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Feb 4, 2010 04:22 PM

Final Date Night in WLA

DH accepted a job offer in SF and we are moving to the East Bay next weekend. We've already celebrated at Fraiche so we're looking to do an inexpensive date (no more than 18-20 pp sans wine) of something that is either uniquely LA or hard to find in Berkeley. We live in Mar Vista and don't want to spend the whole date on the road. Date is scheduled for Saturday.


Christine W

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  1. This is not romantic at all if that's what you had in mind, but if I were in your shoes, I would be headed straight to Mariscos Chente.

    6 Replies
    1. re: mollyomormon

      second this idea, mariscos chente would be my first choice too

      1. re: westsidegal

        I really like Mariscos Chente but DH doesn't-no accounting for taste b/c we shared the same meal.

        1. re: cmweaver

          let's move to persian then
          how about shamshiri grill?

          re: your budget, are you saying you want entrees in the $18-$20 range or that you want an entree and a starter in that range?

          if you are looking for $20 entrees and are open to french food, i'd go to Lilly's French Cafe in venice (as a matter of fact i ate lunch there today, second time this week). starters are about $10, but truly, their entree portions at dinner are normally big enough so that a starter isn't necessary.

          1. re: westsidegal

            Orris: If you pace yourself, you will have a lovely meal within your budget. Nice atmosphere. Best wishes

            1. re: westsidegal

              Persian is a nice idea if you want to veer away from Mexican. Though Monte Alban could be nice, if it's just Chente that he's not a huge fan of.

              From a nostalgia standpoint, you could always go for garlic chicken at Versailles, which probably tastes all the better when you're feeling preemptively wistful. Gilbert's could fall into that category as well, but that may just be for people that spend a lot of time in Santa Monica.

              If I were moving, I'd probably also grab a couple of Bay Cities subs for the trip up north.

              1. re: noahbites

                I'd skip the Bay Cities and wait for some sandwiches from Genova in Oakland.

      2. Haven't been in a long time, but I would think BBQ might be hard to find in Berkeley. I would go to my fave BBQ restaurant. Baby Blues is in Venice.

        And, I know you don't want to drive a lot, but I would also make the trips to Phillipe's & El Tepeyac, downtown, even tho there's lots of good Mexican in SF.

        And prolly go thru H'wood for Jitlada Thai, & Mozza pizza & lasagne to go.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Phurstluv

          Actually, bbq is something the Bay Area does pretty well. I'd go for Korean, Thai or Persian, as those are less well represented up north.

          1. re: a_and_w

            Good to know. Guess I had this notion that Berkeley was all vegan hippies or something.....

              1. re: Phurstluv

                there is actually a location of Everett and Jones in Berkeley for southern style bbq though i think the LA bbq scene is much better for what it's worth. Also, there's Doug's over there. they have a pretty decent BBQ scene esp Oakland check out Bo's bbq or chef edwards bbq when you get out there next time.

              2. re: a_and_w

                Lots of good Korean in Oakland, right next to Berkeley (although possibly not LA good, I will admit). Agreed on the bbq and Thai, but unfortunately the best Thai isn't on the west side. However, Thai Boom on Venice is just about as good as most of the places up here, and fits well in your price category. Not really a date night type of place though.

                If I was coming from LA the thing I'd miss the most would be Mexican food, no doubt about it. Unfortunately, my favorite spts aren't in WLA. If it were me, I'd bite the bullet on the cost (it isn't that expensive but more than $20 per person, and do the drive over to Babita if Mariscos Chente weren't an option. nachosaurus is right about the Cal-Mex, though I don't know Don Antonio's. Or drive to Jitlada Thai. Once you get to the bay area, you'll be able to do less driving.

                Just had another thought: Izakaya. Though the isakaya scene is better in the bay area than it used to be, it can't hold a candle to somewhere like Musha, and for that there is no reason to leave WLA. Again, it might be a bit out of your price range though...

                1. re: susancinsf

                  D'oh, you are absolutely correct that there's great Korean in Oakland.

            1. i feel like the only thing you can't get in sf (not sure about berkeley) - is a good old fashioned cal-mexican restaurant with lots of chips y salsa!

              don antonios would be where i would go!!
              11755 W Pico Blvd
              Los Angeles, CA 90064

              1. Instead of a dinner, how about the Champagne brunch at Tibet Nepal House in Pasadena for
                10$ each, a couple hours roamin' the Norton Simon then a topper from Europane! Won't find these in the North tho there are supurb northen eateries and eye candy stops. LOVED that champagne brunch. The staff is so kind. Was even comp'd a mug of their yummy lentil soup!
                Euro Pane 950 E Colorado Blvd (626) 577-1828 (just E of Lake, south side)

                1. I would go to Gjelina, but might be difficult to get in on late notice Saturday.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: yogachik

                    Can they reasonably do Gjelina for $18 - $20 pp (without wine) do you think?

                    1. re: Servorg

                      good point, servorg.
                      i've never gotten out of gjelina's for anywhere near that number.