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Single Diner in Los Angeles, Hollywood, Santa Monica, LAX, North and West Hollywood, Studio City, Van Nuys

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I've been living in Hollywood for 7 months, and working in Santa Monica/LAX area for 4 months. My best friend just moved to North Hollywood a few weeks ago.

I've never been much for dining out until I made it to LA, and now I'm curious about what's good and where, both for a single diner (myself), a pair of friends, a small social group of friends, or date night. Yes, I know this is a broad request, but mostly I'm interested in places to go that are good for a single diner.

I enjoy sitting at bartops where the bartender doesn't impose conversation upon you, but is available to chat if you wish to engage. I like patios that overlook something that can be watched, be it traffic, people on the street, the ocean, or really anything so long as it's not staring at a brick wall. Sitting at a table is nice, but it feel awkward in highly family oriented restaurants if you're not with a large group or your family. I don't mind a drive, though finding places close to work (Santa Monica/LAX), or near home (Hollywood/WeHo) would be nice. I'm completely unfamiliar with NoHo/Studio City/Van Nuys and I'd love to find more places around there to try out so that I can take my friend there.

Now for cuisine.. I'm open to anything for the most part. I don't lean toward Asian dining often, though when I do I'm looking for sushi, sushi, and sometimes a wok/table fired meal. Wine or cocktails must be available no matter where I end up. A good salad is hard to find, so anyone who can point me the direction of a nice leafy dish that doesn't taste like bark or isn't filled with ornamentation will be my new best friend. :) I'm not vegetarian or vegan, but I do enjoy both. I love good Mexican food (both the Americanized version, and the true greasy taco-truck style), good American cuisine, Italian, Caribbean, Indian, and sushi.

Ideally, I'd like not to spend more than $20 on myself, though for a good dinner, less than $50 is alright.

Please help, for I know that there are many of you out there who eat alone when you and your significants can't manage to pair up schedules. And, thank you!

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    1. Check out Nook on Santa Monica Blvd in West LA. Upscale comfort food in a very pleasant, low key setting. They have both a communal table and a bartop where I've dined alone.

      1. Anywhere with a bar - either a bar menu, or they serve dinner at the bar -- you have sooo many choices. And, if you want conversation, most bar patrons are very friendly:

        Mozza
        Chez Jay
        Father's Office
        Penthouse
        AOC
        Abode
        Catch
        Chaya (either - and they have a great steak salad)
        The Counter
        Beachwood (also great salads)
        Arsenal

        just to name a few that come to mind on the fly.

        2 Replies
        1. re: yogachik

          Yes... but many of those are hardly $20 places.

          1. re: Jennalynn

            "...though for a good dinner, less than $50 is alright."

        2. I eat out alone quite a bit, and feel comfortable in most restaurants. In Santa Monica, I often go to Border Grill. In the valley, there are tons of sushi restaurants along Ventura Blvd. When I lived off Ventura Blvd., I would often eat at Daily Grill or Louise's at Ventura and Laurel Canyon, Hamburger Hamlet on Van Nuys and Moorpark in Sherman Oaks. If Encino isn't too far, I like Emilio's Trattoria near Hayvenhurst or Versailles on Ventura near (I think) White Oak.

          1. I've eaten alone often, and I live in Sherman Oaks.

            Here's some places I have enjoyed alone:
            Il Tiramisu-sherman oaks

            Kyushu Ramen -Van Nuys

            Sushi House of Taka -Sherman Oaks

            The Great Greek-Sherman oak

            Stanleys (The BEST salads) Sherman Oaks

            Pico Pica Rica (I think)-Van Nuys on Magnolia and Kester

            El Katracho-Van Nuys on Burbank right after Kester

            Senior Fred (meh, its OK) -Sherman Oaks

            The Clay Oven-Sherman oaks

            Simon's Cafe-Sherman Oaks

            The Natural Gourmet-Sherman oaks on Van Nuys blvd (good salads)

            Marmalade-Sherman oaks