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Santa Monica on a budget?

Hello,

I'm going to be in Santa Monica for a day and I was wondering if anyone had any recs nearby so my friend doesn't have to trek. I am visiting a friend who is not a foodie (but down to eat) and he'll be on a poor grad student budget

Since I'm coming from Manhattan I would love some good Mexican. (Last time in LA I got taken to a really disappointing Americanized place)
I'm open to any other cuisines too - esp anything that's not as good in NY.
(would love affordable sushi if its yasuda-quality, otherwise I'll pass)

In past visits I've had Roscoe's, Kogi, k-town, lots of chinese food in SGV so these I can skip on these.

Thanks!

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  1. For good Mexican, I highly recommend Tlapazola Grill on Venice Blvd at Abbot Kinney, in Venice (and there is another location in W. LA), both are very close to SM.
    www.tlapazolagrill.com

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    Tlapazola Grill
    636 Venice Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

    2 Replies
    1. re: Alex250

      I personally feel like Tlapazola isn't worth the price. However, they do make a killer margarita.

      1. re: a_and_w

        I agree it's not worth the price. The food and service were really disappointing when I went. I admit I have only tried it once for an early lunch. But the food was bland.

    2. I like Lemonade on Abbot Kinney, or Bay Cities Deli.
      http://www.lemonadela.com/images/menu...

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      Bay Cities Italian Deli
      1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

      1. Monte Alban is very good Oaxacan food and not too expensive.
        Tacomiendo is very inexpensive and good as well.
        Neither are "Americanized." Neither have full alcohol license (beer and Wine at MA; nada at Tacomiendo

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        Monte Alban
        11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

        Tacomiendo
        11462 Gateway Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

        2 Replies
        1. re: Ciao Bob

          Monte Alban is Excellent Oaxacan food, and is extremely reasonable. Just thought I'd add a little emphasis there, since I just got back from lunch there today.

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          Monte Alban
          11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

          1. re: Ciao Bob

            Strongly second both of these recs, especially Tacomiendo. Try the soft taco combo plate at the latter.

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            Tacomiendo
            11462 Gateway Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

          2. tacos por favor will hit the spot.. i've yet to pay more than $10 and have left beyond full each and every time.

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            Tacos Por Favor
            1406 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404

            7 Replies
            1. re: wilafur

              Very true. The tacos al pastor are great, and tho I order three, I can hardly eat them all. The red salsa is to die for.

              1. re: wilafur

                I have yet to understand the attraction of TPF. El Super Taco is my go-to place when I'm craving tacos and stuck on the westside. But both are fast food.

                I'd go to Monte Alban for the black or coloradito mole if I were you. I mean, you haven't seen your friend in a while, you probably want to sit down and talk for a while, right?

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                Monte Alban
                11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                1. re: Bjartmarr

                  and i cannot understand some folks' infatuation with EST. every time i have been to EST they have served me gristly carne asada in my tacos and/or burritos.

                  1. re: wilafur

                    I agree. I really tried to like EST's tacos/burritos since I don't live far, but kept being underwhelmed. I do however love their habanero salsa. The thing to order at EST is their tortas; I like them.

                    TPF is solid for the westside (and has a wider menu than Tacomiendo, but on average I think Tacomiendo is better).

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                    Tacomiendo
                    11462 Gateway Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                    1. re: wilafur

                      Wilafur, have you tried the al pastor? I really enjoy the al pastor torta, but agree the rest of EST is more miss than hit.

                      1. re: a_and_w

                        have not had the al pastor, i'll give it a whirl the next time i have a taco or burrito craving. thanks for the heads up.

                  2. re: wilafur

                    Second Tacos Por Favor as well, though I think Tacomiendo is a small step above them.

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                    Tacomiendo
                    11462 Gateway Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

                    Tacos Por Favor
                    1406 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404

                  3. Thanks for all of the suggestions, I can't wait for some good tacos :)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: silverlainy

                      I would head straight to Tacos Por Favor, as others suggestion above. Yum

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                      Tacos Por Favor
                      1406 Olympic Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90404