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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.

                    3. There is a very small, not too expensive Italian restaurant that is a nice date place on Westwood Blvd. just a couple of blocks south of Wilshire called Sprazzo. I especially like their gnocci, but their food is generally good.

                      Sprazzo Cucina Italiana
                      1389 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Servorg

                        I'm usually in agreement with you Servorg, but I gotta dissent here. The gnocchi I had at Sprazzo arrived minutes after I ordered it and it was (somehow) luke warm. Not good in my book; could have been a fluke, but I'm just sayin'. I've had better experiences at Campagnola.

                        For the OP, the middle eastern fare on Westwood is your best bet i.e. Shamshiri, Shaherzad, Sunnin.

                        If you like sushi, Sushi Masu serves excellent fish and it won't break the bank.

                        1. re: vinosnob

                          That is a bit of a puzzle, because every time I've had it there (7 or 8 times over the past year) it's been piping hot. I might encourage you to give it another go if you want to see if that was a fluke possibly...

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Thanks for all the suggestions....We will do Westside Tavern or Shamshiri tonight and file our report tomorrow.

                            1. re: Victor Lieberman

                              Just so you know - Westside Tavern does NOT take reservations and can be a wait at times.

                              1. re: Victor Lieberman

                                I like Shahrzad better than Shamshiri (better bread) - Both are on the same street, within a few blocks of each other.

                                1. re: Victor Lieberman

                                  Sorry for the late post, we had some family issues. My wife and I had a great experience at Westside Tavern. I had the yellowtail and it was the antithesis of foo-foo piled food. The dish had the look of a trendoid place but each flavor was full and right on. We split a caesar that had crisp, cold romaine and a perfect amount of reggiano parmagiano and just enough dressing. My wife had the chicken and again, it was simple but just right. The blue cheese polenta was absolutely worth bragging about. The only flaw was the service. It wasn't bad, just weird. We had 3 wait people, 3 busboys and a strange gap as our main waiter couldn't get to us in the beginning, had to go on break in the middle and barely made it back by the time we paid the bill. We got our food and we had a good time, but I pine for the days when one person stays with you from soup to nuts. I think it used to be called fine dining.

                                  Westside Tavern
                                  10850 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA