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Oct 17, 2008 08:49 PM

Solo dinner tonight...

So, just getting off work and am too late to join my friends for dinner. I enjoy eating solo occasionally - where's a good place to do it? Just me and my book and a really good meal. I don't mind socializing, but I don't need it. I'm in the South Bay area and would prefer not to travel too far. Any suggestions? I was thinking maybe Craft, but then thought I might try someplace new...

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    1. If you are in the east side of South Bay, like Torrance, these are my picks:
      Mishima Japanese noodles and tempura Western Ave & Carson Street strip mall
      The Local Place Hawaiian plate lunch 186 & Western
      Mitsuwa Market Place Western & 213th Food court
      these are my comfort foods

      1. I salute the solo diner! I don't think enough restaurants accommodate tables for one. During my days as a single lad, I usually would stake out the restaurants where at least you can sit in the bar and enjoy the benefits of the full restaurant menu. You mentioned South Bay -- if you are jonesing for a steak, have you thought of 555 East in Long Beach? I found this place to be a great place to savor a rib eye and knock it down with a couple of glasses of red wine from their phone-book sized wine list.

        555 East American Steakhouse
        555 E Ocean Blvd Ste 208, Long Beach, CA 90802

        7 Replies
        1. re: OCKevin

          Thanks to everyone for the suggestions! I actually got really excited about going to Lucques - I can't believe I haven't been there yet, and I was looking forward to having a nice meal at the bar. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to leave work until after 10, so it was too late. :(

          You know, I never think about heading south to Long Beach, but I will definitely look into 555 as OCKevin suggests! Thanks again!

          1. re: heinous

            Yakitori Bincho at the Redondo Beach pier. Small place with GREAT food, Sit and the bar and chat with Chef. We had a very nice meal there last night.

            1. re: JEN10

              Hahaha, I was there last night too! :) Yes, this would be a great place for a solo dinner, and now that it's back again, I'm sure it'll be one of my regulars. It's great that it's all small plates - you can still have a nice variety even when eating alone.

              1. re: heinous

                So what did you have there? I posted pics on Exilekiss post. Hope you enjoyed it as much as we did.

                1. re: JEN10

                  I had pretty much everything exilekiss had, so I didn't have much new to report. Aside from those, I did try the tuna fritters, which were overly salty and really fishy, which surprised me a lot. I also had the ricotta tofu, which was a nice little dish - sweet and creamy. I certainly did enjoy it - I'm so glad they're back! Too bad about the grill, but I won't complain as long as I can get my agedashi tofu! I'll be back tonight and will be sure to report on anything new! :)

            2. re: heinous

              Lucques is my number one place to eat alone at the bar in LA. Why? Each and every time I have met nice, fun, food-loving, interesting people sitting there, too. And ... the food is always superb. And the space is awesome and it just makes you feel good being there. So yeah, check it out when you can and report.

              1. re: la tache burger

                That sounds totally perfect - it will be my next solo dinner for sure. I just have a couple quick questions, if you don't mind. Can you only order from the bar menu? How am I supposed to choose between the omelette and the steak frites? Would it be egregiously excessive to have both? Since it's a favorite of yours, do you have any particular suggestions?

                Thanks! :)

          2. I love Lucques, too and the bar is tiny but okay to dine at.

            I don't know any places near the SoBay area...

            But I was gonna suggest AOC, Pane et Vino and Jar -- all great bar-dining options in WeHo.

            Ortolan would be a nice - if pricey - option, too. Their bar area is completely different to the dining room, with a living wall of plants behind you (at least, I think they still have that going on - it's been a while since I was there last).

            Then there's always the Mozzarella counter at Osteria Mozza and the pizza counter (much better than dining at the bar as you can watch them make the pizzas) at Pizzeria Mozza -- the latter is open till midnight.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Maxmillion

              Thanks for the suggestions! I was also thinking about AOC - it's definitely on the list. And I've always thought of both Mozzas as places to go with groups of people, but having read La Tache's wonderful review on her meal at Osteria Mozza, I will have to give that a try as well.

            2. I've had good dinner by myself at Animal, sitting at the bar. It's very social and fun.