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Off to San Pedro -- any suggestions?

2 kids and 2 adults who like cheap, interesting food are headed to San Pedro. Any suggestions? Gaffey St Diner? Is that "interesting"? Burgers, in our book, aren't especially interesting; we love fish or "ethnic" food (I hate that term -- in my books and going to San Pedro fish ought to be "ethnic") -- I guess 'local gems' for not too much money is what I have in mind, and also kid-friendly -- which means not white-table-cloth but they'll eat anything you'll eat (...though -- sorry to keep adding stipulations -- there needs to be something other than all-meat available)...

Thanks Hounds!

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  1. This place (Pavich's) sounded really interesting and the LA Times also had a great review including photos (see link below):



    1 Reply
    1. The pizza place won't be open. The fish market has a really good inside restraunt. Not outside, stay away from outside on the weekend, this is at Ports O call great food, cheap and kid friendly. Or there is a great new Lebanese place on Pacific about 19th Street in a strip mall.

      5 Replies
      1. re: bex29

        Are you saying Pavich's is closed this weekend for some reason? The website lists their hours as 11 AM to 8 PM everyday.

        1. re: Servorg

          It's San Pedro, never trust the posted hours! It's a tiny shop and when it gets really slow in the evening, they close up shop. Great food, but it is take away. I would call first to be sure they're there.

          1. re: bex29

            Okay. It's just that when you said "They won't be open" you actually meant "They might not be open" (all depending on how busy they are as it gets close to their published closing time).

            1. re: Servorg

              I meant "they won't be open" it's a holiday weekend and today is Croation celebration day in San Pedro. I knew they would be closed. Also their website isn't accurate as to menu and prices besides time they are open. It's a quirky place, excellent, but call first.

              1. re: bex29

                So just to make sure of what their website said I just called them. And guess what? They were open. They have been open all day (since 11 AM) and the very nice guy on the phone said that last call for orders to go is 7:40 PM, but he was willing to take my order even though I called a few minutes late. Guess he's trying to maximize business like a good owner should.

                Maybe in this economy we should all try to err on the side of caution when possibly driving business away from any of the small restaurants in LA (which are all trying their level best to survive our economic meltdown)?

      2. Lots of seafood options at Ports of Call Village.
        Many fresh seafood counters with different kinds of seafood which can be either fried or grilled.
        Lots of choices either American, Asian or Mexican style preparation.
        Very informal.....go to a counter and choose what you want and you get your food on a tray and dine on the wooden tables overlooking the harbor.

        1. I don't know when you are going, but here are my thoughts if it is not too late. Pavich's has good pizza although it is definitely more take out than a restaurant; I think there is one small table in front. Gaffey St. Diner has good quality food a fair prices but I would not call it "interesting". San Pedro Fish market certainly meets most of your criteria: fish, interesting, kid friendly, and ethnic. I don't think it would qualify as cheap. Unless you have been to San Pedro Fish Market, you should know that many would consider it too interesting, ethnic and kid friendly. I love the place, but it is not for everyone and for me the ambience is better than the food. You might try Ante's, which is an old school Yugoslavian restaurant. They usually have a seafood special that is good. We like to split the Yugoslav sampler plate. I would suggest you do what most locals do; go to Busy Bee and get some sandwiches. Then, go to a nearby park or beach and enjoy an impromptu picnic.

          Busy Bee Market
          2413 S Walker Ave, San Pedro, CA 90731

          2 Replies
          1. re: Guero

            +2 for the busy bee suggestion.
            beware the hours: every time i go, they're closed.
            they don't seem to be open much besides lunch (maybe only weekdays).

            1. re: Guero

              Busy Bee: Still the best sandwiches in town

            2. Big Nicks for the sub sandwiches (haven't had the pizza). An alternative would be A-1 Grocery whose sandwiches are much more basic.
              Enchilada House for inexpensive Mexican style.
              IIRC Busy Bee isn't open on Sunday.
              Gaffey Street Diner has Very large breakfasts - be prepared to doze afterwords.

              I know there are more good San Pedro topics out there, just can find them yet.

              Gaffey Street Diner
              247 N Gaffey St, San Pedro, CA 90731

              Big Nick's Pizza
              1110 N Gaffey St Ste G, San Pedro, CA 90731

              Enchilada House
              133 N Bandini St, San Pedro, CA 90731

              1. Someone will inevitably tell you to try Papadakis Taverna in San Pedro, but it is very over-rated.

                4 Replies
                1. re: OC Mutt

                  i disagree. papadakis is excellent, even a destination place. but it is not cheap.

                  1. re: OC Mutt

                    I thought the food tasted good. The entertainment and hospitality were totally unexpected (in a very, very good way). The prices... well, it's not cheap.

                    1. re: DrBruin

                      Terrific hospitality - I agree! But the food is painfully mediocre and like many Greek restaurants, priced very high for what you get. Really?! 10 bucks for an app. portion of fried eggplant? Really?

                      1. re: OC Mutt

                        yes, it's pricey. but the veal chop with peanut butter sauce is absolutely delicious and large enough to easily feed two.

                  2. Now that Porky's is no longer in their original location on Manchester across from the Forum, you can get their superlative pulled pork, generous portions, and friendly service at their locations in Long Beach and San Pedro, or at least nearby. I don't know if they are serving the fried chicken (originally franchised by Golden Bird, then pretty successfully copied) at either or both of those branches. Let them know that some of their old fans are hoping for a return to closer to the westside!

                    1. Thank you all so very much! San Pedro is such an interesting place. As it turned out the place we were going to ended up serving massive amounts of food which I surely hadn't expected: rats! Always I want to explore San Pedro more and then it doesn't happen for some reason. We have tried and love the PortsOCall place where they grill up your takeout fish and serve it heaped on a tray. Then you fight the seagulls among Mariachis for it. Lots of fun.

                      But the other intriguing thing about SP, it seems to me, is all these eastern European places. I sure don't see them in WLA, for sure. So interesting. Years ago the CoOp carried a rye bread by someone down in SP that was just *delicious*; I still crave it. And don't remember the bakery name of course. But when all these Yugoslavian and Croatian places are named, it just makes me wonder so about the town...

                      I'll look back over the posts and try to get a better handle on this different population that must be in SP. For starters there are just so very many restaurants along the main drag. I wonder if that's because of the military installations - many single adults perhaps?

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: aliris

                        Now you've got me! Tell me about all the Eastern European places. I'm wild about Yugoslavian and Croatian food

                        1. re: bagdoodle

                          Well, perhaps "all" is overstating things... but above in this post is mentioned "Ante's, which is an old school Yugoslavian restaurant", and it was mentioned that recently was "Croatian" day ... and I'm sure that there must be some sizeable Croatian population there that is presumably serviced in restaurants. Plus there's this: "Pavich's also has a couple of very interesting Croatian dishes on the menu that I hope to try – that is if I ever make it past the amazing pizza. I am so delighted to have such a fantastic little pizzeria so close to home!" from another thread (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6120... ) and Pavich's is certainly mentioned above!

                        2. re: aliris

                          So where did you end up going?

                        3. Links; I can never get them to work below as needed...

                          729 S Ante Perkov Way, San Pedro, CA 90731

                          Pavich's Brick Oven Pizzeria
                          2311 S Alma St, San Pedro, CA 90731

                          1. One of the best choices for kids and adults -- but avoid the pizza -- is Nikos on 6th street. good italian food and plenty of it. Chicken parm with veg and spaghetti and a big salad and garlic bread for $12, and it feeds two. Lots of other choices, too. Calamari is fresh and wonderful.
                            Neils is great but is more expensive. on 7th. Better prices at lunch time than dinner.
                            The Gypsy Way barbecue is good as is a new lebanese cafe with schwarma on Pacific near 18th.
                            Marie's next to the laundry on 22nd at Pacific is also good and real cheap Mexican. Not much ambiance.
                            Breakfast's best is Pacific Diner on pacific at 38th.
                            Pavich pizza is good as is Sorrento's at Western and 25th--also serves basic Italian.
                            Red Onion has fine, all-around basic Mexican--6th near Harbor.
                            Ports of Call Restaurant at POC has fine food, and free and plentiful bar food from 3 to 7pm. You can sit and watch the ships go by.
                            Utro's near POC has both indoor and outdoor seating along Sampson Way--best burgers and fries, as well as huge tuna sandwich. Beer by the pitcher.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: peterboy

                              Good recs. Unfortunately Gypsy Way BBQ closed down not too long ago. They had great Persian food and I miss them dearly. I've noticed that Lebanese place on Pacific and it looks interesting