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Go-to places - Westside


I've recently returned to the Venice/Santa Monica area after a short absence and for some reason can't remember my old go-to places anymore. They must not have been that good! Now, I need some new ideas.

Where do you go for dinner in west LA?

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  1. There are hundreds of options. Help me out -- price, location, cuisine, etc.

    2 Replies
    1. re: glutton

      Hey Glutton,

      Cuisine- I'll eat basically anything.
      Price- since I eat out quite frequently, what can you recommend that is in the moderate to inexpensive range?
      Location- Preferably anything west of the 405, north of LAX, and south of San Vicente Blvd.

      1. re: chooks

        In that range and in that location:
        -Kiriko (for lunch, you can get away with $$ instead of the $$$ or $$$$ for dinner)
        -Nook Neighborhood Bistro
        -Il Moro (making a meal out of the free food for weekday happy hour anyway :) )
        -Sawtelle Kitchen
        -Il Forno (both for $5 take away lunch and for more pricy dinner)
        -Ayara Thai

        Nook Bistro
        11628 Santa Monica Blvd Ste 9, Los Angeles, CA 90025

        11301 W Olympic Blvd Ste 102, Los Angeles, CA 90064

        Houston's Restaurant
        202 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

        Ayara Thai Cuisine
        6245 W 87th St, Los Angeles, CA 90045

        Il Moro Restaurant
        11400 W. Olympic Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90064

        Sawtelle Kitchen
        2024 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025

        Yabu Restaurant
        11820 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

    2. This list is a random mix of nice and neighborhood joints:

      Nook Bistro
      California Vegan
      Chaya Venice
      Library Alehouse
      Chinois on Main

      4 Replies
      1. re: donnival

        I addition to these, I also end up at Musha, Father's Office and Ramenya a lot.

          1. re: paulfromla

            if you like houston's or bandera's you will like gulfstream. they all have the same corporate parent.

            1. re: paulfromla

              Their #1 Ahi Burger is really good. Everything else is solid, not amazing or inventive in any way.

          2. 26 Beach Restaurant, Great Western Philly Cheesesteak, Bay Cities, Sorrento's, Taqueria Sanchez Market & now the have a restaurant, Taco Miendo, El Abanajo, Angel Maid Bakery for cream puffs and great fruit cakes.

            1. tacos por favor
              don felix
              monte alban
              terried sake house
              izakaya sasaya

              1. Mine are:
                Sushi Zo
                Sakura House for Kushiyaki
                Father's Office
                3 Square Cafe
                Tender Greens
                Rose Cafe
                Abbot's Pizza
                La Vecchia
                Tacos Por Favor
                La Playita
                Baby Blues Bbq
                California Chicken Cafe
                Agra Indian

                3 Replies
                1. re: hrhboo

                  What is good at California Chicken Cafe? I went once and was seriously underwhelmed. I know it's not supposed to be gourmet food or anything, but there was nothing that made me anxious to try it again.

                  1. re: omotosando

                    It's nothing earth-shattering, just tasty rotisserie chicken. I like the Chinese chicken salad and some of their wraps.

                    1. re: hrhboo

                      call me crazy but i had sworn off ccc for years and then finally tried it, and the roast chicken is pretty good, esp that skin, and their roasted potatoes are good too.

                2. One of my favorite haunts is Lula on Main St. (sorta near Library Alehouse but on the opposite side). Solid Mexican food with pretty good breadth of cuisine and, most importantly, knock-you-on-your-ass margaritas.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: nick_r

                    Nook (had a yummy salad there last night: greens, thinly sliced persimmons, fennel, red onion, with a creamy mustard vinaigrette & pom seeds)
                    Pitfire Pizza on Westwood & La Grange
                    Da Pasquale (BH)
                    Jaipur (Pico & Westwood)
                    Metro Cafe (Washington Place & Sepulveda)
                    Nordstom Cafe (good salads & desserts)
                    Urth (BH & SM)

                  2. for very good, very cheap falafal: the hungry pocket (across the street from santa monica college).

                    for very good, very cheap indian food (unfortuantely served on styrofoam plates): samosa house on washington blvd and berryman (west of the 405)

                    for very good, very cheap mexican seafood (also, served on styrofoam): taqueria sanchez on centinela north of culver blvd. they close at 7 on weekdays and earlier on sundays, so check their schedule.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: westsidegal

                      is hungry pocket really that good?

                      i keep on seeing notices about it, but i've heard from freinds it's not that great.

                      1. re: kevin

                        I think Hungry Pocket is good but not great. The falafel is freshly fried and tasty, but the pita and salad are decidedly ordinary. I like their hot sauce, but it's not very middle eastern -- more like a Mexican salsa.

                    2. Baby Blues on Sunset and Lincoln is new, but the BBQ will kick your behind and make you slap your mama. it is great! Be prepared to wait if you go on most nights, but it is worth the wait.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Debette

                        baby blues has been around for quite a few years already.

                        1. re: wilafur

                          2 maybe 3 years at the most. 4J's was there before Baby Blues and was much better, IMHO. Great chopped pork with slaw sandwich and that was the first place i had smoked chicken wings!

                      2. Agree with lots of the posts already... I'll add a few other choices and repeat some others that are particularly good.

                        Monte Alban for Oaxacan
                        Taco truck on Rose, between Lincoln and Main during the days
                        Taco truck on Lincoln, just south of Rose during the night (La Oaxaquena)
                        La Playita for ceviche
                        Pizza Antica in MDR for neapolitan style pizza
                        Father's Office for the burger and sweet potato fries
                        Sunnin for cheap Lebanese (you'll need to cross the 405 for this one)
                        Mizu 212 on Sawtelle for shabu shabu
                        Sasabune for sushi
                        Sushi Zo for sushi (once again, be brave and cross over the 405)
                        Lilly's for affordable french bistro in pleasant setting
                        Jin Patisserie for exquisite chocolates
                        Rose Cafe for great breakfast in great setting
                        Urth Cafe for good coffee, tea, and pastries
                        Josie for good, high-end American food, especially on Wed farmers market day
                        Agra for Indian
                        Bay Cities for Italian deli sandwiches and groceries
                        Musha for Japanese izakaya food
                        3 Square for Hans Rockenwagner's pretzel rolls and Austro-Californian food

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: glutton

                          We must unknowingly run into each other all the time! Second Antica, it's some of the best pizza in the neighborhood.

                          1. re: hrhboo

                            I think Antica is great. I know it won't make all those "I miss NY-style pizza" people happy, but taken on its own merits, it's pretty good. The location is ho-hum and I wonder if that hurts its foodie credibility. That's the only explanation I have for the fact that it does not get much press here or elsewhere.

                            You've also just hit on one of the more bizarre sensations of being a regular user of chowhound -- I go to a restaurant and I know there are other chowhounders eating there at the same time and I feel like I have a little insight into these people, but I don't actually know their names, what they look like, or very much about the person in actuality. Yet I'm still quite interested in meeting these people because we share at least one meaningful thing in common... It's bizarre. That's why I was so bummed that I missed the last chowhound event in Los Feliz. Maybe there should be a Venice chowhound event...

                            1. re: glutton

                              I really enjoy the pizza at Antica, though as you note, it's traditional Neapolitan style.

                              1. re: a_and_w

                                My absolute favorite dish at Antica is the penette alla vodka. It's delicious!

                          2. re: glutton

                            those cheese pretzel rolls are great, also try their heavy duty chocolate brownies.

                            the pretzel burger is good too.

                            library also has decent food. abbot's is ok for pizza.

                            bay cities overrated.

                            urth cafe is decent, nothing earth shattering, and of course everything there is egregiously overpriced.

                            1. re: kevin

                              About the prices at Urth - I don't find everything egregiously overpriced. There are the bake sale specials (essentially day old pies, cakes) and those are usually as good as the ones that cost twice as much - in the past month, I have had bake sale pumpkin pie and cherry pie and both were wonderful, and at $3 per slice, still big enough to split with my GF. Even some of the regular items are not overpriced for quality/quantity... they have half salads that are enough for a lunch for me (they come with some delicious bread) and those are reasonable in price. I think the problem comes in when you factor in full servings (which I think are usually way too large) and the coffee drinks, which are $$$.

                              1. re: igj

                                Urth is also one of the few places that serves all-organic food. And the coffee is pricey but it's all organic, fair-trade, shade-grown, and incredible.

                          3. trying to avoid repeating, so i'll just add a few that i like...

                            yu japanese tapas has good happy hour specials


                            gaby's (not everyone likes it but i do)

                            fritto misto

                            caffe luxxe on montana has great espresso

                            acadie for crepes