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Right to the Point - Good. Cheap. Sitdown.

Hi! Due to splurging on birthday vacations, presents, dinners and such recently I'm looking to tighten the (money, not food!) belt. Sitdown restaurants (not takeout) or happy hours with good eats, preferably under $20 pp, the cheaper the better! The first things that come to mind are Gyu Kaku, C&O, things like that. Table service places preferred, but it doesn't really matter. Starting westside please. Thank you!

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  1. i'll start of with shamshiri grill for persian food. not only is the food really good and really inexpensive, the portions are big enough for you to take some home with you for lunch the next day.
    despite this, i would recommend that you NOT try to split an entree there because they will get testy and charge you a split charge.

    the quality/quantity/price ratios are simply terrific.

    they also offer almost everything they serve during the week on their lunch special menu --same food, smaller portions, lower prices.

    1. Mariscos Chente for camarones. Either $12 or $13 per entree.

      Mariscos Chente
      4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066

      1. THAI BOOM on venice near midvale.
        not only are all their normal prices very low, but they will allow you to order from their 'lunch special' menu at any time.
        very accommodating re: special orders too.
        lovely people. good food.
        fwiw, the kind of dishes that i like to order there are prik king, prik pao, etc. i am not a terrific fan of their noodles, but friends of mine disagree with me on this and love their noodles.

        1. mao's kitchen in venice.
          be aware though, that this is NOT authentic chinese food.
          it is california food that is inspired by chinese cuisine.
          for what it is, and where it's located, it's dandy.

          2 Replies
          1. re: westsidegal

            Have you been recently? I've been a couple times and have had really horrible service. Just rude, slow, nonexistent, and got the order wrong on top of it. Then blamed me for ordering wrong and charged me for what they gave me AND what I originally wanted. Similar situation when I gave them another chance via takeout.

            1. re: Yes Please

              i've never had that kind of negative experience there.
              in my experience the service is always a little slow, but never actually bad.
              my order has alway been delivered correctly.

              mao's is on my regular rotation.
              i hope that what you experienced is not going to be a regular thing.

          2. Skaf's in Glendale
            Bruddah's in Gardena
            Langers near DTLA
            Izakaya Bincho (stretching it...)

            1. Loads of Mexican places... but my top two on the west side are:

              Sazon Latin Fusion, the VAST majority of their dishes are under $10 and so you can save some money and order the most AMAZING flan... after the meal...

              Monte Alban, Enfrijoladas are the epitome of poor food in Mexico... but their rendition, would make you think it was Alta Cocina... the food is well priced enough to order a beer with your Enfrijoladas. :)


              Monte Alban
              11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

              Sazon Latin Fusion duplicate
              12406 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

              3 Replies
              1. re: Dommy

                Strongly second Monte Alban. I went with three other adults, we each had a beer, each had an entree, shared three apps, a flan for dessert and four coffees. I think the final bill was under one hundred dollars.

                The food was amazing.

                1. re: londyne

                  My wife loves the Barbacoa at Sazon, it's part of our comfort food rotation. I find you can't really go wrong with any of the whiteboard specials and everything is so inexpensive.

                2. Gilberts El Indio on Pico in Santa Monica

                  1. went to juquila this week. the food was good, their dinner specials are not only cheap ($6.99) but immense in size.

                    bella pita in westwood village and on westwood are cheap and their falafel and shwarmas are palatable.

                    HH at mccormicks in BH is a good spot. 1/2lb burger w/ fries for $1.95 or $2.95....i forgot.

                    for cheap sushi, there is yamato. it's barely palatable but cheap. haha.

                    bar food is pretty cheap as well.

                    1. If you order carefully you can get out of Nook Bistro for under $20pp ... like the burger, brown rice bowl and chickpea stew ... all great dishes. Service is consistently great as well (disclaimer: one of the owners is a good friend of mine but a lot of other people on the board will vouch for this restaurant).

                      Nook Bistro
                      11628 Santa Monica Blvd Ste 9, Los Angeles, CA 90025

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: donnival

                        I don't consider Nook cheap, but the lunches are a pretty good deal.

                      2. Gloria's on Venice is a great choice.

                        Gloria's Cafe
                        10227 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: thisisrichard

                          The cocido at Gloria is one of gods gifts to a bowl... Absolutely delish...


                        2. Tara's on Venice next to Thai Boom for inexpensive Himalayan.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Jase

                            Love the Okra dish at Taras... it has a dry curry that rivals anything from Jitlada!


                          2. second recs for Monte Alban and Gilbert's El Indio.

                            Lares on Pico
                            Jasmine in Culver City
                            Samosa House in Culver City
                            Riva for Happy Hour
                            Jinky's Cafe
                            The Counter
                            Father's Office
                            Musha (depending upon how you order)
                            Cynthia's on the Corner (most everything you can order and still get out under the budget - can even order the number of chops you want)
                            Coupa Cafe on Canon in BH
                            Greenleaf Chop Shop
                            Hurry Curry
                            FOOD on Pico
                            La Provence

                            6 Replies
                            1. re: Emme

                              there are two hurry curries.
                              i'd avoid the one on venice blvd near venice high.
                              i've heard that the other one is good, though.

                              1. re: westsidegal

                                One is Indian food (Venice Blvd.) and the other is Japanese (Sawtelle) - so apples and oranges.

                                1. re: Servorg

                                  oops sorry for not distinguishing... i meant the one on Sawtelle :)

                                  1. re: Servorg

                                    not sure what you meant, servorg.

                                    yes, they serve different types of food, so. . . .
                                    i think i'm missing your point.

                                2. re: Emme

                                  "FOOD" on Pico for under $20?
                                  I like the food but it's not a restaurant I'd recommend to a person who's 'tightening the money belt'.
                                  I've ordered a special of some sort, a few cookies and a drink and it's an automatic $30.

                                  1. re: Emme

                                    Jinky's? Cheap?!? I'd love to have your budget, friend...I was in Jinky's for breakfast the other day. I had a tasty omelette (Chik & herbs), awful potatoes, and toast from a bag. All for around $20!!!! They even charged a buck-fifty for for a 'hot-water set-up'. What a waste...especially with soooo many good eateries in this city. Cheap? hah!

                                  2. Metro Cafe. Very good Serbian food, think Med.. Nice owner too..

                                    Metro Cafe
                                    11188 Washington Pl, Culver City, CA 90232

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: Foodandwine

                                      metro cafe is on my regular rotation.
                                      rarely does my group get out of there for dinner below $20/pp.
                                      starters are $10 and up
                                      entrees are $13 and up

                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                        Westsidegal.. I hosted dinner for 6 after I learned about it from a feast I had with a pleasurepalate group for $30 took a wheelbarrel to get me out. For my dinner for 6,Sasha made 3 apps, had 6 entrees and some great crepes for dessert. Wavied our corkage and came out to about $25 a persson. Okay before you get out your calculator and start to add it up, he did cut us a little break.. OP used "preferably" so I am sure that you can get out of there for less that $50 all in for 2, dont you think? Why scare people off with your math. Its a great place and if its on your rotation why would you not spread the love. Or would you rather tell Sasha what you posted here.. and Lunch is cheaper th OP did not specify that too..

                                        1. re: Foodandwine

                                          I love Metro - wonderfully tasty food. But jeepers, it is LOUD!!!!

                                          Or, I'm just getting old.

                                          1. re: Foodandwine

                                            I appreciate you giving me the benefit of the doubt that I wouldn't be TOO much of a tightwad! I feel better about my cheap food post now! Everything here sounds great and I appreciate all the replies so far!

                                            1. re: Foodandwine

                                              i often do 'spread the love' about this place and their terrific food.

                                              when i respond to requests on this board that include a dollar amount, i always assume that the budget is firm.
                                              i would have no problem telling sasha myself about what i posted.
                                              i would have no problem if you told sasha about what i posted.
                                              their prices are what they are.
                                              the fact is even with a special deal you spent more than the stated budget. if you hadn't been given the special deal the per person price would have been about 50% higher than the stated budget, the difference is not inconsequential.

                                              if Yes Please has a flexible budget (as it appears s/he does), s/he has all the information he needs to make his own choice.

                                              Assuming the $20 budget was for dinner rather than lunch was reasonable in that $20 for lunch is not often described as 'cheap.'

                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                Westsidegal.. I hear your point and raise you one Med Salad.. I stand corrected. After all I would not want to be Snarky :) Say hi to Sasha, I love that place..

                                                1. re: Foodandwine

                                                  i always get the burrata starter.
                                                  if i'm still hungry, i get two of them.
                                                  fortunately, the other people with whom i dine (normally when i go there we have a party of 6) will let me share the dishes that they order so i do get to eat other stuff as well.
                                                  i have a serious burrata addiction at metro.
                                                  the cheese is always ABSOLUTELY fresh (not the case everywhere else), and the combination of the burrata with the roasted peppers and the underlying greens with the perfect amount of vinaigrette, to me is sublime.

                                                  i've had burrata at other restaurants, and i can't put my finger on exactly why, but it is always better at metro.