Vegetarian in a pretty setting?
I'm thinking something along the lines of The Inn of the 7th Ray..but with better, cheaper food. Or least just another really pretty place where I can bring someone to just enjoy the surroundings in..and possibly choke down a mediocre appetizer :)
The first restaurant that came to mind when I saw your threader header was the Ranch House. Although it hasn't been exclusively vegetarian for years, they still have vegetarian appetizers and entrees. And the setting is wonderful -- all the tables are outside or in a glassed-in interior area.
I've never been to the Inn Of The Seventh Ray so I can't speak to whether it's any cheaper, but it's very reasonable by L. A. standards.
500 W Lomita Ave, Ojai, CA 93023
In the "better, cheaper food" category:
Los Angeles, (213) 617-0305, 333 S. Alameda St. Suite 310, 90012
WeHo, (310) 358-1919, 8759 Santa Monica Blvd, 90069
Culver City, (310) 842-8300, 9523 Culver Blvd, 90232
Culver City, (310) 845-1700, 9543 Culver Blvd., 90232
Inaka Natural Foods Restaurant
Los Angeles, (323) 936-9353, 131 S La Brea Ave., 90036
M Cafe de Chaya
Los Angeles, (323) 525-0588, 7119 Melrose Ave., 90036
Culver City, (310) 838-4300, 9343 Culver Blvd., 90232
Real Food Daily
Los Angeles (310) 289-9910, 414 N. La Cienega Blvd, 90048
Santa Monica (310) 451-7544, 514 Santa Monica Blvd., 90401
I don't think any of these qualify in the "pretty setting" category, and some of them are downright ugly (Shojin is in a mall!). Inn of the 7th Ray is one of a kind (in both good and bad ways... which there are more of depends on your point of view, I guess). And a lot of what you're paying for there *is* the setting (though I've never had the luck to go there in good weather while it's light out).
I haven't been to Inaka for a long time, but I remember it not being good. Heck, hard to compare the two, but it wasn't even as good as IOT7R, which doesn't rank that high on my list. Also, for what it was, it was way overpriced.
i didn't say my recommendations were "pretty," I said that they were in the " 'better, cheaper food' category"
I agree with you in that IOT7R was overpriced and the food was, to be kind, not good, at all.
And, as for Shojin, yes, it is inside a MALL :::gasp!:::, but the interior has clean lines and is pleasing to my eyes. For me, I'd rather eat good food in a MALL rather than "choke down a mediocre appetizer in a pretty setting"
I think the back patio at Wilshire is very pretty, but the appetizer menu isn't terribly veggie friendly. They do have a veggie/vegan entree and many vegetarian sides, though. I would also imagine the pumpkin ravioli app can be made without pancetta.
i can think of nice/pretty omnivore-type restaurants that offer a couple of vegetarian appetizers, but:
1) they are not any cheaper than inn of the seventh ray
2) they would not take too kindly to your taking up a table for a long time and just ordering an appetizer or two.
what time of day?
what day of the week?
sitting on the balcony at the ritz in marina del rey overlooking the boats is very nice.
you can order a vegetarian appetizer and sit for hours and they won't mind
but the prices, especially if you consider that you will need to pay an inordinate amount for parking, are high.