restaurant recs around $15?
I'm trying to get together for dinner with a group and it seems like with a large group, there's going to be picky people and therefore, lots of restrictions. So here's what they are looking for something in the $10-$15 a person range. Nothing "Latin" (I guess that means nothing Mexican, Central American, or South American, or even Spanish), nothing Asian (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, etc.), and nothing Cajun. *sigh* all my favorite cuisines... Well, even though I love to eat everything and anything, not everyone else does.
I think this would be a good excercise for you well knowledged Hounds out there! Anything in Los Angeles county should fine. Thanks for any advice, folks!
Sounds like one of your options is Italian. I recommend C&O Trattoria in Marina Del Rey.
31 Washington Blvd
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
With your size of party, I do recommend a reservation (they only take reservations for parties of 8+), they seat large parties out on their heated patio.
This is a fun place with quality food and lots of it. We had our rehearsal dinner (23 people), here and it went pretty well.
Their tagline is "People Generally Don't Leave Here Hungry...", (true as the portions are huge.)
Good suggestion Muhlyssa. On the same street, Pasta Factory serves lots of good Italian food cheap too. Very large room too. On Lincoln in Westchester is Alejo's, also a big room with inexpensive, good Italian food. C&O has the addictive garlic knots and Pasta Factory and Alejos have the fresh baked bread with garlic infused olive oil dip. You can't lose either way.
I went to a big-ish party at C&O's too, (20 people or so) and I hated the experience. Maybe it was an isolated incident, but the people who were in charge pre-ordered everything for us, and I left there hungry...For some odd reason, I had to put out $35 dollars for my "meal"...seemed a little like "fuzzy" math....since it was a lot for the quantity and quality of food I received.
We had the roasted chicken (usually good, but not this time), some nasty calamari (its usually good here, but in this instance it sucked.....1 plate shared between 8 people and it seemed like it was under a heat lamp for 30 minutes), and 2 types of pasta (I really never liked their pasta) of which I got 1/2 palm-full of each.
I'm sure that this was an isolated incident, but it was quite a bad experience for me. I think the whole experience was the result of poor planning. We sat outside on some crappy wooden table, we were squeezed in, and the dishes were served few and far in-between. I had so much trouble getting a beer, I literally got out of my seat and went to the bar.
If you go, just let everyone ORDER THEIR OWN FOOD!!!!! DON'T GO FAMILY STYLE HERE!!!!
NB: Every other time I've gone here, in a smaller group of 2-4 I've been cool....Like I said, I'm not a big fan of their pasta, I like Alejo/Pasta Factory much better, but the styles of pasta are quite different.
If you don't go for Italian, try Middle Eastern. Shamshiri on Westwood Blvd., 1 block south of Little Santa Monica. Their whole squab is fantastic (seriously). The kabobs are too. Great stews (lentil, fesenjon), warm eggplant appetizer oily and filled with garlic. I like the sour cherry rice (with chicken). Great prices and way too much food if everyone orders a dish. And since everything comes with a mountain of rice -- ask them for half rice, half salad. They are very accomodating.
How about Noura Cafe on Melrose just east of La Cienega? It's pretty decent Greek food and the prices are right about in your range. Personally, I'm with you and get a little bored with this food, but it should appease your guests. The lamb kabob is pretty tasty and they have vegetarian items. Generally, I like there hummus and rice and other side items, as well. Plus it has a bit of atmosphere. If you go on the weekend, make a reservation and try to get the room where you sit on cushions. It's good for groups. Also, I know they do serve wine and beer if any of the guests want to drink, but I can't remember if it's a full bar. Good luck!!
Hmmm...you didn't mention what area you're looking for, but here are some other suggestions with entrees less or around the $15 range:
RED on Beverly Blvd or CADILLAC CAFE on La Cienega. Both serve homestyle American food (meatloaf, burgers, some pastas, stroganoffs, etc), though I think Red is better. Both are also hip/trendy with funky diner decor at Cadillac and dark red booths at Red. Red also has a killer brownie sundae.
In the Valley, STANLEY'S on Ventura is large enough to hold a party, has a full bar, and great pasta and roasted chicken. In Studio City there's also SPARK'S WOODFIRE PIZZA---standard fare plus thin-crust 'californian' pizzas.
re: Jennifer W.
A few months ago I had family in town, and we went to Sparks Woodfire on Ventura in the valley. It was one of the WORST restaurant experiences I've had in several years, starting with a one hour wait for a table when I'd made a reservation. Horrible food, worse service. I'm not in the mood to divulge all the gory details, some things are best forgotten.
re: Sandra W.
Wow, that sounds awful. But weird, since I had excellent service when I went about six months ago. We didn't have reservations and had to wait about 25 minutes on a Friday night at 9pm, but the hostess was very gracious. The waiter was attentive as well. The food however, hasn't made me hurry to go back but that's not to say I wouldn't if I were in the neighborhood.
re: Jennifer W.
Forget Red as it was just sold. Stanley's is a very good choice and Spark is one of the worst choices you could make. Le Petit Bistro in Sherman Oaks or Weho and their in-law Le Petit Zinc in West LA are around that price point and provide some fairly good bistro food. Take your own wine and keep the prices in line. But a massive plate of lamb chops or shanks with frites is $13.95 or $13.50 respectively. Very good liver is around $11.50 with major vegetable/potato accompaniment.
You didn't specify location... but...
Italian: Pasta Factory on Washington Blvd. in Marina del Rey, or Divina Cucina in Montrose on Verdugo Rd. (not Verdugo Blvd.)... Pasta Factory has that bread but Divina gives you free bruschetta and their soups are out of this world.
Middle-Eastern: Javan on Santa Monica Blvd. in West LA, or Olive Branch on Foothill Blvd. in Tujunga (or maybe it's La Crescenta).
I second the rec for Sparks Woodfire Cooking in Studio City, BTW... I used to live near there and their pizza is great - if you get it hot (delivery disappointment!).