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Great food in Westwood or West LA

I am a former LA local who lives in the boondocks now. We eat great in both valley's: San Fernando and San Gabriel for everything from Jewish Deli to phenomenal Chinese. Downtown LA is no problem. Ditto Hollywood. Even Beverly Hills. But I can't recall ever having a true chowhound experience anywhere in Westwood or West Los Angeles. We have limited time and need to be at the Geffen Theatre by 7.45pm, so it has to be close. Any thoughts?

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  1. how about monte alban?
    (lots of threads on this one)

    4 Replies
      1. re: westsidegal

        Just looked and lots of negatives on monte alban. What do you like there? We have very strong mexican food here in North County San Diego.

        1. re: Victor Lieberman

          didn't realize you lived in san diego,
          in that case,
          i probably would choose something other than mexican.

          if it were me driving up from san diego, i'd go with aventinus's rec of shamshiri grill

          1. re: Victor Lieberman

            Lots of negatives for Monte Alban? Are you sure we're talking about the same place? If not there, I'd go to Nook or Alcazar Express.

            PS: I just realized you're from San Diego, so you're probably right to skip Oaxacan.

        2. Middleastern food on Westwood Blvd.

          1. The area around Westwood has some of the best Persian restaurants in the United States. I like Shamshiri Grill the best. Westwood also has Diddy Riese -- perhaps my favorite chowhound experience in Los Angeles.

            1 Reply
            1. re: aventinus

              My wife loves cookies, so we will definitely hit Diddy Riese for dessert.

              1. Alcazar Express on Westwood Blvd., just south of Wilshire. Great Lebanese - best baba ghanoushI have ever tasted. Very close to Geffen - you could walk.

                7 Replies
                  1. re: Victor Lieberman

                    Try Yamato's. It is in the middle of the village and has some great Japaneses food. I think they even have a half-price happy hour at that time.

                    1. re: CCDiner

                      I have to disagree with this rec. this place is ok for cheap sushi and drunken college kids, but not a chow destination.

                      1. re: Mateo R

                        I was only there once, so maybe it's not fair, but I agree. The OP would be better off going a few miles further to Orris or Bar Hayama on Sawtelle.

                      2. re: CCDiner

                        the food at yamato is borderline atrocious. i went at the insistence of friends last a year and almost broke off our friendship after the meal.

                        j/k about the friendship break up but the food at yamato was gross.

                    2. re: omotosando

                      I actually don't love their baba ghanoush -- needs more garlic. I much prefer the hummus.

                      1. re: a_and_w

                        Funny, while I love the baba ghanoush at Alcazar Express, I don't adore the hummus. Don't get me wrong - it's good hummus, but I don't find it to die for. I think it is not creamy enough for my taste.