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Best Places for Lunch Pick-Up in Santa Monica/Venice/West LA

I've been stuck in an edit bay for the last two months at Santa Monica and 21st. Every day, it's "where should we order from for lunch". So after two months of steady Santa Monica chowing for lunch I wanted to issue a report.

The vast majority of these lunches are from Santa Monica-style "cafes" with salads of various styles and sandwiches. All in my "even when great can't be more than okay" category.

The four places that I have felt have been great -- over and above cuisine which would be great any time of day -- , however, were FIG, LEMONADE, BAY CITIES and BORDER GRILL.

Any suggestions from the team?

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  1. Lemon Moon? http://lemonmoon.com/

    Lemon Moon
    12200 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Second lemonmoon. Be warned that their deli case salads can tend to be oily, but plenty tasty. I am thinking of the walnut (and blue cheese?) pasta salad. Yummy, but if you are going to be disgusted by some oil pooling at the bottom, you might want to consider another dish. I also love their portobella mushroom sandwich. Highly recommend! They used to serve sandwiches with their coleslaw but I once asked for a side green salad substitution, with dressing on the side and was impressed by how fresh and crisp their greens were. Always got takeaway and always have had a great experience.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        +3 for Lemon Moon

        Lemon Moon
        12200 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

      2. Mendoicino Farms in Marina Del Rey has some great sandwiches. One of my favorites is the prosciutto and roasted chicken with local Gioia fresh mozzarella, crushed honey roasted almonds, basil pesto, balsamic vinegar, tomatoes on panini grilled ciabatta..

        2 Replies
        1. re: wienermobile

          Second this! I'm obsessed with Mendocino Farms right now. Also second the rec for Huckleberry, especially if you're calling ahead, allowing you to bypass the inevitably long line. I especially love their turkey sandwich or any of the deli salads if I'm picking up to go.

          Mendocino Farms
          300 S Grand Ave Ste Lp40, Los Angeles, CA 90071

          1. re: mollyomormon

            3rd. I prefer Mendocino Farms over Huckleberry in my limited exposure.

            Mendocino Farms
            300 S Grand Ave Ste Lp40, Los Angeles, CA 90071

          1. Baby Blue BBQ in Venice has some good sandwiches:
            "The Jack" Beer Braised Smoked Links
            w / Slaw, Cheese & Hot Peppers
            BBQ Chicken Sandwich
            Carolina Pulled Pork
            Beer Braised Beef Brisket
            Blackened Catfish Po'Boy
            Black Jack's Shrimp Po'Boy

            Baby Blues BBQ
            444 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

            1. Also in Venice I really like the California Chicken Cafe. Great wraps and salads.

              California Chicken Cafe
              424 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

              1. Lots of great recs here - just my .02 in random order:

                Bay Cities
                Mendocino Farms
                Baby Blues (but you'll probably fall asleep in the edit bay after hulking down 'que)
                California Chicken Cafe
                Bite Bar and Bakery

                1 Reply
                1. re: bulavinaka

                  Tacos Por Favor (chorizo and cheese tacos)
                  Monte Alban
                  Umami burger
                  Joe's Pizza

                  Monte Alban
                  11927 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

                  11462 Gateway Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

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

                2. Literatti
                  Ono Hawaii BBQ on SM and Bundy ... and All India Cafe, above it
                  Hop Li
                  Pho 99's bahn mi sammiches

                  All India Cafe
                  39 S Fair Oaks Ave, Pasadena, CA 91105

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: SoCalMuncher

                    SoCalMuncher, do you find All India Cafe's food too salty at times? I live very close to it and am Indian, but I rarely order takeout from them because of the salt issue. I wonder if I just caught them on bad days.

                  2. Bergamot Cafe is really good. It's best to order online or by phone, though, the line can get very long. You might also want to check out food truck alley on Pennsylvania off of 26th in Santa Monica.

                    1. I was pleasantly surprised by Thyme on Ocean Park but FYI some or their pastries are from Pain du Jour.

                      1. Don't know if 30th and Ocean Park is too far, but Il Forno has a great $6 lunch list. Also Zabies is amazingly great (fantastic chopped chicken salad) and then there's The Counter and Mrs. Winstons. On Pico is Upper West and Bite Bar, both great lunch.

                        At 14th and Santa Monica is Buon Giorno, which I love, also a great lunch $5 menu.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: yogachik

                          i was reading through all the posts wondering why no one had mentioned Mrs. Winston's yet. +1 for that awesome salad bar.

                        2. I love Clementine in Century City. Might be a hike though, but you can order ahead. I always get the 9.75 lunch special.

                          1. have you checked out the deli counter at the Co-op on Broadway & 16th? i've never had one of their sandwiches, but there's always a long line of people ordering them at lunchtime, and the few prepared vegetable dishes i've tried have been pretty tasty. some woman had a minor freak-out yesterday because they were out of the salmon salad she wanted on her sandwich - apparently it's very good :)

                            1. Check out 26 Beach Restaurant in Venice, great salads and sandwiches. They Deliver.

                              26 Beach
                              3100 Washington Blvd., Venice, CA 90292

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Burger Boy

                                i still gotta hit it up for the tiramisu french toast and the CA roll burger.

                                already tried the hot fudge sundae burger though.

                              2. hah, I'm in an edit bay at Pico and 14th right now.

                                second the rec for 26 Beach
                                Wally's Cheeseboard makes really phenomenal sandwiches
                                Food + Lab also does great sandwiches
                                Fresh Brothers does a pretty good office spread of pizza, big pizzas cut into squares rather than slices, and they've got really generous toppings.