First LA Visit...Mexican?
Bringing my boyfriend for his first visit to my hometown. He, of course wants Mexican (we live on the east coast and it's mainly bad), but I have no idea what's good anymore. We're staying on the Westside. Open to non-Mexican suggestions too for a first night ever in LA.
On the westside the best Mexican is Oaxacan food and for the best Oaxacan on the westside (and it's right up there with any Oaxacan food in the LA area for that matter) try Monte Alban. It's on Santa Monica Blvd. just a block east of Bundy on the north side of the street in a small mini mall.
Here are a few ideas.
1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403
11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Bay Cities Italian Deli
1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
2006 Sawtelle Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90025
Sabor a Mexico
2622 W Jefferson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90018
11127 Palms Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034
11677 San Vicente Blvd Ste 302, Los Angeles, CA 90049
First night ever in LA on the Westside... I say go to Musha.
424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401
I suggest (as I often do) Lula on Main Street, a really fun place with a diverse menu, killer drinks, and good casual atmosphere. It's not the Mexican to end all Mexican by any means, but it's never steered me wrong.
Lula Cocina Mexicana
2722 Main St, Santa Monica, CA 90405
I like La Serenata. There are two on the westside, offshoots from the east LA parent. I favor the Pico one. Great fish in choice of sauces. Really good experience for someone whose only idea of mexican is the standard bean and cheese kind of thing.
Well, if you want to try Mexican for an afternoon snack on the first night, you could stop at Tacos Por Favor or Tacomiendo or Gilbert's El Indio, then do dinner elsewhere. I second Monte Alban as well. Or, hit up In'n'Out after the airport, and head to (as already suggested) Guelaguetza for dinner or for more upscale, Babita, if you're willing to drive.
The Lobster is another nice option for an "only in LA" view of the ocean.
A few other LA musts, Dim Sum (thought don't know what you've got east coast), Thai (Jitlada and/or Sanam Luang)...