$30-40pp Sunday dinner West of BH
Living in another part of town so I'm not as up on dinner reccs on the Westside. It will be 4 people including one who doesn't do Sushi or Mexican for a fairly reasonable $30-40pp, not too formal. I tend to like fresh, locally grown places but am interested in any and all options. The other 3 people are staying near Casa del Mar so anything close in Santa Monica is great, but we do have wheels so there is some flexibility but probably not past Beverly Hills.
does the $40/pp budget include tax? tip? beverages? alcohol?
will all members of the party be willing to 'order carefully' or does the budget need to be met by the menu options?
I think Gjelina on Abbott Kinney would work. Excellent thin-crust pizza to share for a starter, and then a succession of dishes like mussels, pasta, lamb or octopus or duck, all suitable for passing and sharing. Smallish plates but not that small. They don't mind when tables order food in successive waves, which I like a lot. Their garden patio would be wonderful on a warm night, and they were doing great business the Sunday eve we went last month. On the east side of Abbott Kinney not far north of Venice, on a corner, with street parking in front and a shared free public lot in the rear.
re: Lady Marmalade
Literati 2 isn't really there in the same form anymore -- it has been morphed back into the more casual Literati Cafe. They still have some specials and more upscale dishes, but it isn't the ambitious restaurant it was a few years ago -- unless I'm completely wrong and they've gone back. The last time I checked, what was on their website was very different from what I was told on the phone, though they said they were working on it. Anyway, even when Literati 2 was hot, Nook Bistro was better, less expensive, had free parking, and was a much better experience.
Chaya Venice does Happy Hour all night on Sunday (and Monday) nights. Eat in the bar area and you can easily meet your budget.
Gjelina is a good rec, but be sure to get a reservation, or you'll wait over an hour.
Akasha in culver city
Il Moro can be done.
i Cugini is close to your hotel and solid.
locally grown makes me want to suggest Jiraffe as well as Wilshire but they're beyond budget.