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Lunch in Santa Monica without donating a nut?

Any affordably lunch spots in the Santa Monica / West LA / Venice area. I'm going to be taking out three people on a slightly tight budget (looking for a place no more than 10-15 a person). HELP!!!!

Any type of food. Sit-down preferred. I was thinking places like:

Il Forno
El Torito
Outdoor Grill
Manpuku (Tokyo BBQ)
(The Counter, if the wait outside wasn't an hour--in and of itself--at lunch)

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

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  1. Monte Alban for Oaxacan. On SM Blvd. just east of Bundy on the north side of the street.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      The thought of El Torito is nauseating! I second the motion on Monte Alban... far, far, far, FAAAAAR superior food to El Torito for LESS money.

      1. re: Eat_Nopal

        Try the goat (barbacoa de chivo) at Monte Alban. A revelation.

        1. re: ozhead

          I sure have =) Its almost as good as Birriera La Barca's goat birria tacos.

      1. re: fdb

        Although, I'm a ruthlessly loyal Il Forno fan, the menu looks tempting. I might have to try this Fritto Misto sometime. Any menu suggestions? It aaaaaaall looks really good.

        1. re: WORX4FUDE

          Can't recall exactly but there is a salad with goat cheese, and the raviolis. More if I can remember later....

        1. re: recovering_vegetarian

          Based on culinary deliciousness... how can you recommend Border Grill over Monte Alban?

          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            I didn't recommend Border Grill over Monte Alban. It's just another option in the OP's price range/location. And I happen to like it.

          1. re: ipsedixit

            Fritto Misto's fantastic! Hands down my favorite reasonably priced Italian in the LA area. Try the Santa Fe Ravioli or the Atomic Pasta.

            http://www.usmenuguide.com/frittomist...

          2. The Lazy Daisy on Pico is a nice place for lunch on a sunny day. It's nothing fancy but it's inexpensive.

            1 Reply
            1. re: fiercekitten

              I'm sorry, but I've found that place to be FAR more expensive than it's worth. Il Forno, down the street, provides pasta that's four times better for half the price. Lazy Daisy IS cute, though. =)