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Good eats around LAX/South Bay???

Ok, I'm stuck in this area. I'm willing to venture about 10 or 15 minutes north or south, but that's it. What's worth checking out for dinner? I have family in town and, for reasons that are irrelevant to this post, we have to stay in that general area. Please no recs in OC or SFV or SGV etc....Thanks!

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  1. If you like Thai food try AYARA Thai Cuisine we started going there when it opened 2 years ago and now go several times a week. Its become a very popular restaurant for locals. Everything is wonderful I particularly like the Drunken Noodles and When Tigers Cry. Reasonabley priced and the space is well designed, as well.
    6245 W 87th st. Westchester just behind Sepulveda and Manchester on the way to the Airport

    1. I had the same dilema few months back, someone recommended Truxtons and it worked out. The ambience is very Westchester but the food I have to say was pretty good.
      Also if your looking for a killer BBQ (pick up only) try Bad to Da Bone - truly delicious
      4565 W Century Blvd, Inglewood

      1. Alejo's on Lincoln for Italian

        Second City Bistro in El Segundo

        Chef Hannes is a great bistro in El Segundo

        Aliki's Greek Taverna

        Casa Gamimo


        Tlapazola Grill

        1 Reply
        1. re: Emme

          imho, i would nix alejo's unless you like the flavor of chopped raw garlic soaked in cheap oil.
          their pasta is the cheapest institutional brand and it's overcooked.
          their sauces are almost mediocre.

        2. Not a lot of noteworthy places.

          Pann's - coffee house, best item is chicken wings & waffles. Can't vouch for anything else. Lots of posts on chowhound.

          Truxton's ok if you want american food.

          15 minutes maybe w/o traffic - China Grill bistro at Manhattan Village is not traditional chinese, but the food is fresh and the decor is nice. http://www.chinagrillbistro.com/

          Also at Manhattan Village there's a french-med place called Reed's. I haven't been there in about a year but I thought the food was decent (not worth a long drive but if you are in the area it's worth checking into) http://www.reedsrestaurant.com/

          There is a huge Whole Foods now at El Segundo Plaza (Sepulveda & Rosecrans). It's kind of interesting to check out for foodies. There's also a Sur La Table in the same plaza, along with 2 chain restaurants (Salt Creek and Marmalade Cafe).

          Downtown El Segundo has the restaurant row, but nothing really remarkable.

          Went to 2nd city bistro a few years back for a company holiday lunch. I just remember that the place was loud - couldn't talk.

          Unfortunately a lot of the restaurants in the area tend to be chains.

          3 Replies
          1. re: notmartha

            The Original Rinaldi's in El Segundo has good eats! Check it out!

              1. re: westsidegal

                Sorry! Went to Rinaldi's for lunch for the first time the other day. Didn't note their hours. I don't mind eating sandwiches for dinner though.

          2. I had a nice dinner at Bora Bora on Highland near Rosecrans a few weeks ago. My filet was tasty, but the mac and cheese wasn't very good. It was not crowded at all and very quiet. Pancho's is in the area too, but I can't vouch for the food, it's been ages since I've been. My Mexican restaurant of choice is Paco's. Heading the other direction on Rosecrans are more of the chains, like McCormick and Schmick's, Flemings, Il Fornaio, Houston's, Daily Grill, etc.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Juji

              Penguini Caffe in Playa serves excellent Italian in a very nice (check out the patio) spot. Great for out of town visitors.
              Hop on the 90 and check out Antica for Neopolitan pizza and more Italian food. Love the eggplant parmesan and the salds.
              On Washington near Lincoln is 26 Beach. Excellent Burgers and a huge eclectic menu. Good for weekend lunches/brunches.
              Across the street is Akbar-upscale Indian with a charming host and good wine list. I take people here who do not like Indian food and they enjoy it. It's pricey, I prefer to go to Addi's in Redondo.

              I live in Hermosa and eat out a lot and IMO there is much more interesting food to be had if you look beyond the chains that are along the main drags.

              If you want recommendations for the Beach Cities, let me know.

              Depending where you are exactly-Culver City, MDR, South Beaches can be within 10-15 mins driving radius.

            2. Thanks, everybody! Alas, we'll probably end up at Sushi Bei in Torrance. I'm craving sushi, and since I'm driving....

              1 Reply
              1. re: hch_nguyen

                If you want some incredible Sushi, you must check out Black Bamboo, in Palos Verdes. It is in Lunada Bay next to the market. They have some of the most unusual fusion rolls I've ever seen. Monkey Brain, Firestation, Heart Attack, Code 99. The sushi is also excellent, they have some great soups as well. The Tempura is delicious and crisy, not greasy at all. I tried the Hamachi Kama and fell in love. The seaweed salad is to die for, and be sure to try the salmon balls!

                Black Bamboo
                724 Yarmouth road
                Palos Verdes Estates

              2. Alright, change of plans. We'll have a one-year old with us, so I need something at least semi-kid friendly. Pretty much open to anything...

                1 Reply
                1. re: hch_nguyen

                  In that case Pann's is looking better at this point. Great googie architecture and they have a rock and roll soundtrack at a not bothersome level playing. The wings are great but so is any of their chicken and I think that they do a superlative patty melt. Also their grits (if you get breakfast for dinner) are excellent and their split pea soup is stellar as well.

                  Ayara Thai is also very kid friendly.


                2. Green Temple (vegetarian food) in Redondo Beach.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: lmiem

                    along the same lines, THE SPOT in hermosa beach.
                    it is closer to LAX than is green temple.
                    they are very used to cooking 'special request' meals for kids.
                    same kind of food as green temple, but imho much better.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      I have to try green temple. We love The Spot-it's our walk to favorite. The veggie burger is very large, homemade, on a homemade bun of integrity. It is very filling too-at least 8 hrs before I can think about eating again. They also have steamed veggie plates with the secret sauce that are so tasty, I crave them. I am someone thta craves milk duds NOT steamed veggies!

                      1. re: Densible

                        For the love of god, don't do it. I went there once and took a vegetarian friend of mine. We both agreed that the food plain and simple sucked. Bland and dry appeared to be the overall theme.

                        1. re: mstinawu

                          as a lover of the spot, i will warn people to stay away from the asian-inspired dishes.
                          their mexican-inspired dishes are excellent. i do, however, always get them to bring me extra ranchero sauce and extra sides of their two excellent salsas.

                  2. al noor in lawndale for pakistani.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: wilafur

                      they will be having a toddler with them.
                      not much for toddlers with 'american-food tastes' to be had at al noor.

                    2. Well, there's El Pollo Inka on Hawthorne Blvd, just North of the 405 exit for the best damn Peruvian wood fire rotisserie chicken!

                      On Redondo Beach Blvd. (the next exit down), there's Flossie's for some serious fried chicken, best when fresh of course.

                      Further down Redondo past Van Ness, is Hakata Ramen. There's also a decent Korean Tofu place in there and if you're still jonesing for sushi, you can hop over to Tsukiji next door. Although for better sushi, I'd head over to Kanpachi on Artesia where the 91fwy ends.

                      And then there's the recently-discussed-again Jay Bee's which is still my favorite BBQ joint. Get on the 91fwy where it begins at Artesia, get off at Avalon (2nd exit) and head north.

                      1. Rice Things at 2401 Artesia Blvd. in Redondo Beach. Cheap and tasty Japanese, including sushi.

                        1. Bora Bora (Manhattan Beach), La Sosta Enoteca (hermosa), Creme de la crepe (Hermosa), Ebizos (manhattan beach burger joint), North End cafe (Manhattan Beach), Japonica (south redondo, 20ish minutes south of LAX)

                          I think those are the least dissappointing in the area. You can go east to Gardena for good ethnic food as well.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jlrobe

                            I haven't been to any restaurant in that area except for Creme de la Crepe and if that's the LEAST disappointing of the many there, then all the other eateries there must be disgusting!

                          2. Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions. I truly appreciate them. Alas, my sister, who is a chain person, insisted we all go to Grand Lux.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: hch_nguyen

                              Is this the place on La Cienega at the Beverly Center? If so that puts it way outside of your geographic preferences I think.

                            2. I second the recommendation on Chef Hannes on Main St in El Segundo. Austrian chef with varied menu. I'm partial to the ahi tuna salad. Also, Farm Stand has recently opened across the street. Main St. El Segundo ambience is small town America with several murals on buildings related to the oil and aerospace industries that surround the town.

                              1. Three Brothers Restaurant in Harbor City (23722 Western Ave). Some of the best teriyaki beef and chicken in the South Bay. Been going since I was a kid, and this place is totally slept on... There's also an old Mexican restaurant near Harbor General called Acapulco Cafe (1406 W. Carson St) not the chain horror show. Anyway, the salsa at this spot is extraordinary. Hard shell tacos are amazing too... Best prime rib in Torrance is the San Franciscan (2520 Sepulveda Blvd). You'll feel like you're in Jersey... Also kudos to Beach Hut II (Hermosa Beach), Musha Restaurant (Torrance), Green Temple (Redondo Beach), Golden Pheasant (Harbor Gateway).

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: DJ NUTCASE

                                  i went to Alejo's on Lincoln Monday night for the first time. Arrived 8pm, had to wait 20mins.

                                  We ordered Alejo's pizza which was pretty good. Thin crust, good cheese, tasty toppings... a bit on the juicy side.
                                  Both of the pasta dishes we ordered had overcooked pasta, watery sauce. Dry chicken in one dish, and okay seafood in the other.

                                  The bill came out to only $50 for the 3 dishes. So an ok edible meal if you're looking for nothing fancy. Id only recommend the pizza.

                                  1. re: finznmocean

                                    the pasta they use is the cheapest, institutional brand, and it never comes out good.
                                    most of the ingredients they use are the cheapest institutional brands, which explains a lot about the eating experience there.

                                    if, on the other hand, someone thinks raw minced garlic in cheap oil is enough to cover a multitude of sins, alejo's might be ok for them.