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Visitors from Ohio. Where to go?

I'm new to this board. I have family visiting from small town Ohio, where the only places to eat are Applebee's and such. I want to take them to places that they can't find back home. The catch is I need cheap. Ideally less than $10/pp. I live in Hermosa Beach, and we'll be visiting Loyola Marymount. I'm willing to travel for a must try, but I specifically need a place for dinner by Loyola Marymount.

Unfortunately, I think Mexican is out, as no one will touch anything with cilantro.

I already know I am taking them to Original Pancake House, Shin Sen Gumi ramen, and Versaille.

What do you think?

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  1. Having been to Ohio, I say you should hit up every single ethinc restaurant you can find.

    izakaya bincho, shin sen gumi, kbbq, thai food, vietnamese food

    hell porto's if you're thinking versaille, or gloria's even. or better yet, mariscos chente!

    3 Replies
    1. re: ns1

      So true on the ethnic. My family thinks I'm crazy when I say that pho is my new comfort food. They stared at boba in absolute confusion.

      I have a friend picking up bakery from Porto's. What is Gloria's?

      1. re: kaitlyn142

        i believe glorias is a mexican restaurant on venice blvd that serves cilantro in it's food.

      2. re: ns1

        mariscos chente will not come in within kaitlyn's budget even before tax, tip, and beverage.

        ayara thai is near loyola and has many dishes for less than $10/pp but cilantro is in many of them.

      3. Hi... Given the parameters you've laid out, this might be a bit of a long-shot: about 3 or 4 miles north of LMU, on Lincoln blvd., is Baby Blues BBQ. I think with some creative ordering, you might be able to find menu choices around the $10 price point (perhaps a pulled pork sandwich and a side) before tax and tip. The artistic/hipster vibe there might be entertaining to your mid-western folk...

        1 Reply
        1. re: silence9

          I was just thinking of Baby Blues. If their idea of good BBQ is Chili's Baby Back Ribs or something similar, then they are in for a pleasant suprise.

        2. That's really too bad about the Mexican aversion, because Marsicos Chente is close-ish and fantastic. Search for it on the board, and you'll see many fervent recs for it. It's not your typical Mexican food, even by L.A. standards.

          It's out of the way (East side of the 405) but a detour to Pann's Restaurant might be a hit with your folks. Uniquely L.A. Googie architecture. Solid diner food with a Southern influence. The fried chicken is justly famous. While not known for cheap eats, you can probably choose items close to your $10 budget.

          11 Replies
          1. re: Professor Salt

            Wow. so many possibilties for Ohioans

            (I lived in Ohio for 8 years, and the Chow-Pup, my LA born and raised son, is in school in Columbus now):

            Little India (Pioneer Bl. through Artesia) or Al Wataan/Al Noor for Deshi food;
            SOMEONE's Cal. Mexican, not all of which has cilantro,
            Regional mex, which doesn't have cilatro: Oaxacan, Yucatecan (Chichen Itza at the Mercado!)
            DIM SUM DIM SUM DIM SUM. (Ocean Star, NBC!)
            Thai Town. . . jeez, take'em to see Thai Elvis at the Palms Thai, you'll probably be out for about $12 per person, unless you order a bunch of shrimp, or the wild boar or frog (no, I'm not kidding)...
            Ethiopian at any of 4-5 places on Fairfax. . .
            Middle Eastern breakfast (ful madamas and basturma anyone?)

            NOT Pann's; or the Pancake House; the food there will all be familiar to 'em. . .

            1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

              Oh! I didn't know that Oaxacan and Yucatecan don't use cilantro. That opens up new food places for me. Thank you.

              The Pancake House is because I like it. :) I'm footing the bill for this entire trip, so I get my pancakes.

            2. re: Professor Salt

              Do they put cilantro in everything? It's not that we don't like Mexican, as we've got the genes that makes things with cilantro taste like soap. Even a little bit that I pick out still ruins the flavor. The best description I've seen is that it doesn't taste like bad food we don't like. It tastes like it's not even supposed to be food.

              1. re: kaitlyn142

                I haven't tried enough dishes at Mariscos Chente to say if cilantro is used in everything. My guess is no, and certainly you can ask them not to use it in dishes where they can.

                The thing might knock Chente out of the running here is the price. Everything is seafood based, so many entrees nudge north of $10. With proper sharing, you can still eat in budget and not leave hungry.

                1. re: Professor Salt

                  The portions are ridiculous, though -- one aguachile is a baker's dozen jumbo prawns and what seems like nine thousand slices of cucumber and costs $13. The pescado zarandeado is $18 per kilo (about $8.50 a pound) -- you have to buy the whole fish, which averages 2 kg, but it's absolutely enormous and would feed a family of six easily.

                  And you can regale your visitors from Ohio with the (true) story that every week, a family member goes to Tijuana, takes an overnight bus to Mazatlan (a 20-hour trip), spends the night, buys the fish and seafood from the boats, puts it in ice coolers, goes BACK to Tijuana, crosses the border and drives back to Mar Vista, because they know and trust the quality of fish from Mazatlan.

                  Makes $8.50 a pound, already a damn good value for cooked fish in a restaurant, seem like a banh-mi type bargain.

                  1. re: Das Ubergeek

                    All true. I hope the Ohio relatives like seafood cuz it's blow your doors off good.

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek

                      the pescado zarandeado fed two people the last time my group was there--not six.

                      don't forget, the fish is weighed and served wiith all the bones and the head and gills and fins, so some of the weight is not edible.

                      das, i am probably one of the more rabid supporters of mariscos chente on this board, i'm there alone and with guests several times a week, and i would LOVE to be able to say that it can meet kaitlyn's requirements, but truly, it cannot unless her group were to eat much less per person than any group of ohioans i've ever seen or unless her budget were to increase substantially.

                      also, i'm not positive that cilantro isn't contained in the salsa. i'm pretty positive it is found in many of the sauces used on the shrimp.

                      imho too many things don't fit here.

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        I couldn't say about the sauce, but if you get an appetizer or two and a pescado zarandeado... it's hard for me to believe two people could eat a whole 2 kg fish even allowing 50% waste!

                        1. re: Das Ubergeek

                          if you get an appetizer or two, you run into the budget problems.
                          other than the tacos, i believe that apps run the same as entrees.

                          so ordering two appetizers adds another $22 before tax and tip.
                          a pz in addition, for my groups would allow you to have two apps and one pz. which would cover 4 people, not six people. still not within budget.
                          i've done this a number of times with a number of groups. a one kilo pz has never come close to covering 6 people by itself.

                          also, the cilantro issue is still in play here.. . .

                          1. re: westsidegal

                            "ideally" does not = mandatory

                            FWIW, me and the wifey spent 30 bucks between us and had TOO much food, so it really depends on how much you plan on eating here.

                            1. re: ns1

                              with the way i tip, the shrimp dishes (many of which contain cilantro) with tap water to drink cost $15/pp after tax and tip.
                              maybe you tip less.
                              still that comes to 150% of the target budget. to me a 50% budget overrun is not inconsequential.
                              to many on this board, all budget numbers are very 'soft' but to me, and maybe to others they are 'hard.'

              2. Near LMU, I would recommend either Pann's (patty meld or fried chicken/waffles) or Ayara Thai.

                Other places to hit near $10 would be the Rose Cafe (Breakfast and Lunch only for now) and Bay Cities deli.
                Reconsider Mexican, since there is much excellent Mexican in the area.

                other places that might be a little more than $10 are Antica for good Neopolitan pastas and pizza (if shared) and Thompkins Square for pub style hamburgers, Thompkins being right near LMU.

                Joe's Pizza near the Santa Monica pier is another possibility, but no place to sit.

                6 Replies
                1. re: Ogawak

                  they will not be able to meet their budget constraints at antica unless they eat and drink far less than normal adults. after tax and tip and beverage the tab will generallly run about 200% of budget.

                  1. re: Ogawak

                    for good pizza that will have some outdoor seating and will be close to LMU, go to
                    THE GOOD PIZZA

                    7929 Emerson Ave Los Angeles, CA 90045 - (310) 215-1883
                    you wil be able to meet your budget constraints and have high-quality food here. the downside is that, irrc, the tables are all out in front of the restaurant so if the weather's chilly this might not work.

                    another option to consider for burgers is the build-your-own-burger place in el segundo plaza on sepulveda and rosecrans THE COUNTER. after dinner, you could take them for a stroll around the behemouth Whole Foods in that shopping center

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      The Counter is a very good suggestion; the one in Marina del Rey is the the closest to LMU.

                      The Counter
                      4786 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

                      1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                        imho, the volume of the music at the counter in MDR is too loud for me to enjoy my meal, but the music at eh counter in el segundo is fine.

                    2. re: Ogawak

                      Tompkins is great for beer; but the food is just o.k. Thinking more about this request, I really think that the best suggestion is Ayara Thai (given your location and parameters.) I also like Singapore Express in Marina del Rey. The other recommendations are either too far away, or not as interesting - i.e. burgers at the Counter.

                      Ayara Thai Cuisine
                      6245 W 87th St, Los Angeles, CA 90045

                      Singapore Express
                      4248 Lincoln Blvd, Marina Dl Rey, CA 90292

                      1. re: ElissaInPlaya

                        irrc, singapore express, like ayara thai, also uses cilantro

                      1. Keep in mind that some Vietnamese has cilantro in it as well. Especially the soups.

                        1. Sounds familiar.
                          Had an aunt & uncle from Columbus visiting a couple weeks ago.
                          All they wanted to eat was cheap Chinese food and were in heaven in LA Chinatown, Sam Woo BBQ in Alhambra, Mama's Lu Dumpling and Dumpling Master in Alhambra.

                          1. i'd say at some point they might be interested in In'n'Out, since they don't have that back east... maybe a pre-airport snack?

                            Santouka for ramen
                            Kyochon for Korean fried chicken
                            Bruddah's for hawaiian plates
                            Rutt's Hawaiian
                            The Kettle in Manhattan Beach
                            Three Flames Mongolian BBQ
                            in case you make it up to Venice, India Sweets and Spices
                            Fassica - some great specials and a coupon http://www.fassicarestaurant.com/

                            is Musha in Torrance too much? maybe as a splurge?

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Emme

                              would not recommend three flames and i'm not even sure that it would come in under budget.

                              1. re: Emme

                                i believe fassica is closed.
                                the windows were papered over the last time i passed the place.

                                1. re: Emme

                                  the kettle in manhattan beach serves standard coffee shop food, much of which would actually come in within budget.

                                  imho, though, for that type of food, if you are willing to 'order carefully,' you can do better at dinah's family restaurant which is closer to LMU.

                                  still, to me, the only reason i'd take out-of-towners to dinah's is 1) their baked german pancake or 2) their baked apple pancake--two dishes that most people don't associate with dinner.

                                2. Take a walk on Abbot Kinney in Venice. Between the weather being superb for as far as the forecast will go and all the sights to see on this street, your family should find this interesting. And although most lunch options can easily surpass $10 on this street, you can each get a couple of huge slices of great (and unique) pizza at Abbot's Pizza for under $10. They're $4/slice and $5 for the salad pizza (excellent way to polish off a salad), and did I mention that the slices are generous? Parking can be horrid, but a whole bunch of additional parking spaces recently became available on the 1300-block of Electric Avenue, which runs parallel to Abbot Kinney. You'll also find more street parking in the neighborhood on the southwest side of Abbot Kinney. If you want ice cream or froyo, go across the street from Abbot's and try Nice Cream or Pinkberry (I can't believe they got a rec from me). $3-$6 is the average per person at these places. And if you're in the mood for baked goods, go north a few more blocks to 3 Square. Their baked goods can be a little on the higher side, but two to three bucks can be done. They do a lot of sweet baked goods, but some really nice savory ones are offered as well. Give their famous bacon and cheese pretzel twist a try - something that I think at least most of your cilantro-averse family will embrace with both hands - literally.

                                  1. My recommendation is quality seafood at the redondo pier. They definitely cannot eat super fresh seafood outside next to the ocean in Ohio. I believe the crabs were $6 / lb and oysters were $1.25 - $1.75 each, I don't remember the price of the periwinkles and clams that I ate. But if you pick carefully you could eat a small meal for around $10pp.