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Moderate dinner (non-ethnic) in/near Palms?

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Nicole Mar 10, 2010 04:56 PM

I need to take my out-of-towner friend to dinner somewhere in the vicinity of Palms and Sepulveda (probably within a 15 min drive is okay). She loves meat and generally does not like ethnic food (she likes Italian and American best). She doesn't like divey places, but I don't want it to be too expensive ($20/entree would be okay). Unfortunately, most of the places I know in that area are ethnic and don't have a nice atmosphere. Any suggestions on where to take her?

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    Nicole Mar 12, 2010 04:11 PM

    We did end up at Le Saint Amore. Our experience there was good, but not great. Escargot appetizer was good, duck confit entree was excellent, chocolate volcano dessert was good, rum cake dessert was inedibly bad (they took it off our bill). I really liked the general atmosphere, but felt less than 100% comfortable there because 1) the tables are so close together that you literally had to pull out the entire table to get into the banquet seat (so we were a bit too close to the neighboring parties and it was basically impossible to get up during the meal, because it would involve moving a table with full glasses on it), and 2) we got fairly bad service. The tables around us all appeared to get good service, but frankly, our server didn't seem to like us from the get-go...he didn't even tell us the specials, and I felt like he had a bit of an attitude...I don't know why we were singled out for lackluster service, maybe because we were a party of 3 women and he assumed that women don't tip well? Or maybe he just accidentally made some oversights and we hallucinated the attitude we perceived? Anyway, although that duck confit was really great, there are so many great restaurants that I have yet to try in that area, so I don't know if I'd return. However, overall it was still good food at moderate prices in a nice setting--it definitely worked well for what I was looking for. Thanks again for all your help.

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    Le Saint Amour
    9725 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

    4 Replies
    1. re: Nicole
      Servorg Mar 12, 2010 05:08 PM

      Nicole, your experience was just about the mirror image of ours. There wasn't enough finally to draw us back for a second encounter. Thanks for such a thoughtful and enlightening review.

      1. re: Servorg
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        grrranamal Mar 12, 2010 05:42 PM

        A good friend told me that she and her husband tried to eat there early one everning ... walked up and saw it was completely empty. When they asked to be seated they were told there was no room! Totally insulted they of course walked away and ate elsewhere. After dinner they walked by again and it was still empty...

        1. re: grrranamal
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          NAspy Mar 13, 2010 05:29 PM

          "walked up and saw it was completely empty. When they asked to be seated they were told there was no room! "

          You can't get more French than that.

        2. re: Servorg
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          Nicole Mar 14, 2010 09:04 PM

          I'm kind of glad to hear that others weren't completely sold on Le Saint Amour either...given all the great reviews I'd read I wondered if it was just me.

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        ElissaInPlaya Mar 11, 2010 12:49 PM

        Westside Tavern or Ford's Filling Station

        1 Reply
        1. re: ElissaInPlaya
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          nachosaurus Mar 11, 2010 07:50 PM

          i didn't even think of westside tavern - but it's really close to palms and soooooooooooooo good! i've never had anything sub-excellent and the cocktails are devine.

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          nachosaurus Mar 10, 2010 07:05 PM

          why not downtown culver city? fraiche, akasha, ford's filling station would all fit the bill.

          2 Replies
          1. re: nachosaurus
            Phurstluv Mar 11, 2010 07:32 AM

            Le Saint Amore, if you're going to Culver City. Well, I guess it's ethnic, but delicious.

            1. re: Phurstluv
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              Nicole Mar 11, 2010 11:29 AM

              Thanks again, everyone! Now I am leaning toward Le Saint Amore. I made a tentative reservation there, but I'll ask my friend what she prefers.

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            handlertaper Mar 10, 2010 05:11 PM

            -Giovanni's (Italian) on Venice Blvd-neighborhood Italian
            -Novecento Pasta & Grill (Italian) Main Street Culver City
            -Meet French Bistro (Culver Blvd., Culver City) Prix Fix 3 courses for $29.50 (and they have meat as well as seafood and chicken).

            1. mollyomormon Mar 10, 2010 05:11 PM

              Would Nook in West LA work?

              1 Reply
              1. re: mollyomormon
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                nosh Mar 11, 2010 10:18 AM

                Nook would be my rec too. Solid American fare, entrees are generous and most (except for the ribeye or shortribs, which are about $25) top out at $20. Hidden in the back corner of the minimall on Santa Monica Blvd. at Barry, a block east of Barrington.

              2. Servorg Mar 10, 2010 05:02 PM

                We have had good meals at Brunello's in Culver City. Comfortable, casual and fair prices.

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                Brunello Trattoria
                6001 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                2 Replies
                1. re: Servorg
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                  Nicole Mar 10, 2010 06:30 PM

                  Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone! I'm leaning toward Brunello's. Could a party of 3 easily get seated there on a Thursday night without a reservation, or is a reservation needed?

                  1. re: Nicole
                    Servorg Mar 10, 2010 06:48 PM

                    Probably don't need one, but why not make one just to cover the possibility they would be busy? As my wife tells me all the time, "Make one. They're free."

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