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cheap foodie date/activities?!

bellbot Sep 5, 2008 02:49 PM

my manfriend, the chef, & i's third anniversary is this weekend and we're pretty tight on cash.... any thoughts for non-splurgy things to do together?

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  1. LA Buckeye Fan RE: bellbot Sep 5, 2008 05:36 PM

    Make dinner at home...and go on an evening of dessert tasting?

    3 Replies
    1. re: LA Buckeye Fan
      westsidegal RE: LA Buckeye Fan Sep 5, 2008 08:53 PM

      i tried that once.
      you would be surprised at how costly excellent desserts can be when served in a nice restaurant.
      i believe it would be easier to hold the total cost down by having the dinner out at a reasonably priced restaurant and having an assortment of desserts at home afterwards.

      1. re: westsidegal
        Emme RE: westsidegal Sep 6, 2008 07:03 PM

        providence's tasting menu would be fun, and it's not too pricey in comparison to having dinner there...

        1. re: Emme
          westsidegal RE: Emme Sep 7, 2008 12:35 AM

          imho, there is a wide gap between the pricing at providence and "cheap" which is what bellbot is trying to find.

    2. s
      sidwich RE: bellbot Sep 5, 2008 05:45 PM

      Dinner at Tacos Baja Ensenada and ice cream at Scoops?

      1 Reply
      1. re: sidwich
        flowerofhighrank RE: sidwich Sep 7, 2008 11:19 PM

        Dinner at Pure Luck and THEN Scoops!

      2. westsidegal RE: bellbot Sep 5, 2008 08:50 PM

        in little ethiopia, dinner at rahel (less costly, but vegetarian) or meals by genet (more costly but meat is included in their offerings); both serve excellent food.

        1. g
          gordita RE: bellbot Sep 6, 2008 11:51 AM

          What's more romantic than a sunset picnic at the beach? I think Doc Weiller has fire pits.

          1 Reply
          1. re: gordita
            Dommy RE: gordita Sep 6, 2008 08:35 PM

            Yup! They do... I was just there... :D


          2. t
            theMeek RE: bellbot Sep 6, 2008 04:09 PM

            I second Scoops and Rahel's as great places to try something different and delicious. (Brown bread at Scoops is a classic favorite - tastes more like sweetened grapenuts in ice cream form.)

            What about visiting one of the many Farmer's Markets around L.A.?

            Or, if you make dinner, what about a themed night? The "flower gift" for a 3rd year anniversary is the Sunflower, so you could do lots of things with sunflower seeds... Or do your own version of the type of food you had on your first date (Italian night, etc.) Or a special trip you went on (seafood if you went to the beach, biscuits and pie if you had a fun trip to the South, etc)

            Hope you find some fun inspiration!

            1. Emme RE: bellbot Sep 6, 2008 07:07 PM

              how about a walking tour - Melting Pot Tour?


              1. v
                Vickie McCorkendale RE: bellbot Sep 6, 2008 07:11 PM

                I have always found the appetizer menu at most restaurants as appealing or more so than the main courses. Split a few starters, have a glass of wine.

                I second the farmer's market idea. If not a local true farmer's market, why not the permanent big one in LA or any big ethnic market for that matter. Wander through and be inspired by ingredients for creating an adventurous meal. What could be more foodie romantic than that?

                1. b
                  Bjartmarr RE: bellbot Sep 6, 2008 07:14 PM

                  Go to Highland Park. Buy one taco from each taco truck/stand on York. Eat it while you walk to the next taco stand.

                  Spend the day at the Getty Villa (Free/$8 parking), then have a picnic on the beach.

                  Hike Mt. Hollywood. Picnic on the summit. Bring wine.

                  Drive up the coast and get a crab at Neptune's Net (not sure what counts as "non-splurgy" to you; you may want to call and ask for prices.) Bring wine, appetizer, salad, bread.

                  1. n
                    NAspy RE: bellbot Sep 6, 2008 07:17 PM

                    Do bar food and drinks at Fraiche. Might not be cheap enough.

                    Hmmm...the suggestions of Ethiopian are very worthy. There's always the Blue Marlin on Sawtelle, and some other decently priced places also on that strip -- Hide Sushi, for example. Then go to Beard Papa's for dessert; it's in a little strip mall just north of Olympic across from the Blue Marlin.

                    1. c
                      Chez Coop RE: bellbot Sep 6, 2008 08:28 PM

                      Depending on your 10/20. You two should go on a taco truck dinning excrusion. Some of the best Mexican, Central and South American around. Then have something sweet after.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Chez Coop
                        Das Ubergeek RE: Chez Coop Sep 6, 2008 09:04 PM

                        I was going to suggest this sort of thing, but Chinese or Vietnamese. Pick a street (Valley Blvd. if you're up there, Brookhurst if you're down here) and several restaurants. Have one dish -- one dish only! -- in each and share it between you.

                        An example for Chinese (I don't know what your budget is, so...):

                        Yu rou shui jiao (fish and pork steamed dumplings) at Noodle House.
                        Cold shredded "ma la" chicken or jellyfish at Chung King.
                        Five-spice chicken rolls at Nice Time Deli.
                        A pound of house-style crab (usually $7-$8) at Seafood Village.
                        Pork chop rice at Old Country Cafe.
                        Melon and mango shaved ice at Phoenix Food Boutique.

                      2. bodie RE: bellbot Sep 7, 2008 12:31 PM

                        Every chef I have ever know or worked with loves the stuff that they can't approximate.

                        So, how about Thai Town (in either NoHo or Hollywood), SGV for Chinese, some great middle eastern food which is found in nearly every crook of LA, or some truly authentic Mexican food?

                        WIth a well-chosen bottle of wine or beer that matches the cuisine, you can make out for very little money - especially since so many of these places don't have licenses and allow BYOB ( bring a receipt to make things above board).

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: bodie
                          aventinus RE: bodie Sep 7, 2008 11:35 PM


                          What amazes me about the SGV in particular is the quality of the ingredients for the price. I feel like I can order a $10 dish at a place such as Seafood Village, and the ingredient quality is as high or higher that at Michelin-starred restaurants. Moreover, the portions will be enough for two people.

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