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Jun 30, 2009 06:30 PM

Good food options tonight in *eastern* Manhattan Beach or Lawndale?

Will be in the area, anything tasty to recommend? (Don't want western Manhattan Beach tonight.)

Can be American, Thai, Mexican, whatever, someplace decent to sit down at for a casual meal. Hole in the walls are fine but no *true* dives please. (I'm fine with them for exceptionally great food. My dining companion probably would want to scrub.)

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  1. If you haven't been it's probably a good opportunity to give Al-Noor a try.

    Al Noor
    15112 Inglewood Ave, Lawndale, CA 90260

    1. Al Watan is in the same general area as well. I think you couldn't go wrong with either.

      Al Watan
      13619 Inglewood Ave, Hawthorne, CA 90250

      2 Replies
      1. re: bulavinaka

        I thought about Al Watan too, but it is much more of a dive than Al-Noor IMO. Which isn't a bad thing normally but Cinnamon wanted to avoid the outright dive type of place tonight.

        1. re: Servorg

          So much for plans, lol. We ended up at Tomboy's for chili dogs - sort of clean-divey fast food - good dogs! The chairs were folded up against the tables for near-closing outside, and I think there was a mop pail with mop stuck in it somewhere in the middle of the indoor dining section and everything.

          Dining companion was hungry enough to go with it, plus it's a "hot dog joint" so hey.

          I will need to be back in the area in a few days and am sending both of those restaurants' names and locations to my phone!!! Thank you both. The menu at Al Noor looks terrific. Never been to either, will make it a point to go to both. Not the same night.

          5111 Marine Ave, Lawndale, CA 90260

      2. For your future trips I might recommend Saigon Dish, good Vietnamese for if you cannot make it to the OC or SGV. I'm a vermicelli person, but people like the pho.

        15725 Hawthorne Blvd at Manhattan Beach Blvd in a strip mall.

        Never been, but others like Havana Mania
        3615 Inglewood Blvd at Manhattan Beach Blvd.

        1. I really like El Pollo Inka and Saigon Dish both on Hawthorne Blvd in Lawndale.

          9 Replies
          1. re: wienermobile

            I like the Lomo Saltado better at this El Pollo Inka rather than the one in Gardena. The food and atmosphere seems to be a lot better too.

            1. re: wienermobile

              I don't know if this is still the case, but one heads-up for this location. Although I give this location credit for roasting the chickens with wood, the ahi is super heavy on iceberg lettuce - IMHO, it borders on inedible. Since many who love Peruvian consider the ahi to be an essential component to their meal, please consider this.

              1. re: bulavinaka

                Not being too familiar with Peruvian cuisine in general, the first time I've ever tasted the green ahi was quite a surprise. I tried to compare this to guacamole which is Mexican and was sort of turned off by the strange taste. I could not figure what that "main ingredient" was until someone told me that it was lettuce and not green peppers. After a while it really starts to grow on you. We'd kill the whole plastic bottle on the table by the time we're finished with the meal. I guess to each his own if you like it or not?

                1. re: Clinton

                  Just my opinion, but it's the most lettuce-y ahi I've ever tried. I think you're in the South Bay - you might try Kotosh in Lomita, or El Rocoto in Gardena - their versions of ahi are more to my liking - a more balanced approached to the various ingredients. Also, El Rocoto has a red salsa, which is the namesake of the restaurant. I just ate at Puro Sabor in Van Nuys two weekends ago, and theirs is at the other end of the spectrum. Very chile-intensive and picante. Goes well with the food but it should be used more judiciously. I'm guessing ahi recipes are probably like sambal recipes in Malaysia, poki recipes in Hawaii, okonomiyaki recipes in Japan, and mole recipes in Oaxaca. Every family has their way of making it - each swears by theirs - to each his or her own. :)

                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    Very true of what you're saying. Tried El Rocoto once a long time ago when they first opened and thought that El Pollo Inka had better Saltado. Maybe because I wasn't too familiar with Peruvian cuisine at the time, I couldn't distinguish what was good and what was bad? Goes true with Cuban food also. Tried to compare their roast pulled pork with Hawaiian style kalua which was not even close.

                  2. re: Clinton

                    A lot of the green aji sauces have cilantro in them, could be that was what you didn't care for?

                    1. re: mlgb

                      No, I love cilantro and know the taste. It was more of a "greenish" woodsy aftertaste which was peculiar. Kind of like puree'd fern shoots? Never occurred to me that it was iceberg lettuce.

                      1. re: Clinton

                        There is another green herb called "huacatay" and although they call it Peruvian black mint I didn't really think it had a minty taste. Very different than anything I could think of. I can't imagine iceberg lettuce adding anything more than color. Does iceberg even have a flavor?

                        1. re: mlgb

                          I'm positive it's lettuce in the Lawndale EPI's ahi. If it ain't iceberg, then it's romaine, but whichever it is, it's way overboard.

              2. I actually like Al watan over Al Noor any day of the week. Food has much more flavor to me and the setting is nicer as well.