexpensive sushi and they also have happy hour specials. Kind of around the corner from it, in case you're one of the many obsessed with it, is a Pinkberry.
                    http://www.ballonamdr.com/

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: LisaStitch
                      j
                      jamaicaplain Jul 9, 2007 12:19 PM

                      Thanks for the sushi rec - we were searching for sushi everywhere last night but couldn't find anything anyone had ever tried. Would you consider that area walking distance from the marina, or is it really a drive? The 26 Beach also seems like a good variety. Will be sure to check it out.

                      1. re: jamaicaplain
                        mollyomormon Jul 9, 2007 12:29 PM

                        I think that Irori is much much better for sushi than Ballona Fish Market. Although if you have a hankering for rolls, then Ballona might be what you want. I also would not consider it inexpensive unless you can make it during happy hour. Irori is definitely superior if you're just looking for traditional sushi unadorned with lots of sauces. Both Irori and Ballona are within walking distance depending on how open you are to walking. I would guess it's about a 20 minute walk. Irori is in the shopping plaza accross Maxella from Ballona.

                        1. re: mollyomormon
                          j
                          jamaicaplain Jul 9, 2007 01:05 PM

                          other folks writing on chowhound seem to give irori mixed reviews, but they are from a few months ago. there were some pretty terrible posts in january, but before that people seemed to like it. have any of you been there recently?

                          1. re: jamaicaplain
                            b
                            BeachGrub Jul 10, 2007 06:26 AM

                            Each there for lunch all the time and dinner occasionally. The fish quality, specials, and service has always been very good. It is my favorite sushi in the area.

                        2. re: jamaicaplain
                          l
                          LisaStitch Jul 9, 2007 01:16 PM

                          Sorry I was thinking of another Marriott (a "Courtyard" Marriott)...

                          For the Marriott that is on Admiralty Way, 26 Beach is maybe a 10-15 minute walk for you along Washington Blvd, so it's not very far at all.

                          For Ballona sushi, it's easier to drive it - would be maybe a 5-minute cab ride. It's about a 20-30 minute walk.

                          1. re: LisaStitch
                            q
                            quizwrangler Jul 9, 2007 01:52 PM

                            I was thinking of the Courtyard Marriott as well (near Lincoln/90 freeway). If you're at the Admiralty Way Marriott then you are much closer to places in Venice. We sometimes go to the Pasta Factory on Washington/Via Dolce. It has the same menu as Alejo's - it's the resto that Alejo started after his wife received the original place in the divorce. (He has since died.) I find it far more comfortable and pleasant than the original, which we get takeout from. We have also liked Tajrish, a middle eastern place in the Killer Shrimp mini-mall at Washington/Ocean, but haven't been there in a while. Killer Shrimp also isnt' bad. Some people like Akbar on Washington up towards Lincoln, but I find the food bland. We loved it when the old man was still alive. There's also good middle eastern at Gaby's on Washington near the beach, which costs very little money for LOTS of food. They don't have a liquor license, but will discreetly point you toward the closest liquor store. We also like the tiny Thai (Siamese Hut?) next to Baja Cantina. My husband loves the crathongtons. A year ago we had a very good lunch at Mercedes grill on Washington, but haven't been back.

                            1. re: quizwrangler
                              mollyomormon Jul 9, 2007 02:04 PM

                              Mercedes Grill is a really good idea, but it's a place where you have to order carefully. I like their mojitos and I'm a huge fan of their shrimp scampi dish but other things have been hit or miss for me.

                              For cheap, no frills burgers there's Hinano at the end of Washington Blvd. Very fun to grab a burger and a beer there after a day at the beach.

                              1. re: mollyomormon
                                q
                                quizwrangler Jul 9, 2007 02:48 PM

                                Second the rec on Hinano. It's one of the last dives and we're glad it's still there. Thanks for the tip on Mercedes.

                        3. re: LisaStitch
                          westsidegal Jul 9, 2007 07:45 PM

                          second the 26 beach recommendation.
                          for local sushi go to irori

                        4. Foodandwine Jul 9, 2007 11:39 AM

                          There is a great little tratoria by the name of alejos on the corner of washington and lincoln.. its in the strip center.. a very houndish kind of place. great pesto, pasta especially with seafood and ohh ya thar garlic oil for dipping your bread. great fried calamri and chooped salad. After wring this I will go this week as well. Oh yes, BYOB and no corkage..

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Foodandwine
                            j
                            jamaicaplain Jul 9, 2007 12:14 PM

                            sounds great. thanks for the tip on the corkage!

                            1. re: Foodandwine
                              westsidegal Jul 9, 2007 07:43 PM

                              just so you know, there is at least one person who disagrees with this recommendation.
                              it's just a matter of personal taste, but to me the food at alejos is either poor or terrible depending on what dish you order

                            2. a_and_w Jul 9, 2007 11:33 AM

                              Antica Pizzeria does excellent Neapolitan-style pizza.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: a_and_w
                                s
                                Signora Jul 10, 2007 05:53 PM

                                I second the recommendation for Antica Pizzaria. We find their food consistently good and authentic of the Southern Italy style. Especially enjoy their grilled vegetable plate that comes with gargonzola cheese and grilled polenta. It used to be an appetizer but is now an entree.

                              2. w
                                wolf Jul 9, 2007 11:26 AM

                                nicholes is good, clean, professional, consistant & inexpensive ..

                                3 Replies
                                1. re: wolf
                                  l
                                  LisaStitch Jul 9, 2007 11:50 AM

                                  Is this the Nichols "neighborhood" restaurant by Citibank? I've always been meaning to try it... Any favorites you recommend?

                                  1. re: LisaStitch
                                    e
                                    ElissaInPlaya Jul 9, 2007 02:21 PM

                                    The soup is decent.

                                  2. re: wolf
                                    e
                                    eat_well Jul 9, 2007 10:15 PM

                                    I second the Nichol's vote. I'm usually a breakfaster there--they do great eggs of all sorts. Great meaning they know the difference between over easy and over medium and the omlettes are light and fluffy good. Great toast too when they get it to you warm. I've had lunch/dinner there a few times and usually get a tuna melt on wheat. The fries are too often cold but the servers are uniformly pleasant.

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