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Jul 8, 2008 11:38 AM

Santa Monica/Venice - Interesting, good, <$12 Lunch Spots

I am looking for new cheapish restaurants in Santa Monica/Venice, and not Bay Cities

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  1. 10th Street Cafe, on the S/E corner of Wilshire at 10th (shared parking lot in the back). Good, fresh inexpensive seafood, from the folks at Santa Monica Seafood. Nice portion of fish & chips with coleslaw at $9.95, a tunaburger less, daily fresh fish specials with rice a bit more. Their excellent chowder. Very casual, counter service. My understanding is that the retail seafood outlet will join them there this fall, with the cafe remaining for dining in or taking out.

    To my surprise, I really enjoyed my chili-cheeseburger combo at Tommy's (S/W corner of Pico and Lincoln) recently. I ordered the fries welldone, and they were particularly good, very crisp, not burnt -- thicker than your average fries these days. More comfortable than the original on Rampart -- seating available for eating in. The double-cheeseburger (two thin burgers, one slice of cheese, and the chili, onion, pickle, and tomato) had a better ratio of meat than the single. Combo with a large drink and big fries that I couldn't quite finish was like $6 less than $7.

    Which reminds me of my new favorite -- the Stuffed Pita place on the north side of Pico across from Santa Monica College in the minimall. A great, fresh crisp falafel on pita with vegies and their fantastic piquante hot sauce available for under $4, a shawarma with a nice portion of lamb for $5. Great quick lunch, though parking can be tight or impossible at prime time.

    1. Holy Guacamole (Main - great carne asada tacos)
      Tommy's (same reason as nosh)
      Buon Giorno's $5 lunch (Santa Monica at 15th)
      Joe's Pizza and Ritchie Palmer's Pizza
      The Slice (Wilshire at 10th)
      Fritto Misto (Colorado at 6th)

      3 Replies
      1. re: yogachik

        Yogachik -- I finally found The Slice recently and though I wasn't really hungry, stopped in to check it out. Found the staff very friendly, but my sausage slice was dull and bland. What do you recommend there? I was thinking maybe the chicken or eggplant parm sandwich...

        1. re: nosh

          I like the meatball parm sandwich, the chicken parm sandwich and the buffalo chicken sandwich (extra sauce). I do like their pizzas, but once in a while they can be bland, although not often.

          1. re: nosh

            I actually like the eggplant parm there a lot.

        2. If you like good Neopolitan food, there's Antigua for pizza and pastas
          The Counter for hamburgers, fries and a great shake
          Kaido provides really good lunch special Japanese food. I like their sushi special for $10.

          I second Joe's, Richie Palmers and 10th St Cafe.

          I want to try Cora's for their hamburger and breakfast.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Ogawak

            I think you're referring to Antica Pizzeria in MDR -- they have good neapolitan pizza. I have found it a little inconsistent of late, but it's still the best pizza in the area, by my book. I'm not sure if it would come in under $12, but it's definitely not expensive.

            1. re: glutton

              Thanks for the correction. Yeah, the pizzas are more than 12, but big enough for two.

              1. re: Ogawak

                in my book, the pizzas are the best around, but they are NOT big enough for two!!
                i am a PETITE woman and i EASILY finish off one of their pizzas AND will share a starter in addition.
                i recommend the anchovy pizza, btw.. . .

            2. re: Ogawak

              Cora's is overpriced with rude waiters-Stay away from this
              too cool for you attitude-

            3. Probably right at $12 and up is 26 Beach, french toasts till 3 pm all $10-12and salads & burgers starting at $12 and up. But for $12 you get a huge salad or burger on a homemade bun or some serious french toasts or egg dishes.

              26 Beach
              3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

              1. $6.00 Powermeals at Il Forno

                Gaby's Mediterranean

                Abbott's for a slice

                Mrs. Winston's salad bar

                Lemon Moon

                Mr. Cecil's

                SF Saloon for some bar grub

                Falafel place on Pico/17th... blanking on the name... Hungry Pocket?

                Thai Boom offers the lunch menu all day

                La Playita

                Lin's on Pico east of Barrington or Cheng Du near Gateway either for Chinese lunch specials

                Taqueria Sanchez is in Mar Vista

                Nawab of India on Wilshire for the lunch buffet

                Cafe Brazil

                Monte Alban is close to the Santa Monica border

                2 Replies
                1. re: Emme

                  you are correct--the name is THE HUNGRY POCKET on pico and 17th (directly across the street from smc.)
                  they serve TERRIFIC falafal sandwiches for about $4 or so. they used to offer an ayce special on these sandwiches on mondays and wednesdays for about $7 or so (i don't know if they still offer that special).

                  if you ask, they will serve your sandwich on warmed whole wheat pita instead of white pita. they also will squeeze juice to order for you.

                  1. re: Emme

                    Yes yes yes. Solid recommendations, emme.