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Jul 15, 2008 12:56 PM

A Saturday lunch....casual, not ethnic, not expensive

I live 3 hours away from LA but get down every so often and grew up in I do know the areas...and I do have my favorites but they won't work in this situation. My sister is flying in to LA on the 26th, and I am driving to LAX to pick her up with 2 friends (all ladies....not hipsters, but not ready for rocking chairs either!!lol). My sister loves the Cuban restaurant Versailles (in Manhattan Beach) so we may end up there...(not sure if my other friends will like it). Also, that night we are going to the Hollywood Bowl to see Diana Ross....(we don't have great seats because I just found out my sister was coming). Two of them have never been so it will be a fun night!! We will have to hang out somewhere and or shop since we won't be going home until late that night...ugh, the drive home!

So, if we don't eat at the Cuban place I racking my brain with a place everyone will like...(yeah, that's my first mistake). I am thinking of Clementines but I also thought of the Surfas Cafe since one of the ladies would get a kick out of the store, but hear the food in the Cafe's not great. I am also thinking of Joans on Third (but was also thinking of saving that for the later afternoon to pick up food the the Bowl). Also, BLD? Or Bread Bar?

If we do Clementines for lunch I was thinking that Joans on Third for dinner would be too much of the same? My friends are not adverturous eaters and can't spend $30 for lunch.

I'd love somewhere we could sit and relax for a bit since my sister would have just flown in from Texas.

Sorry, this is me thining out loud...but, though someone might have some ideas or thoughts on this.

I appreciate any help, thanks!


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  1. There are a bunch of places off Abbott Kinney in Venice that might fit the bill. You would be relatively close to LAX, so you could get there quick and relax after the flight. There is shopping there also, and the boardwalk might be interesting to the out of town guests, which is handy if you are trying to kill time until heading to the Bowl. Plus coming from TX in July, they might appreciate the cooler climate near the beach. (Of course, Manhattan Beach might work for the same reasons.)

    4 Replies
    1. re: scrappydog

      scrappydog (love the name, would you care to say how you chose it?)

      Abbott Kinney does sound good....I'll look into that....

      I just thought of Jack and Jills Creperie on third.....but Venice would be cooler...


      1. re: Shadow

        I actually think the food at Surfa's is great and you could go walk around downtown Culver City after. And I love Clementine. I think the Abbott Kinney rec one is a great one -- you could do brunch at 3 Square and then walk around the neighborhood. Another possible option that wouldn't be out of your way is Bloom Cafe on Pico, although there's not really much to see in terms of walkign around after.

        1. re: Shadow

          I also really like 3 Square in the Venice area. Another good pick in that area's is Lily's--they have a $10 lunch special that includes two courses (first course is soup or salad), and they have a nice outdoor patio area. But the non lunch special items may be pricier than what you are looking for. Next door is Joe's--they have a nicer patio and better food, and are also a good deal for lunch, but they are more expensive than the other places (around $17 for 2 courses).

          1. re: Nicole

            I second Lily's for the great lunch deal.

            Before the bowl, you might try Cube on La Brea near Melrose. You bring your own wine (no corkage) and order whichever little plates appeal to you. The menu changes every week and there is also a gourmet shop on site so you can pick up provisions to enjoy during the concert, too.

      2. Abbott Kinney is where I usually go to post-LAX ... Jin Patisserie has really good quiche (and of course, cake!) and the outdoor seating area is really nice for relaxing and sitting around. Drinking tea and eating yummy cakes, probably good for the ladies, no? ;)

        Similarly, I also like 3 Square Cafe.


        1. Shadow, forget MB, that branch of Versailles is closed (sigh, miss the garlic chicken and flan).

          1. given that a 30 dollar lunch is too much, even though i love joe's, it is way too much. 3 square i agree is a good option.

            or, try Bay Cities in Santa Monica, then you can walk around SM. or, eat over on Montana - grab a good grilled salad at babalu then walk montana.

            or head over to Robertson, and go to Newsroom Cafe, and walk and people watch afterwards.

            if you like downhome fare, you might try Pann's or Aunt Kizzy's Back Porch close to the airport.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Emme

              Bay Cities is a terrible idea for a 'ladies lunch' unless you are ordering sandwiches to go. Even then, it can be such a madhouse, not relaxing at all for someone just off a plane. They have only cinder block outdoor tables and getting one of those can be a trial.

            2. If you want something to relax head over to Cayenne on Beverly Blvdnear La Breaa. You can sit relax, have a nice lunch, for about 15 dollars, walk Beverly or LaBrea and then pick up some food Joans. Alternatively, go to the Grove have lunch there, walk around the Farmers Market. You are right near Joans to pick up dinner, or get something at the Farmers Market to take to the Bowl.

              1 Reply
              1. re: paprkutr

                Gtreat ideas!! Wow! Thanks!! I really like these ideas. I have wanted to go to Jin Patisserie for awhile now....but Lilly's sound nice too....and then, the Grove...I forgot about that area...might be nice for some window shopping, etc..then again, my sister used to love the Farmers Market years ago....forgot about that too!!

                Thanks!! I have plenty of choices now and great ideas!!


                She will be upset that that Versailles is closed....I know there are others!