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Oct 9, 2009 06:44 PM

Good LA meal for out of towner's nearish to LAX

I am new to the LA area, actually live out in SGV, but my extended family is coming in in a couple of weeks - arriving at LAX at 5:30 on Friday. So, rather than waste many hours in traffic driving them out to pasadena, thought we should take advantage and have a nice dinner in the area, maybe take a walk on the pier or something.

Sister from Colorado - so always happy to get seafood when near the coast
Brother in law - meat and potatoes kinda guy, but has been able to tolerate many a foodie
adventure with my family
Father - from NYC, will try anything once, getting older so biggest restaurant problem is too much noise.

Was thinking California style but up for anything worth it
possible celebrity sittings might be fun for them but never at the expense of food quality
price range 50+ per person or so.

your help on this mater and all of the other advice I gather from reading the board in general is much appreciated

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  1. first thoughts, though cost at all may be slightly higher than $50 pp:
    - Joe's on Abbot Kinney in Venice (they have a $45 prix fixe in addition to their regular menu)
    - Cafe del Rey in Marina del Rey
    - Josie in SM
    - Valentino in SM

    1 Reply
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      second your recommendation of cafe del rey.
      i agree that this will end up costing more than $50/pp, but can't think of anything that would meet all the other criteria that wouldn't exceed that number. . . . .
      ( personally, would not want to deal with the traffic getting from lax to santa monica on a friday night at rush hour.)

    2. Maybe The Lobster? Good seafood and great view for out of towners... if you don't mind driving up to Santa Monica.

      Make Joe's in Venice or Gjelina?

      Cafe del Rey is the most obvious choice in the Marina, but I've heard some not great things about it recently. Maybe another hound who has been there recently can give feedback.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Emme

        i've been to cafe del rey twice in the last three weeks.
        i have only positive things to report.

      2. A lot of great recs from some serious posters. I was wondering if you might also consider the South Bay? Torrance/Gardena has a lot of Japanese (Torihei, Musha, I-Naba, Sanuki no Sato, etc.), and Redondo Beach Pier has Izakaya Bincho as well as Quality Seafood. These places are casual/very casual (which to me = comfortable), but each have great strengths that I think would satisfy your group's cravings.

        5 Replies
        1. re: bulavinaka

          fwiw, getting from LAX to the south bay at rush hour on friday night would give me pause.. .

          1. re: westsidegal

            Anywhere at rush hour out of LAX would give me paws, I mean pause... :) I've driven through the LAX area at rush hour from the Westside to Izakaya Bincho in 25 minutes. I'd say it's about 20 from LAX to Venice or Admiralty Way. It's kinda pick-your-poison time at 5:30 practically anywhere in LA.

            1. re: westsidegal

              (Rapping palm on noggin) What about Mariscos Chente? The OP will come in way under budget, the seafood is amazing and unique to the visitors, and the only thing missing is the walk on the beach/pier. By the time they finish dinner, they can drive just about anywhere they want and the traffic won't even be an issue...

              1. re: bulavinaka

                because there really is nothing at mariscos chente for the meat and potatoes brother-in-law to eat.

                1. re: westsidegal

                  >>Brother in law - meat and potatoes kinda guy, but has been able to tolerate many a foodie adventure with my family<<

                  Just me, but I took this as him being okay with other options...

          2. Thank you all for your many great recommendations. I know the idea of being at LAX at 5:30 is painful, but I trust that one of these meals will free us of that stress and allow everyone to relax and enjoy a nice long meal so that we can drive anywhere by meal's end. (and next time maybe I can convince my family to avoid LAX in favor of Burbank and avoid rush hour arrivals.)

            Leaning towards Cafe del Rey for right now, but still need to look over some your other recs. I will post how we make out. My land locked sister and her meat and potatoes husband appreciate your help as well.

            2 Replies
            1. re: ryl

              another advantage of cafe del rey, in addition to their good food, good wine, good service, pretty restaurant, good view of the boats in the marina, and proximety to a nice path around the boat docks on which to stroll, is that their parking lot is attended.
              when my car contains luggage, i'm more comfortable with an attended lot.

              1. re: westsidegal

                excellent point - I am just getting used to having a car (moved from NYC,) let alone parking it and traffic etc etc.

                I was leaning towards Cafe del Rey anyhow, this may seal the deal.

            2. Petros in Manhattan Beach. Great modern greek food. Really good. 10 minutes from LAX.