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Inexpensive good dinner in Santa Monica Tuesday eve

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Can people recommend some good yet relatively cheap places to have dinner in Santa Monica (or maybe West L.A.) Tuesday evening (i.e., tomorrow)? Six of us will be having dinner before some in the group go salsa dancing -- I think the dancing is near the Promenade.

In terms of price, something under $20 would be good. I don't know whether this is still possible in Santa Monica at a sit-down place, but I hope so! (Of course, even cheaper would be great.)

I think we're fairly open as to cuisine -- Mediterranean, Mexican or Latin American, some kind of Asian, etc. What are people's favorite good cheap places in Santa Monica?

Thanks!

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  1. Just a little bit out of Santa Monica (5 minutes East) is Monte Alban for Oaxacan food. You might like the Middle Eastern food at Sham (Saudi and other Middle Eastern influences).

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    Monte Alban
    11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

    Sham Restaurant
    716 Santa Monica Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

    1. Really good burgers at Umani Burger just two blocks east of the Promenade at Fred Segal on 5th Street and Broadway in Santa Monica.
      http://www.umamiburger.com/

      1. Thanks, Servorg and Weinermobile, for your suggestions -- they sound good! One person in our group just mentioned Fritto Misto and Ninjin Sushi, both on Colorado near 6th, which also sound promising.

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        Fritto Misto
        601 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

        Ninjin
        607 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

        7 Replies
        1. re: emmy

          I haven't eaten at Ninjin sushi so I can't comment on it, but I don't like Fritto Misto. It's generally overcooked pasta with not very good sauces.

          With the budget you quoted, I'd goto one of the following (some previously mentioned):

          Musha (izakaya)
          Cha Cha Chicken (sorta Caribbean + BYOB)
          Sham (slow service so take this into account)
          Umami Burger (good selection of burger types - nothing mind blowing but it is good)
          Houston's* (BYOB + no reservations)

          * Requires only ordering sandwiches (french dip, burger, fish, etc.) in order to fit budget - but it comes w side of vegetables (baked potato w everything is the best)

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          Musha
          1725 W Carson St, Torrance, CA 90501

          Fritto Misto
          601 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

          Cha Cha Chicken
          1906 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405

          Umami Burger
          850 S La Brea Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

          Ninjin
          607 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

          1. re: joshekg

            Thanks for your comments and detailed suggestions. Cha Cha Chicken sounds especially tempting to me...

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            Cha Cha Chicken
            1906 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405

            1. re: joshekg

              Just an FYI, Houston's in Santa Monica has become a "Hillstone". Just a name change, acc to their corporation.

              I think the other locations in the LA area are still Houston's.

              1. re: joshekg

                fwiw, i adore musha, but have never gotten out of there for $20/pp or less.
                normally it runs about $35 to $40/pp not including beverages.

              2. re: emmy

                I was just going to suggest Fritto Misto. Pretty good pasta, good location, good price point. You could do Border Grill at your price point IF you go during happy hour--otherwise, it will be tougher. I like Musha a lot but I think you'd have to order very carefully to stay under $20 pp. I usually spend $35 pp there, without alcohol.

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                Border Grill
                1445 4th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401

                Musha
                424 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                Fritto Misto
                601 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                1. re: Nicole

                  Thanks for your suggestions -- I appreciate your thinking of how we can keep within budget. Regarding Fritto Misto, we may need to try it just to see for ourselves what we think.

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                  Fritto Misto
                  601 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                  1. re: emmy

                    The corkage is very reasonable at Fritto Misto btw if you want to take your own wine. I would also throw out La Serenata for Mexican.

              3. Bar Pintxo (spanish tapas)
                Musha (japanese tapas)
                Buddha's Belly (asian)
                The Yard (a gastropub, Top Chef in the kitchen)

                All reasonable, all great food, all under $20

                1. Nook.
                  Robata Bar.
                  Blue Oysterette.

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                  Robata Bar
                  1401 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401