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Inexpensive good dinner in Santa Monica Tuesday eve

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emmy Oct 11, 2010 08:27 AM

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!

  1. a
    altstarr Oct 11, 2010 10:59 PM

    Here's what I would consider:

    1. Lemonade on Abbott Kinney in Venice has gourmet salads in a trendy cafeteria environment. Two portions (4 half salads is a plentiful meal for $7.75/pp. They also have paninni, hot dishes and soups as well. Great salads!

    2. Tacos Por Favor on Olympic is a casual Mexican taqueria. Good, fresh and $6 to $10 per person.

    3. Victorian House on Main Street has a Gourmet Hot Truck Round Up every Tuesday night starting at 5 pm. No sit down, but affordable and fun and sure to appeal to all tastes.
    Calendar of Trucks: https://www.google.com/calendar/embed...

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

    1. e
      emmy Oct 11, 2010 10:01 PM

      Thanks to everyone for your excellent suggestions. I think the group is leaning towards Fritto Misto, though we might end up somewhere else. I'll let you know how it works out.

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      Fritto Misto
      601 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

      1. f
        foodiemahoodie Oct 11, 2010 06:25 PM

        Nook.
        Robata Bar.
        Blue Oysterette.

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        Robata Bar
        1401 Ocean Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90401

        1. y
          yogachik Oct 11, 2010 06:10 PM

          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. e
            emmy Oct 11, 2010 10:40 AM

            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
              j
              joshekg Oct 11, 2010 01:09 PM

              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
                e
                emmy Oct 11, 2010 03:55 PM

                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
                  o
                  Ogawak Oct 11, 2010 04:07 PM

                  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
                    westsidegal Oct 12, 2010 12:27 PM

                    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
                    n
                    Nicole Oct 11, 2010 01:33 PM

                    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
                      e
                      emmy Oct 11, 2010 03:59 PM

                      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
                        g
                        gordo26 Oct 11, 2010 04:43 PM

                        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. wienermobile Oct 11, 2010 08:38 AM

                    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. Servorg Oct 11, 2010 08:32 AM

                      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

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