Los Feliz-ish area
My boyfriend just moved to Burbank, with me still living in downtown. So, for the next month or so til I move, we decided to meet "halfway" for dinner as often as possible. "Halfway" means at about Vermont and Sunset (since it'll still be awful on the 110 N at dinner time, I thought I would try going up Vermont instead).
Anyway, I've searched the boards, and it seems Los Feliz is the perfect place to meet for dinner, as it is apparently a foodie heaven. But, most of the restaurants mentioned here seem a little "special occasion" /pricey... since we're recent college-grads and we'd like to do this a couple times a week, it'd be great to stick to the more inexpensive places.
Final notes: I'm a vegetarian (he's not), but we're both pretty open to any type of food. Also, anything in East Hollywood (Hollywood and Western) all the way down to East Melrose and over to the Griffith Park area is free game, too.
On heliotrope and Melrose there's a veggie restaurant ran mostly by LA bike advocates.
Mind you the food is not going to win and Michelin stars but it's a fun, funky place and it will fit your budget. Bonus is they usually have a good Belgian style beer on tap as well as some good local Brewery stuff like Craftsman. Another bonus, across the street is Scoops (plenty written here) where you can score dessert. The whole atmosphere on this little stretch of Heliotrope is bikes, bikes and more bikes.
Biking is good for you, your appetite and also good for LA.
Almost any place in the Vermont/Hillhurst /E. Hollywood area will be doing something to accomodate vegetarians. You can work your way through a number of Thai places if you pick from the menu carefully; there's an OK Thai vegan place on Sunset at Benton.A vegetarian can do fine at Armenian/Lebanese places like Carousel or Marouch. Then there's Paru's, and India's Sweets/Spices for vege. Indian.
Would you consider Echo Park? If so, there's a new restaurant called the Park (Sunset around Douglas) that has some very good vegetarian dishes, such as a grilled polenta and asparagus dish with a mushroom cherry pepper ragout, gorgonzola sauce, and crispy onions ($12) and a house made veggie burger ($10). There's also a nice butter lettuce salad with beets and blue cheese ($7), too, and then there's the added bonus that it's BYO with no corkage.
I have a couple of suggestions for not-too-pricey options...
1) Mustard Seed Cafe - on Hillhurst. Owned by a nice lady who takes special care of putting delicious and healthy things on the menu. They have lotsa salads and veggie options, plus a great turkey burger. I've only been there for lunch though, not sure if they're actually open for dinner.
2) Mexico City - Also on Hillhurst, but closer to Los Feliz Blvd. Some of their stuff seems very genuinely Mexican, but they also have a great veggie burrito that has broccoli and zuchini in it. Trouble is I don't think they're open for lunch anymore. WTF?
3) Home - Also on Hillhurst, they have a little of everything and a big outdoor seating area. Parking there is a bitch though.
4) Cha Cha Cha! The original location, it's on Hillhurst south of Los Feliz, closer to downtown. Could be a good dinner place that's not too pricey. Not sure how tasty it is for vegetarians tho.
Avoid: Fred 62 (overpriced diner food), Tangier (totally uninspired)
You may find Atwater a much better "middle ground" meeting spot. You can try Viet, or Canale (a bit more pricey but can be done) on Glendale.
Also on Glendale but in Silverlake try Gingergrass.
For East Melrose, La Buca for Italian and Scoops on Heliotrope for ice cream.
Calling Los Feliz a "foodie heaven" is a stretch, and I think that's evidenced by Farfalla being the best Italian they've got.
wow - some delicious sounding suggestions. Thanks! I also appreciate the "warnings" for where not to try. I can't wait to venture to some new places :)
p.s. I love both Buca and scoops (usually do them as a pair, in fact), so it's good to know several of you and myself have similar tastes.
There's also a veggie thai place on Hillhurst. Cobras and Matadors is close near the Hollywood/Sunset intersection, and there are some other places on that strip too heading toward Silverlake.
Area, vegetarian-friendly & affordable options:
Ginergrass on Glendale
Michelangelo's on Silverlake Blvd
Alegria on Sunset
Elf on Sunset (Echo Park)
the Park on Sunset (Echo Park)
Canele on Glendale (Atwater)
Cobras & Matadors on Hollywood
Yai's, Sanam Luang and Pattaya are vegetarian-friendly, as is most of Thai Town (basically Hollywood Blvd. between Vermont and the 101).
Fred 62 is a controversial topic hereabouts ... I think you could do well there if you keep a close eye on prices, their salads and noodle bowls may suit you.
Sanam Luang Cafe
5170 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
1854 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027
5757 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA
Pattaya Thai Restaurant
1727 N Vermont Ave Ste 105, Los Angeles, CA 90027
Yai On Vermont
1627 N Vermont Ave, Los Angeles, CA