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Nov 14, 2009 08:25 AM

Traveling Weekday Lunch

My wife and I will be driving from San Diego to Santa Barbara on the Tuesday after Christmas. We should hit LA--405 to 101--around noon. Looking for a casual place with very good food for lunch. Not too big a meal, preferably. No Asian, and not too, too far from the freeway.


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  1. If you like Mexican seafood, Mariscos Chentes is fantastic. For American, Nook Bistro or Suzanne Goin'sTavern (on San Vicente in Brentwood) would both be great choices.

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

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

    6 Replies
    1. re: New Trial

      I haven't been to Tavern, though I hear good things. But I'd highly recommend Nook. Very good food, nice comfortable place.

      1. re: New Trial

        Mariscos chente is nowhere near the 405 & 101, maybe you should have given them an idea of how to get there?? It's a dumpy storefront that is easily missed.

        There's a persian place, I believe, that is right off of Ventura, at the 405-101 interchange, literally a stone's throw from the freeway interchange of getting onto the 101. If you take the Ventura Blvd exit, it's across the street from Whole Foods, on your left with a bright orange awning. Simon's maybe?? Sorry don't know the name, but it got a great write up in the Times a few months back. That would at least be easy on, easy off. Maybe another hound will remember the name??

        1. re: Phurstluv

          Simon's is an excellent Moroccan restaurant. I think it's the best of the various restaurants in that immediate area.

          Simon's Cafe
          4515 Sepulveda Boulevard (1 block south of Ventura)
          Sherman Oaks

          1. re: Phurstluv

            Actually, the OP said "405 to 101," which implies the OP was open to a broader area than just the interchange. As reflected by the link in my post and the zoomable Google map to the upper right, Marisco Chentes is near the 405 and easy to get to from there.

            718 S San Jacinto Ave, San Jacinto, CA 92583

            1. re: New Trial

              New Trial is correct about not needing for the place to be at/near the interchange. I just don't want to travel too far from the freeway.

              Nook Bistro sounds very good and, for LA (or, really, anywhere), very reasonable.

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

              1. re: lawyerbriefs

                Nook is indeed a great choice. As you take the 405 north, you pass the interchange for the 10 Santa Monica freeway and then get over to your right quick because the Santa Monica Blvd. exit is the next one. Exit there and take your left (west) under the freeway. Go about six or eight very short blocks and take your left to enter the minimall at Barry, which has Nook with an arrow on the sign. The restaurant is hidden in the back right corner. Their mac'n'cheese is a great starter or side to share, I like their steak sandwich at lunch, and the key lime pie for dessert. Note -- if you are a KCRW member show your card for a 15% discount.

        2. Why not go 405 to the Harbor (110) and then the 101

          You could then go to Mo-Chica, fantastic Peruvian right next to the freeway