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Delicious but not crazy expensive restaurant near Santa Monica?

dinami Apr 29, 2008 02:56 PM

My mom will be visiting in May and every time I like to take her to a great restaurant that she hasn't been before. I'm looking for a place that isn't insanely expensive ($20-25 entrees okay) and has a nice range of menu items (chicken, fish, beef, etc). Good examples are Literati II and Jiraffe (she's been to both). We love desserts too, so a great dessert menu would also be a must. Anywhere on the west side would work - Santa Monica, Venice, West LA, Brentwood...any suggestions would be great!

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  1. mollyomormon RE: dinami Apr 29, 2008 03:13 PM

    Have you taken her to Nook yet?

    3 Replies
    1. re: mollyomormon
      dinami RE: mollyomormon Apr 29, 2008 03:24 PM

      No, but my first and only experience at Nook was horrible. We were basically ignored and ended up walking out.

      1. re: dinami
        nosh RE: dinami Apr 29, 2008 03:32 PM

        I don't know how that could possibly have happened. Nook's service is top notch. They do take reservations only up to a point, and then take walk-ins. They are so much better and less expensive that Literati 2 that there is no comparison.

        1. re: nosh
          mollyomormon RE: nosh Apr 29, 2008 05:01 PM

          As nosh says, I really would consider giving them a second try. The service is generally very warm and the food is way better than Literati 2.

    2. hrhboo RE: dinami Apr 29, 2008 03:33 PM

      Violet and Upstairs 2 are both lovely and inexpensive.

      2 Replies
      1. re: hrhboo
        nosh RE: hrhboo Apr 29, 2008 03:47 PM

        Violet and Upstairs 2 are small-plates restaurants, the latter with a wine pairing focus. Violet has (had?) a $7 before 7 special where a selection of dishes had a reduced price at early seatings. Neither is expensive by quality SoCal standards, but unless you take advantage of specials or order very carefully they probably don't qualify as "inexpensive."

        1. re: nosh
          hrhboo RE: nosh Apr 29, 2008 04:25 PM

          Violet has large plates too. I don't consider either of them expensive, specials or not. They both comfortably suit Dinami's budget.

      2. l
        LAFooder RE: dinami Apr 29, 2008 03:46 PM

        The Counter, Enterpise Fish Co, and El Cholo off the top of my head.

        UsDiscuss.com - General LA Message Boards

        1 Reply
        1. re: LAFooder
          glutton RE: LAFooder Apr 30, 2008 06:07 AM

          Personally, I'd pass on all three of these recs. I haven't been impressed with the burgers at The Counter. The Fathers Office burger is better (oh God, did I start another thread on the FO burger? That topic is tired.). The fish at Enterprise Fish Co. is pretty weak and sloppily prepared -- you can do much better. And it would be a shame to go to El Cholo when you're so close to Monte Alban, Guelaguetza, El Super Taco, and all the taco trucks.

          You might consider Beechwood in Marina del Rey, Musha in Santa Monica, Ford's Filling Station in Culver City, Akasha in Culver City, and Josie in Santa Monica.

        2. perk RE: dinami Apr 29, 2008 04:28 PM

          How about Chez Mimi? Lovely space and I think you could find choices within your price range.

          1. aching RE: dinami Apr 29, 2008 04:52 PM

            Josie and Joe's fit the bill!

            2424 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90405

            Joe's Restaurant
            1023 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291

            1 Reply
            1. re: aching
              Wolfgang RE: aching Apr 29, 2008 05:04 PM


              dinner entrees in the mid to high 20s. The bar menu is cheaper and delicious from what I've had.

            2. Emme RE: dinami Apr 29, 2008 05:44 PM

              Musha would be a new experience.

              Akasha in Culver City

              Fraiche in Culver City

              Lilly's French Cafe

              Pecorino or Palmeri for Italian in Brentwood

              Primitivo in Venice

              1 Reply
              1. re: Emme
                LesThePress RE: Emme Apr 30, 2008 08:35 AM

                A great place (better for lunch as it's very casual) is:

                Fritto Misto
                601 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401
                (310) 458-2829

              2. Fresser RE: dinami Apr 30, 2008 09:19 PM

                Had a really wonderful meal at I Cugini last weekend. 7 for dinner on the patio. Everyone really enjoyed their dishes. Most had one of the fishes which is their specialty.

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