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casual no reservation vday on the westside?

so i typically avoid going out on valentines day but my teenage niece is flying into lax tomorrow night at 8pm & i'd love to take her somewhere to grab a bite to eat after she arrives. unfortunately most places do the whole valentines menu and i'm concerned about how busy places might be. i'd love a suggestion for someplace on the westside that might not be too busy or have a pre fix menu. thoughts??????

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  1. Coming away from LAX -- Pann's, for fantastic fried chicken wings, biscuits, pea soup, a lot of other diner classics in a fun googie place. Up on Abbott Kinney in Venice -- Hal's Bar & Grill, Gjelina or Joe's, Beechwood. 26 Beach, Baby Blues -- some will be full for V-day, others may have openings late. Up towards Santa Monica -- Border Grill for the latenight happy hour. If you come up the 405 you'll be near Culver City, but Fraiche will probably be booked and she's too young for Father's Office. Sawtelle is just off the freeway -- FuRaiBo may be open late, as would others. Do any of these help? Finally, my favorite restaurant on the westside for excellent food and great value is Nook Bistro, in the back corner of a minimall on Santa Monica Blvd. a block east of Barrington. After a time, 8:30 or so, they stop taking reservations and you can walk in, though I'm not certain what the situation will be on V-day.

    1 Reply
    1. re: nosh

      hmmmmm, border grill sounded perfect but even they are having a pre fix menu. my only concern about that is that my 17 year old niece may not have enough options unfortunately.

    2. Antica Pizzaria off of Lincoln in the Marina has great authentic Italian food. It's casual and moderately priced . I doubt if you would need a reservation but you might call to make sure.

      1 Reply
      1. re: delishdonna

        on valentine's day, i would definitely call any nice sit-down restaurant to make sure, including antica pizzaria.
        btw, antica pizzaria's name and location in a shopping center seem to suggest a very causal restaurant, in fact, this is a relatively nice (table cloths) place to eat.

        also, the food is quite good. my favorites are the pizza with anchovies and their grilled vegetable plate. the style of pizza they serve is neopolitan--very thin crust-- you will need a fork and knife to eat it properly. they import their flour from italy. the cheese is high quality.

      2. are you open to having ethnic food? mexican seafood? thai? persian?

        6 Replies
        1. re: westsidegal

          i was thinking of mexican....might be nice for my guest. but all i could think of was la cabana which might be a madhouse. i love thai, what would you suggest? thanks to all for your thoughtful suggestions!

          1. re: westsidegal

            after a bit more research, i've decided to go to 26 Beach St.
            westsidegal, i saw that you gave it some good reviews.
            thanks!

            1. re: dotrat

              i'd call them to find out their reservation status.
              because the decor is 'girly' i would imagine that they, too, will be busy tonight.
              they take reservations, so they'll be able to tell you whether they are already booked up in the time frame you're anticipating going there.

              310) 823.7526

              1. re: westsidegal

                oh thanks. i already called & have a 9pm reso. i think everywhere will be busy tonight. it's a night i typically do not eat out but things have just worked out this way.

                1. re: dotrat

                  terrific.
                  personally, i like their burgers and entree salads most,
                  i am not much of a fan of their entrees.

                  the burgers come with a choice of fries or a side salad. even though their entree salads are excellent, that is not the case for those little side salads. the fries, though, ARE good.

                  burger boy, who also posts on this site will disagree with me about the entrees; he thinks much more highly of them than do i.

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    dotrat, please report back. i'd be interested in how your experience goes, how you liked 26 Beach, and how your teenage niece enjoys it.

          2. My favorite Thai restaurant on the westside is Thai Boom, on the north side of Venice Blvd. at Midvale, about midway between Sepulveda and Overland. It is small and casual, but the food there is well-prepared, spicy if requested, and nicely presented. I really like their shrimp in a red curry butter, their yellow curry, and we had a wonderfully fresh and simple steamed piece of sole one night with ginger that was a bargain at $9.95. A noodle-lover liked their pad see yu -- I like dishes with seafood, chicken and eggplant better than their beef. Very friendly and accommodating service.

            1 Reply
            1. re: nosh

              another thai choice that has somewhat better ambiance, is closer to the airport, and, like THAI BOOM, is also on my regular rotation is:

              AYARA thai cusinine

              they are located one block east of sepulveda and one block south of manchester.

            2. i'd go to don antonio's - pico near bundy. it's just normal la mexican that has a fun vibe. i think a teenager would like it a lot. i happen to think their chips / salsa are the best in the city and their nachos are to die for. not exactly "authentic mex." - but very tasty.

              2 Replies
              1. re: bu dat

                Only problem with Don Antonio's is that people love their patio, and tonight is going to be cold. And she's underage -- the food is much better there with a buzz.

                1. re: nosh

                  well, i typically sit inside and love the ambiance in there as well. i also like the food w/ or w/o a buzz. but that's just me.