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Lunch in Santa Monica without donating a nut?

WORX4FUDE Jan 18, 2008 07:51 AM

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. Servorg RE: WORX4FUDE Jan 18, 2008 07:53 AM

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

    3 Replies
    1. re: Servorg
      Eat_Nopal RE: Servorg Jan 18, 2008 08:08 AM

      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
        ozhead RE: Eat_Nopal Jan 18, 2008 03:39 PM

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

        1. re: ozhead
          Eat_Nopal RE: ozhead Jan 19, 2008 07:06 AM

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

    2. f
      fdb RE: WORX4FUDE Jan 18, 2008 09:15 AM

      Fritto Misto

      2 Replies
      1. re: fdb
        WORX4FUDE RE: fdb Jan 18, 2008 10:14 AM

        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
          fdb RE: WORX4FUDE Jan 18, 2008 04:54 PM

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

      2. r
        recovering_vegetarian RE: WORX4FUDE Jan 18, 2008 09:20 AM

        Border Grill
        3 Square

        2 Replies
        1. re: recovering_vegetarian
          Eat_Nopal RE: recovering_vegetarian Jan 18, 2008 09:40 AM

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

          1. re: Eat_Nopal
            recovering_vegetarian RE: Eat_Nopal Jan 18, 2008 01:16 PM

            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.

        2. ipsedixit RE: WORX4FUDE Jan 18, 2008 09:49 AM

          Fritto Misto?

          1 Reply
          1. re: ipsedixit
            SugarRush08 RE: ipsedixit Jan 21, 2008 09:35 AM

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


          2. fiercekitten RE: WORX4FUDE Jan 18, 2008 04:01 PM

            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
              WORX4FUDE RE: fiercekitten May 19, 2008 11:23 AM

              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. =)

            2. y
              yogachik RE: WORX4FUDE Jan 18, 2008 05:13 PM

              Le Marmiton
              Library Alehouse
              Rustic Canyon has a great menu, and not too $$$, can be done without wine.

              1 Reply
              1. re: yogachik
                handlertaper RE: yogachik Jan 18, 2008 09:08 PM

                If it is on a week day, how about Lilly's or Joe's on Abott Kinney in Venice. Both have Prix Fix lunch menus. Lillys is something like 11 bucks while Joe's is 15.00.

              2. Xericx RE: WORX4FUDE Jan 19, 2008 12:30 AM

                Baby Blue's BBQ in Venice! Lunch specials....very good deals. I like their pulled pork, their mac and cheese and the grilled corn on the cob with Cotija cheese.....with the XXX sauce!

                I also like Blue Marlin (Japanese-Italian fusion) on Sawtelle. They have great $7.95 lunch specials...i like the fried chicken with the citrus ponzu dipping sauce.

                Monte Alban is great too. I like their carne sampler thing....with the different meats.

                Yeah, Fritto Misto is great...they have a daily special which is usually worth checking out and is inexpensive. Parking can be a pain at times though. Last time I had the pumpkin ravioli....but that was seasonal I think.

                2 Replies
                1. re: Xericx
                  Eat_Nopal RE: Xericx Jan 19, 2008 07:07 AM

                  I 2nd Blue Marlin... Sawtelle Kitchen can also be done for that amount... and also the old school Sushi place (that looks like something out 1950's Hawaii) is as well.

                  1. re: Xericx
                    fdb RE: Xericx Jan 19, 2008 09:00 AM

                    My favorite at Blue Marlin are spaghetti with mentaiko (spicy cod roe) and uni omrice (omelette rice with sea urchin sauce). You get a salad and bread with your order. Their daily specials are also interesting and great value.

                  2. k
                    keslacye RE: WORX4FUDE Jan 19, 2008 07:09 AM

                    Father's Office if it's a boozy lunch...good selection of beer and wine, plus good burgers.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: keslacye
                      Ciao Bob RE: keslacye Jan 19, 2008 09:19 AM

                      Don't think they open until 5 PM. Boozy and LATE lunch.

                      1. re: Ciao Bob
                        Servorg RE: Ciao Bob Jan 19, 2008 09:21 AM

                        I think they changed to noon opening time on the weekends.

                        1. re: Servorg
                          nosh RE: Servorg Jan 21, 2008 11:31 AM

                          A burger at FO starts at $12 or more and you haven't even begun to add fries, tax, drinks, tip, etc...

                          1. re: nosh
                            Servorg RE: nosh Jan 21, 2008 11:35 AM

                            nosh - think you meant this for keslacye. No?

                    2. n
                      nosh RE: WORX4FUDE Jan 21, 2008 11:43 AM

                      For sitdown with table service, perhaps The Shack on Wilshire at 25th or so. Huge burgers in all configurations, daily specials, all sorts of sandwiches for well under $10. Sides of fries or onion rings could certainly be shared.

                      Nook Bistro is hidden in the back corner of the minimall on the S/E corner of Santa Monica Blvd. at Barry, a block east of Barrington, just into W.L.A. They do a great combo ceasar salad and their fantastic mac'n'cheese at lunch for under $10. Also fine soups, salads, wraps, and bowls for under $10 -- their haute burger runs $12 but comes with fries. Great service, easy free parking, but I'm not sure they take reservations for lunch.

                      Counter ordering and very basic decor, but really good, tasty, fresh, inexpensive food at the new 10th Street Cafe, on the S/E corner of Wilshire at 10th. Run by the folks from Santa Monica Seafood, and will eventually be their new location. Spicy tuna burger or fish'n'chips for under $10, wonderful clam chowder, daily fish specials for about $13. If the chow is the focus, you should definitely check this place out -- parking in the back.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: nosh
                        WORX4FUDE RE: nosh Feb 4, 2008 10:04 AM

                        I went to your 10th St. Cafe and it was ROCKIN.... thanks!

                        1. re: WORX4FUDE
                          nosh RE: WORX4FUDE Feb 4, 2008 11:24 AM

                          Hey, Worx -- I made a huge mistake over the weekend and tried out the awful chinese special at Chopstix rather than getting a great bowl of clam chowder at 10th Street! Never again. Saw your page and noticed you like Shadowbrook -- do you have a Santa Cruz connection? Email me...

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