Thanks, Chowhounders for your suggestions. Need more.
Thank you chowhounds for your great suggestions. Living on a teacher's salary, I can't afford to be a regular at Urusawa and Totoraku, but I've gotten a lot of great suggestions from here. Since finding this site, I've added some restaurants to my list of favorites:
The Tulsa Rib Company
101 Noodle Express (I go here way too often.)
Tacos Baja Ensenada
Golden Bird Fried Chicken at Porky's (Can't eat any other now.)
Pie n Burger
Mashti Malone's (Because of chowhounders, I created an ice cream tasting menu as a church community-building function.)
Banh Cuon Tay Ho ( must eat every few weeks)
Favorites (and still favorites) list before this site:
Shin sen gumi (noodles are great, yakitori bar excellent, sumo food (chanko) is awesome)
Happy Family Vegetarian
Gaja (My favorite Japanese restaurant, bar none)
Musha (Girlfriend loves this one a bit too much. For her, smaller portions, more tasty than Gaja)
Yong Su San
Young Dong Tofu House
JJ Bakery ( try the strawberry or mango "western-style" mochi)
Super Bowl Thai (Place where all my senior citizen relatives ask to eat.)
Nha Hang Van (best banh xeo in Southern California)
Vietnam House (anyone want to go...none of my friends like it and girlfriend despises it, but I love this place.)
Based on Chowhound suggestions, I can't wait to try out the following:
Jin Jiang (In the minority, I believe that the best XLB for the value is at Kuan's.)
Daikokuya (line is too long every time I go)
Coccole Laboratorio del Gusto
Girlfriend doesn't like me coming onto the site. We've both gained 10 pounds a piece since trying all of your great suggestions.
Woodlands Pure Veggie
Toluca Lake Vendome's wine or beer tasting
Yum Cha Cafe
Red Balls Pizza
Billy's Grill (for burgers)
Nat's Early Bite
John O' Groats (for pancakes and biscuits with honey)
Naja's Place (for beer)
Quality Seafood (for fresh fresh seafood!)
Midori (all you can eat sushi thatis edible, for a change)
Farm Boy (fresh produce, good market sushi, amazing and affordable froyo)
3 Square cafe
Leda's Bake Shop
Aroma Cafe (in Tarzana, not the one in Studio City)
Aroma cafe (IN studio City)
Alexis Greek Cafe
Pappa Christo's (on Thursday for the big fat greek feast)
L'Affair (affordable French)
Sabor A Mexico
gelson's deli, bakery and salad bars
India Sweets and SPices
Mrs. Winston's Salad Bar
There are more..the one's I've so far come up with pretty much fit in your budget!
Had you seen this review? This review and photo spread has the power to put you in a hypnotic trance and when you wake up you will be here ordering this soup.
Also you should take the time to try out Guelaguetza (two locations in K-town - one on 8th Street and the other on Olympic Blvd.) for Oaxacan food. The Olympic location has better parking and the food is great at either location.
If you're keen to doing the ice cream tasting menu then you absolutely 100% have to go to Scoops. First off, the price point can't be beat: $1 for a generous scoop of ice cream. But more to the point, the flavors are out of this world. Whole threads have been devoted to it, but rest assured that from day to day, the flavors available will be different. There are even vegan offerings.
My current favorite flavor there is brown bread, especially with those grape nuts sprinkled on top. SO GOOD.
712 N Heliotrope Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90029
Thank you so much Diana and Sauce Supreme for Scoops as a recommendation. Girlfriend and I went to Scoops last night. There were around 50 people in and around the place because of the poetry reading taking place. GF and I split three scoops of ice cream: the maple syrup and brownies, mango-lychee sorbet, and the vegan black sesame with ginger. All very different and yummy. I took a taste of the brown bread and will probably go back tonight for that. The only one that I found not so appealing was the berries and balsamic vinegar. Anyway, thank you so much for the suggestions, and I'll be taking others.
I've noticed you seem to lean toward alot things Asian or at least have an Asian spin on things, as well as spending some time at one of my favorite food intersections - Lomita and Pennsylvania in Lomita. If you look kaddy-corner from Chantilly and Gaja, you'll see Kotosh at Kamiyama, a Peruvian restaurant w/ sushi options as well. I haven't ordered the sushi so I can't comment on that, but their renditions of Peruvian food are worth a go. Seafood options are quite plentiful. The tiraditos, cebiches, sudados and picante de mariscos are our standards, but their arroz chaufas and tallarin saltados are great. And their version of aji is superb - this and the saltados were meant for each other.
The Point on National (south of Washington) in Culver City might be to your liking. Kazuto Matsusaka, first known to me from Chinois in Santa Monica, is more recently known for Beacon in Culver City, and has now opened this new place. More "healthy" food options along with some that may not be too healthy that might be easier on your waistlines. They just opened and most takes on this place have been very positive.
Amandine on Wilshire near the West LA/Santa Monica border will blow your inspirations for saving your waistline, but I think it's worth it. Amandine's outward appearance is a French bakery and cafe, but there's an underlying current that runs through this place that tells you someone not from France but maybe a chef or baker who trained in France is running the show by way of Tokyo. The cafe food is quite good - their quiches are a favorite, as are their sandwiches, omlettes and salads, but I can easily dump $30-40 just ordering pastries, breads, tartes, pies, and cakes to go. If you appreciate a good croissant, their's are great - many feel among the best in LA. And if you enjoy banana-anything, then you're in luck. I used to be luke-warm on banana things but after trying all of their options, I am now a convert. And being that their's a French connection with the Japanese obsession over fine coffee, you'll be able to get a decent cuppa joe as well.
12225 Wilshire Blvd
LA, CA 90025
"...you'll be able to get a decent cuppa joe..." at Amandine.
And you will be able to get a very nice cup of Dragonwell green tea in a ceramic teapot. How good? Occasionally, I am able to resist Amandine's heavenly pastry in favor of just a cup of their tea...it's that good and can satisfy by itself.
Thank you very much bulavinaka and liu. I'll be going to the Kirk Douglas Theater soon, and will keep these suggestions in mine. Oh, yes, thanks also Chowhounders for the Metro Cafe suggestion. It truly is the best restaurant connected to a budget motel in LA. My GF and our two friends split four dishes and some appetizers. The Serbian dishes were delicious!!!! The American dishes were not as good. The best part was the red bell pepper spread for the bread.