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Jul 12, 2007 12:25 AM

West LA Suggestions?

A friend wants to take me out for a belated birthday dinner this weekend. She wants me to pick the place, but I don't want it to be too pricey (anything more than $20/per person). Do you know of any fun places on the westside where two girls can go for a delicious and reasonable dinner on a Friday night? (anything except Indian food or Mexican food, per my friend's food sensitivities).

Thank you!!!


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  1. Nook Bistro in West L.A. is one good choice.

    We also like Sprazzo on Westwood Blvd. across from Borders Books. Small, attractive Italian place with good food and a nice wine list. If you try Sprazzo ask to reserve one of their booths, which they will do for you.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Servorg

      I love Nook and have recommended it many times to queries on this board, but I doubt that you can have a satisfying dinner there for $20/per, especially if you include a beverage (even nonalcoholic), tax and tip. Perhaps if you split one of their soups, a salad, and a couple of appetizers (great mussels and mac'n'cheese) and maybe a dessert. Nook's entrees range from the high teens to just over $20 -- even their excellent burger was $12 and probably is up to $14 by now.

      To stick to $20 max per person, my top recs would be Shamshiri on Westwood or Thai Boom on Venice at Midvale, between Overland and Sepulveda.

    2. Musha (Japanese pub food) in Santa Monica.

      1 Reply
      1. re: whatsfordinner

        Second the rec for Musha, and would definitely not do Gyu-Kaku (go to Soot Bull Jeep if that's what you want).

        I'd also say Pizzicotto, Thai Boom, Gaby's Mediterranean, Newsroom Cafe or Sawtelle Kitchen

        I like Literati, but I doubt possible. Love Violet and Nook too, but again, perhaps not possible?

      2. You could also try Gyu Kaku which is on westwood and's a really fun place where you grill your own meat and veggies at your table. the marinades are absolutely delish and there's a pretty large variety of stuff on the menu...just make sure you both eat meat bc I don't think there's much for a veggie on the menu. also make sure to try the grapefruit sochi drink. i love this place!

        if you're planning on going on a friday night i'd definately call to make reservations because the restaurant is quite small.

        3 Replies
        1. re: msportobello

          I wholeheartedly agree with prev posts regarding SPRAZZO / NOOK / GYU KAKU. All really good choices for your location/price range. I think GYU KAKU would probably be best - bbq skewers for dinner & yummy s'mores for dessert sounds like fun to me!

          1. re: msportobello

            unfortunately, for $20pp, you will leave gyu-kaku very very hungry.

            1. re: wilafur

              wilafur youre right.
              sprazzo is cheaper but then again get a drink, dessert, tax/ 20% dinner tip and possible parking costs - youre looking at 20-30 at the least. and the same goes for nook.


              if i had 20 bucks to take a friend out for her bday dinner in west la, id go with a bento box dinner at furaibo on sawtelle (parking is free) - walk around afterwards for dessert - beard papa's. pinkberry, crepes or waffles, boba, or go to nijiya market?

          2. don't know what you consider to be 'fun,' but for the foodquality/food quantity/ambiance/price considerations, your very best bet, imho would be shamshiri grill on westwood blvd.
            two girls could EASILY be full sharing one appetizer and one entree.
            do NOT rely on their website for information because the website doesn't reflect 75% of what they offer.

            1. How about Blue Marlin for some tasty Japanese style Italina food? I love the uni spaghetti, and mentaiko spaghetti. Nothing is over $20, I think. After dinner, you can walk up and down Sawtelle for some funky shopping: Happy 16, Tokyo Outlet Center, Giant Robot.... For desserts, flavasista gave very good suggestions above. Happy Belated Birthday to you.