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Westside Challenge

lolabelow Feb 17, 2009 12:22 PM

I have a friend in town, working on a Bravo TV food show (a food producer - I mention this so you know what I am up against).

We're going to have dinner on the west side (Santa Monica, Venice...maybe even Culver City if it's right) this week.

The caveat - we're both on a budget. If we were on my side of town we'd go to My Taco or The York...

Anything but Chinese will do (Sushi's out because of the budget - $20 per person)

It's been forever since I was on that side of town and all I can think of is Lares. I know there is better/more out there (don't get me wrong - I do love their potato tacos...)


  1. c
    Cebca Feb 17, 2009 12:31 PM

    Go to Cha Cha Chicken - the food and the atmosphere are so unique and it's such a cute little place it's impossible to hate on even if you're a food snob, not to mention it's tasty and cheap (and BYOB!)

    1. d
      delishdonna Feb 17, 2009 12:48 PM

      Taco Miendo excellent food , best chile verde I've had anyhere . The pork is very tender the sauce has complex flavors and they add nopales which give it an added zing , hand made tortillas, prices are good , no atmosphere. They have two locations on the west side.

      1. wilafur Feb 17, 2009 12:50 PM

        you can also check out monte alban and/or tacos por favor.

        if you want quick izakaya, check out terried sake house.

        5 Replies
        1. re: wilafur
          Wolfgang Feb 17, 2009 01:53 PM

          I'd take him to Father's Office.

          1. re: Wolfgang
            J.L. Feb 17, 2009 04:36 PM

            Tough to get out of FO for under $20pp, especially when the famous FO burger is involved.

            1. re: J.L.
              mollyomormon Feb 17, 2009 05:06 PM

              i don't think so at all and did it just the other night. you could easily each get a burger and split an order of sweet potato fries and still come out under budget (we split a burger, an order of fries and one of their fantastic warm mushroom salads and came out under $40). tougher if you want beer, though...

              1. re: mollyomormon
                J.L. Feb 17, 2009 09:30 PM

                Sorry I forgot to add that I assume the original poster would want to wash his burger down with some suds.

          2. re: wilafur
            Nicole Feb 17, 2009 02:45 PM

            Ditto on Monte Alban for good Oaxacan Mexican food.

          3. westsidegal Feb 17, 2009 02:11 PM

            if he is open to sinaloan seafood, there could only be one answer: mariscos chente.
            $20 would get each of you an entree, tortillas (you need to ask), and a beer . $20 would include tip and tax.

            imho, i would try to time the dinner so that it is not tonight, tuesday. any other day is good.
            also, if the restaurant is quiet, they sometimes close early, so if you're looking for a
            late dinner, this probably won't work.


            dishes i've tried and loved there:

            shrimp cocktail
            shrimp and octopus coctail
            shrimp a la diabla (spicy cooked dish
            )shirmp checo (garlicy/tart cooked dish)
            mojarra frita (deep fried whole tilapia done perfectly slightly more fish than a normal person would eat at one sitting, but i've been known to polish one off by myself)

            1. westsidegal Feb 17, 2009 02:16 PM

              if you are open to vegetarian indian food in a place that serves on paper plates, head to SAMOSA HOUSE on washington near berryman. (west of the 405).

              they sell a 'combination plate' for about $8. for each plate you get to choose 3 entree dishes; each plate comes with rice, raita, and roti.
              take my advice and order 3 such combination plates to split between the two of you so that you can taste more items .

              also ask if they have any of their terrific banana/mango/pistachio soup behind the counter. for reasons i'll never understand, they don't necessarily post a sign when it's available.

              1. westsidegal Feb 17, 2009 02:19 PM

                if you are able and willing to 'order carefully' you can get out of SHAMSHIRI GRILL (persian middle eastern, Mediterranean) on westwood blvd north of santa monica blvd within your budget.
                this will probably mean that you will need to stick to appetizers since they will often charge a
                $4 splitting charge if adults want to split an entree.

                1 Reply
                1. re: westsidegal
                  Porthos Feb 17, 2009 08:35 PM

                  An entree at Shamshiri is $13-15. The portions are huge. Easily $20pp without beverage. Go Monday for Friday for the lamb neck.

                2. l
                  lolabelow Feb 18, 2009 05:13 PM

                  Thanks for all the replies. I'm going to weed through them and let you know where we end up tomorrow night. I've had terrible service at Shamshiri (but the one in Glendale) but I do really like the food...
                  mariscos chente sounds great. that might be a front runner. thanks for the reminder on Taco Miendo. I used to lunch there - never realized they were open for dinner.

                  chowhound to the rescue again!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lolabelow
                    lolabelow Mar 7, 2009 12:54 PM

                    sorry for the delay. We went to Mariscos Chente. And left. They were closed for some odd reason. We'll try it another time - it sounded amazing. We were stumped so we ended up at Lares. It was perfectly fine and the margaritas were strong...

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