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Good value eats near Marina del Rey

Will be staying at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey for nearly a week; and while I know that visiting LA means a lot of driving, I was hoping to find some good food close to where we're staying. Dare I ask about places we could even walk to? My daughter is a vegetarian but other than some options for her, we're open to almost any cuisine. Proximity is important but food quality has priority.

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  1. Good value means different things to different people. Can put a per person $ figure to what it means to you? For instance walking distance from your hotel would be Cafe Del Rey which, while not inexpensive, has quite delicious food and a nice view of the boats in the Marina.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Servorg


      Cafe Del Rey
      4451 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

      1. re: Servorg

        fwiw, i would call the food served at cafe del rey very good value.
        this is a fine-dining restaurant which, when compared with others in its league, offers a lot for the money.
        of course, it is not going to be price-comparable to neighborhood casual restaurants.

    2. You should try Cafe del Rey for dinner or lunch at least once during your week stay. If you want value and casual for lunch, walk south about 1/3 of a mile to the Ralphs shopping center. There's a health food store that makes great sandwiches, soups etc for a very fair price. Perfect for your vegitarian daughter. There's a counter and picnic tables outside. Also, Ralphs Market has a very good take out counter, sandwiches made to order, salads, cold and hot prepared foods. Lots of choices. Again, tables inside or outside. You can mingle and meet some of the local folks. There's also a PinkBerry and a Sushi place in the same shopping center. There is the California Pizza Kitchen and the Counter for custom burgers all in the same center. Finally, about 2miles away is Joes. A fine restaurant in Venice that is great for lunch and dinner. Unless they've improved, I would avoid the restaurant at the Ritz Carlton. Over priced and not memorable. Enjoy your stay.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Baron

        Good recs, Baron, esp. the Ralph's shopping center, buying lunch that way definitely cuts costs.

        Definitely like Hal's and they have good vegetarian & vegan options. No body has rec'd Cheesecake Factory in the marina, maybe bc it's trendy & chainy, but they do have an extensive menu, with lots of veg options, esp from the apps side, and the view is pretty decent. Most people can find something they like on the menu.

        1. re: Baron

          the name of that store is RAINBOW ACRES.

        2. I think C&O Trattoria has pretty good food, and is a real value, too. Not too far from the Ritz. It's not a chowish restaurant, but it's decent red sauce inexpensive italian.

          1 Reply
          1. re: jeanmarieok

            it should be noted that there are actually two C&O restaurants operated by the same folks that are located about 1/2 mile from the ritz.
            the first, c &o trattoria is near the venice pier and does not take reservations.
            the other, c & o cucina is located less than a mile east of the trattoria, has a more extensive menu, and does take reservations.

          2. Also in Venice on Abbot Kinney blvd. is Hal's, a great space, with very comfy booths, artist/locals hangout and really good food at a fair price. My kids practically grew up on the chicken and fries and they almost always have some creative and delicous veggie dishes, including a really tasty ceasar salad. Also in a neighborhood that's fun to walk around.

            1. There's not a lot that's a short walk from the Ritz, but there's plenty that are medium walks (like 1/2 mile) or short drives.

              2nd the req for C&O trattoria - the food won't blow you away but the quantity will - its easily a place you can spend $10-$12 pp and have enough leftovers for 2 additional meals.

              Soup Plantation is located on the 2nd floor of the shopping center on Maxella between Lincoln and Glendon Way. All you can eat salad for about $10 and they take AAA discount. Perfect for your daughter. Also there is Antica Pizzaria, pretty reasonably priced Italian.

              In any case, there are tons of places in Venice and Santa Monica that are not too far to drive to that would be worthy, depending on how much you want to spend etc. Joe's in Venice as mentioned, Chaya on Main etc.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Marvin

                i believe that souplantation no longer takes the AAA discount.
                also, i would not recommend souplantation with it's sort of-almost-ok salad bar when the op will be located near 26 beach restaurant which serves top-of-the-line salads in a much nicer setting

                1. re: westsidegal

                  Agreed ... I remember being lured by the "idea" of Souplantation when I first moved to LA. Tried it a few times at a few different locations and wrote it off, the soup and salad there are basically horrendous. The salad bar at Gelsons (in the same building as the one at MDR) is far superior.

              2. A short walk away is The Organic Panificio, which ought to offer numerous options for your daughter. Nice view of the Marina, reasonable prices, and the food is decent--though far from my favorite. Just past there, along Mother's Beach, there is a branch of the Cheesecake Factory, which certainly provides variety. A short walk the other way are the somewhat less healthy choices of Tony P's Dockside and the Warehouse. Cade Del Rey is definitely the bright spot in the area.

                The Organic Panificio Cafe and Restaurant
                4211 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

                2 Replies
                1. re: New Trial

                  the warehouse offers virtually nothing for a vegetarian.
                  also, the place looks like it's failing. lots of empty tables. when you order a drink they don't even put a cocktail napkin down (i guess ya gotta cut corners somewhere). the bar isn't fully stocked.
                  when a date took me there, i was able to convince him to walk to cafe del rey for dessert so i could order something that i would actually put in my mouth. . . .

                  1. re: New Trial

                    I think Organic Panificio is best for a sort of snack or quick light meal specifically suited to the vegetarian in your party. And it's at a nice spot on the water. I wouldn't go there when others in your party are pretty hungry and want to chow down.

                  2. for a great place to have burgers and salads, go to 26 beach restaurant.
                    they make their own terrific veggie burger and bake their own buns.

                    their entree salads are among the best in town--very inventive california cuisine.
                    (my personal favorite is their tuscan salad)
                    they will be happy to serve side orders of grilled tofu to supplement the protein in the salads for your daughter.

                    they are located within a 5 minute drive from your hotel.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: westsidegal

                      Definitely 26 Beach. Also Beechwood is fairly nearby by foot.

                      Short taxi ride is Gjelina (best food in town), Primitivo, Ado, Chaya (all with huge vegetarian menus)

                      1. re: yogachik

                        fwiw, chaya, the last time i was there, had exactly ONE vegetarian entree with any protein in it.
                        to me a plate of steamed vegetables does not count as an entree.

                        gjelina, though, had tons of astonishingly delicious items for vegetarians.
                        if you're going to gjelina for dinner, i would recommend nailing down the reservation now.

                        1. re: yogachik

                          i'd definitely add Axe on Abbot Kinney to that list.

                          1. re: yogachik

                            We made one visit to 26 Beach. Salads were good, and my daughter liked her entree. Maybe Pietro had an off night, but I had Pietro's pasta, and it was overcooked and pretty tasteless.

                          2. re: westsidegal

                            My mission is complete, LOL Do not forget about the amazing french toasts that they serve every day till 3pm. www.26beach.com

                          3. Lots of great suggestions here. For burgers, you have at least three pretty decent to great options to hit after The Counter. All are on Washington Blvd. 26 Beach is on Washington about half-way between Lincoln and Abbot Kinney. Islands is less than a 10 minute walk from the Ritz, at Washington and Via Dolce. Hinano's - more of a divey bar - has great burgers and is less than a stone's throw from the sand at the end of Washington Blvd.

                            C&O Trattoria was mentioned - the other C&O is more casual, lots of happy people singing to Dean Martin, and sipping down cheap wine by the bistro glass at their outdoor patio area. It's kinda kitschy, but it's a lot of fun.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: bulavinaka

                              what would hinano or islands have to offer for the vegetarian daughter?

                              the counter, though loud and crowded, does offer a spiffy veggie burger (imho second only to that served at houston's. i used to love the veggie burger at 26 beach too before i became sensitive to walnuts)

                              1. re: westsidegal

                                Don't know about Hinano's but Islands had a couple of vegetarian options, depending on how one defines vegetarian.

                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                    i would not consider the food at islands to even be in the same league as the food at 26 beach. veggie burgers, and practically everything else they serve are procured frozen in plastic from an institutional food purveyor and does not come close to the quality of what is being served at 26 beach.

                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                      Just throwing the options out there - slam away but we like it...

                              2. Will you have a car? It makes even the close in places so much easier to reach and return from. For instance, if you have a car and like Mexican seafood then Mariscos Chente (about a 7 or 8 minute drive from you hotel) is a must. This is seafood as found along the coast of Mexico in the States of Nayarit and Sinaloa in which the owners of the restaurant bring fresh seafood up from Mexico on a weekly basis. Some of the most delectable shrimp dishes (I strongly recommend the camarones ala diabla and the camarones pimienta) and fish you will ever taste. Go to the place link below and then scroll down and read some of the longer threads to get a taste (all pun intended) for what they have to offer. The pescado zarandeado is spectacuar.

                                This is a unique place (all the more so because of the location here on the west side)

                                Check out this long thread on it: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/585334 (which for some reason doesn't show up in the place link posting list???


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

                                16 Replies
                                1. re: Servorg

                                  The pesacado zarandeado is worth the wait and is finger-lickin' good - really. Go hungry.

                                  1. re: Servorg

                                    i just had the pescado zarandeado for lunch today.

                                    1. re: Servorg

                                      other than quesadillas, mariscos chente has nothing for the vegetarian daughter.

                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                        Well, if they order the pescado zarandeado and a side of rice she can make some killer veggie tacos out of the hot onion marmalade that comes with the PZ - and add in some rice and cucumbers, plus salsa and a splash of one or more of the 5 hot sauces on the table for effect. Hell, I could make a great meal out of that and go home happy.

                                        1. re: Servorg

                                          speaking as someone who eats more vegetarian meals weekly than not, i very respectfully disagree with your recommendation.

                                          i would absolutely NOT be happy with a meal that does not include a source of protein.

                                          the 'onion marmalade' is primarily sauteed onions and worcestershire sauce--not a meal.
                                          adding cucumbers and rice and tortillas just makes for a jumble of flavors--not a meal (sort of like hitting up the fridge late at night and making a mix of whatever leftovers you happen to find and, deciding to define the mix as a meal).

                                          sorry to disagree.

                                          1. re: westsidegal

                                            If missing protein for one meal is going to throw her into a tailspin she has bigger problems that anyone can deal with here. And as you pointed out, they do have quesadillas. And the jumble of those flavors is one I find particularly delicious (as I also do when I'm simply forking the last of the diabla sauce or pimienta sauce into a tortilla with some rice and cucumbers. Taste is a strange and wonderful thing. YMMV - but then again so does mine...

                                            1. re: Servorg

                                              no one said that missing protein for one meal was going to sent the daughter into a tailspin.

                                              on the other hand, it is not necessarily good to miss protein when you are going back to the mini bar in a hotel room and when your traveling companions have had a huge fish dinner so they are 'out of sync.'

                                              when traveling with a group, i always try to make sure there are several choices for a real, complete, meal for everyone in the group ( especially true for dinner).
                                              tortillas and sauce simply don't cut it as dinner for me. in this case, the sauces you mention (pimienta and a la diabla) would still have the flavor of dead animal--something most vegetarians wouldn't want, so they are most likely out.

                                              quesadillas are pretty short shrift for dinner, imho. i wouldn't travel with my daughter or anyone else and expect her/them to have the mexican equivalent of a sandwich for dinner while everyone else eats a real meal.
                                              after all, this is a big city. there are lots of vegetarian alternatives. . .

                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                Cheese is a high quality source of protein. And I'm assuming that the young woman in question will have already eaten breakfast or lunch before dinner, giving her ample opportunity to "protein up" - so really there is no problem.

                                        2. re: westsidegal

                                          I think your definition of vegetarian can differ from others. It can be quite broad-ranging as you know. It sounds as though you're interpreting the OP's daughter as a vegan when we have no idea of what level of vegetarianism the daughter actually is...

                                          1. re: bulavinaka

                                            And if she is vegan, Hal's in Venice is a good spot.

                                            I do have to say, most vegetarians that I know are not foodies, and thereby usually go with the flow of where the other diners are, b/c it is their choice.

                                            A lot of the recs are also getting away from the OP's request for it to be CLOSE to where they are staying, the Ritz at MDR. Much as I know you all love 26 Beach, it is not THAT close!!! Would definitely have to drive their, and as we all know, parking in that area is a BITCH.

                                            1. re: Phurstluv

                                              26 Beach is close if you know the area - you can cut across Admiralty, across the bike path, and through one of a few breaks in the fence. You can then walk up Thatcher until it hits Washington - look across the street and there it is... It's probably about a five-block walk at the most. As far as the OP and the daughter trying it, they can go on Mapquest or any similar site and pull up the map.

                                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                                <<If you know the area>>

                                                THEY ARE VISITING!!! Sorry, don't mean to shout, but you've got to remember who your audience is, visitors who are not going to know short cuts, <<through one of the breaks in the fence>> what a riot! And rely on Mapquest, well, good luck with that. It's gotten me lost a couple of times, and I LIVE HERE!!!

                                                Good one, bula, I haven't laughed that hard all day!!

                                                1. re: Phurstluv

                                                  there is a concierge at the ritz that will be fully capable of helping these people get to 26 beach either by car, in which case they can use the valet parking or by a 5 minute cab ride.

                                                  Phurstluv, here is what the op states:
                                                  "Proximity is important but food quality has priority.

                                              2. re: Phurstluv

                                                a) the parking at 26 beach is a non-issue because they offer valet parking.
                                                b) the op states: "Proximity is important but food quality has priority."

                                                26 beach is a 5 minute drive.

                                              3. re: bulavinaka

                                                no, i'm saying that most vegetarians, just like carnivores, would not consider sauteed onions that are doused with worcestershire sauce and mixed with rice and served with cucumbers and tortillas to be a meal.

                                                also, i'm saying that they will be staying in a part of town that has all sorts of good restaurants that offer vegetarian options that are far superior to a quesadilla.

                                                my love for mariscos chente is practically unparalleled, BUT it is not the place that i would take a vegetarian.

                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                  Worcestershire sauce is not vegetarian in any event. It contains anchovies.

                                              1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                                                near is relative. I drive from DTLA to get there.

                                                pardon me for not reading if it's been discussed as being TOO FAR.

                                                (not meant to be a snide remark)

                                                1. re: ns1

                                                  No, I was wondering if They had moved since they have had so many problems with regulations in Redondo

                                              2. re: ns1

                                                Izakaya Bincho? Is that in Marina del Rey?

                                                1. re: Baron

                                                  No Redondo Beach Definitely Worth the Trip if you decide to go tho.

                                                  Izakaya Bincho
                                                  112 N International Boardwalk, Redondo Beach, CA 90277

                                                  1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

                                                    i would be more inclined to send out-of-towners who are staying in MDR to MUSHA for izakaya. the trip to bincho can be daunting, especially at dinnertime (rush hour) during the week.

                                                    1. re: westsidegal

                                                      Hamakaze on Washington in Venice is closer than Musha in SM, for itzakaya.

                                                      1. re: Phurstluv

                                                        But is it any good... I've heard mixed things...


                                                        1. re: Dommy

                                                          What about Sakura House on Washington Blvd.?


                                                          Sakura House
                                                          13362 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                                                          1. re: Servorg

                                                            Pricy, somewhat limited menu and overall food scale "meh" would rather take the trip to Bincho/Musha even if it meant biking the path...


                                                          2. re: Dommy

                                                            The CH reporter I read was impressed.

                                                              1. re: Phurstluv

                                                                Thanks! I totally missed that post... :) We'll have to try it for sure now!!! :DD


                                                              2. re: Dommy

                                                                imho, it is good but not as good as musha and the prices are substantially higher than those at musha.
                                                                also, unlike musha, few truly vegetarian choices and the ones they have are just sort of fair. . .

                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                  we just had dinner there tonight, I may post under the other thread, but have to say, while I agree it isn't as good as Musha, it was not significantly more expensive than I remember dinner at Musha being (dinner for four of us with beer was $99 with tax butbefore tip and we had plenty to eat), and we concentrated on some lovely vegetarian choices (and there were plenty of vegetarian options: tofu dishes (the fried tofu was excellent), eggplant, several cold salads, string beans, a number of types of potato, red rice...just to name a few...

                                                                  1. re: susancinsf

                                                                    you did better financially than my group has ever done there--normally we end up running up over $40/pp before tip. when we go to musha, normally the tab comes in at about $30/pp or so.
                                                                    i wasn't as impressed by the fried tofu as you were--on the other hand, i'm always wowed by the homemade tofu served at musha.
                                                                    still, we go there because the quality is certainly good enough and with a group of 6, one of which commutes from anaheim, the trudge north on lincoln blvd from playa del rey to santa monica just ain't gonna happen.

                                                    2. Try Go Veggie on centinella off the 90 freeway, or you can get there on side streets. It's a salad bar type place, very casual, and i think they are only open 9-5 or something like that mon-sat. they have amazing tofu! You can get your food to go, and bring it to the beach!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: Clyde

                                                        to me, their tofu is just ok.
                                                        standard institutional stuff.
                                                        as a comparison, the tofu at musha is homemade and absolutely sublime.

                                                        1. re: Clyde

                                                          I wouldn't go out of my way to go there, but if I was picking up fruits and veggies at the produce place a couple doors a way, I might stop in for takeout if I was really wanting a salad immediately. This is not even a diner or deli in size or form. Just a few institutional tables and and institutional salad bar.

                                                        2. There's Akbar, on Washington Blvd., which has vegetarian options and, I think, very good Indian food and a nice wine list.

                                                          Akbar Cuisine of India
                                                          3115 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

                                                          1. not walking distance, but a 5 minute car ride,
                                                            for neopolitan-style italien food,
                                                            i second marvin's recommendation of antica pizzaria.
                                                            the owner comes from naples and imports the flour he uses for the pizza dough from italy.
                                                            be aware that neopolitan-style pizza is extremely thin-crust, so much so that you will need a knife and fork to eat it.
                                                            all the ingredients that are used at antica pizzaria are first rate.
                                                            they also serve a full array of pastas and other entrees that include a number of vegetarian dishes.
                                                            they are located on the second floor of a shopping center on maxella.

                                                            Antica Pizzeria Co

                                                            13455 Maxella Ave # 201
                                                            Marina Del Rey, CA 90292-8807
                                                            (310) 577-8182

                                                            3 Replies
                                                            1. re: westsidegal

                                                              The penne alla vodka here is really good, as is the risotto. It's upstairs in a little mall with a not-bad outdoor patio eating area. They also have good salads. It's an informal place great for a quick not-fancy dinner, particularly if you happen to be on the way to the movies at the other end of the same mall (the AMC Loews Marina 6), or across Maxella in the single-story shopping area (UA Marina del Rey 6).

                                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                                I like Antica. That's a good suggestion. It's got the basic ambience and food of a serious Italian restaurant without the serious prices. I think they could walk it. Probably less than a safe mile.

                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                  Another thing about Antica. Great authentic pizza. The owner has some sort of "official Certified Italian Pizza Maker awarded from Italy, (or something.)