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Jul 23, 2007 02:02 PM

Inexpensive nr Olympic & Sawtelle-dinner

Going to The Olympic Collections Center for a meeting, Have to drive across town so we get on the road at 3 and arrive 4:30 or so then get a bite to eat before the meeting at 6:30. Am trying to avoid Boston Market and the like. So far, Sofia (sp?) in the Westside Pavillion has been good. Trying to suggest new places to my friends as we do this once a month or so. Any place in the general area is good as long as we can park we don't mind a short drive. Just trying to get the bulk of the driving done to beat the traffic.

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  1. Your best options would seem to be on Sawtelle, north of Olympic. You could go to Mizu 212 for Japanese shabu-shabu. You could go to Yakitoriya for yakitori. You could got Hide Sushi for cheaper sushi (cash only, about $25-35 per person). There are a number of other places on Sawtelle, some of which would qualify as cheap eats.

    Across from Westside Pavilion, you could go to Apple Pan for a burger and pie.

    On Westwood Blvd and Pico, you could go to Junior's Deli.

    Along Westwood Blvd, you could go to Sunnin for cheap, tasty Lebanese. Or you could try some of the Persian places on Westwood Blvd, which are all tasty and not too expensive.

    1. There's Ramen-ya on Olympic a few blocks west of Sawtelle for cheap and tasty ramen.

      1. The strip mall a bit north of the Olympic Collection offers:
        - Hurry Curry (japanese curry)
        - Blue Marlin (japanese-italian fusion, entrees are $9-15)
        - Little Hong Kong (although this place, last time I was around there, looked closed?)
        - Pho Reign
        - Tiny crepe place with mean mean proprietor but yummy crepes
        - boba place
        - a sushi place i've never tried
        - Restaurant 2117, which i've also never tried, but looks fancier than the rest

        A little ways up from there is Asahi Ramen, which has great, somewhat inventive ramen (i like the curry ramen), and delicious gyoza.

        And if you're feeling festive, Furaibo is a fun izikaya -- beer, sake, small plates.

        2 Replies
        1. re: tannazie

          great suggestions....i really like the food at blue marlin.

          as for little hong kong cafe, they will be closed for a lil bit to fix damage caused by a small fire.

          1. re: tannazie

            I quite like Blue Marlin, esp. their spaghetti options (mmmm, mentaiko spaghetti with ika) and their home-made croquettes. Hurry Curry also has japanese spaghetti, though I find their a bit inconsistent (used to love them, but last few times were kind of disappointing-- dryish pasta, smaller portions) Both are right next door to the olympic collection, though, so would be super-convenient.

          2. Lots of good suggestions already. Within that center on the 2nd floor is a conveyer belt sushi place that has decent quality for excellent prices.

            Sawtelle Kitchen is a block and a half north on Sawtelle. There's also Curry House opposite the strip mall where Hurry Curry is. I and most people prefer Hurry Curry but CH is still pretty decent.

            A relatively short drive or decent walk would be Monta Alban on Santa Monica Blvd and Broxton? Good inexpensive Oaxacan.

            A closer walk would be Javan on Santa Monica Blvd.

            2nd the Furaibo rec. Definitely a fun place with friends to hang out while drinking and noshing. Along that vein of izakaya's there's also Nanbakan on the corner of SM blvd and Sawtelle. Or Terried Sake House and Sasaya on SM Blvd headed west.

            For Ramen, I'd prefer Ramen-ya over Asahi. IMO, better quality and definitely a wider selection of combinations.

            A little further west on Olympic past Ramen-ya is Tia Juana's. You can guess the cuisine from the name.

            South on Sawtelle and Pico is Big Tomy's. Gut bomb chili cheeseburgers if you're looking for extreme casual and inexpensive. Go west on Pico at that corner and you'll see SF Saloon a couple of blocks down. Good burgers and drinks at a relaxed bar.

            Depending on time of day, you're almost better off just parking and walking to most everything. With the exception of Monte Alban, everything mentioned is within 3/4 mile of that corner. Traffic around there can be maddening right after work.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jase

              Monte Alban is a good suggestion. Not to quibble, but they are on Santa Monica Blvd. at Brockton, a block or two east of Bundy. (Broxton is in Westwood Village.)

              If I recall correctly, S.F. Saloon has some happy hour specials. Some of the reviews on this board have lauded their burgers (they have a turkey-burger option) but a couple of posts have complained about seemingly rewarmed patties.

              As is often the case, your best choice may be Nook Bistro, which is in the back corner of a minimall on Santa Monica Blvd. and Barry, a block east of Barrington. I just checked their website, and to my surprise they open for dinner at 5 (I expected 6). You could have a glass of wine and share a bunch of starters: great mac'n'cheese, mussels, very good soups. They have an upscale burger but note that their large plates are very generous -- you may snooze through your meeting.

            2. for inexpensive Chinese in the area I like Hop Woo on Olympic and Sepulveda. BYOB (maybe not before a meeting) and good lobster and roast Duck specials. Dinner fcan be about the same price as Ramen, which would also be good for a lite inexpensive meal at Chabuya, Asahi, or Ramenya.