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A friend asked me "What's hot in Westwood?"

I have no idea, my first thought is "Nothing's ever hot in Westwood."

Can anyone help?


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  1. Depends on what you're looking for (cuisine, price-range, environment, etc.).

    I asked a similar question a while ago about reasonably-priced "good" food in Westwood and the Gardens on Glendon was suggested - tried it, loved it, will go back soon. Price range was about 40/person for one entree and one non-alcoholic drink, sharing 2 appetizers w/ 2 other people and including tax and tip. The crowd is not the UCLA-aged crowd but a bit older (30-50).

    Someone a while ago had a good posting about Tanino - the Italian place.

    I also like Elysees for breakfast/brunch.

    Stay away from EuroChow.

    1. I eat in the Village all the time.

      There's nothing hot.

      Except ...

      (And I know you won't believe me) ... Whole Foods.

      I eat there like once a week and it's always packed (though the lines move really fast). They've got a fresh sandwich spot, a salad bar, a hot food bar and a counter with other hot items.

      Lame, I know.

      Not what you are looking for, I know.

      But Whole Foods is hot in Westwood.

      (BTW - Sometimes I think there is a modeling agency nearby because there are always some very good looking customers in there. I go with my wife, but if you're single, it looks like a nice place to share a table.)

      There are some other okay places to eat, but none are hot.

      1. By "hot" are you meaning trendy hot or good hot?

        Makes a big big difference.

        I've worked in Westwood for way many years than I care to count. In Westwood proper, we go to Noodle Planet and EastWest Sandwich. I confess that we eat both places alot. I've never had food there that wasn't fresh and delicious, whether a sandwich, from the buffet or off the menu.

        On the other side of Wilshire, heading down Westwood, we like Sunnin [right at Santa Monica]. Honestly, it easier to say what we don't like---the faux french place near Borders, the Indian place with a buffet on the other side of the street[the BLANDEST indian food I have ever tasted, though my office seems to love it], etc etc etc

        1 Reply
        1. re: jenn

          I'm not sure what he means by hot but let's assume "good" and new-ish.

        2. We eat at Acapulco's -- nice comfortable family-like atmosphere with friendly and fast service, good food, portions are huge and price is right. Dinner's all we've tried, but locals said lunch buffet is great, too.
          We tried the brewpub just up the street, trendy but prices were high for not that tasty of food. We like a good value meal with comfortable atmosphere rather than pricey.

          1. Shamshiri (excellent Persian) and Noodle Planet.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mojoeater

              Second Shamshiri. Lunches are large, and my one dinner there got me two whole meals, and I consider myself a big eater for my size.

              1. re: Dogbite Williams

                had an excellent dinner at shamshiri last night.
                third the recommendation

            2. Well it's been a while, but when my friend went to UCLA we always went to Sushi Isshin for delicious combo tray dinners. Wonder if it's still as good as I remember...

              1. Bumping an older thread into 2012...

                Not super "hot", but decent fare. Many of these are south of Wilshire, on Westwood Blvd.

                Fundamental LA
                Saffron & Rose Persian Ice Cream
                P'tit Soleil Poutine Bar
                800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza (so hot there often a queue outside!)
                Yamadaya Ramen

                Emporium Thai has been around for years, so it's not new, but it's still really good.

                8 Replies
                1. re: J.L.

                  anyone happen to know if this outpost of Yamadaya happens to serve chicken broth ramen ???


                  1. re: kevin

                    Yes it does. It's the premium shio ramen (chicken/fish)

                  2. re: J.L.

                    Ate at emporium Thai last night.

                    Fried tofu app - blah
                    Rangoon app - awful

                    Hot Mama noodle soup w pork - decent (good broth, bad pork)
                    Moon Yan w/sticky rice - good
                    Pad See Yew - bad

                    At first glance, UCLA appears to be stuck in the middle of a ring of mediocre to bad restaurants.

                    1. re: J.L.

                      My go-to spots in Westwood are Tanino and Attari.

                      800 degrees does indeed have a long line, and it's not worth the wait imho. I would bump it up to a go-to spot if it didn't have the line.

                      1. re: lil mikey

                        it doesn't have the line at 11:30AM on weekdays nor at about 3-4PM on weekdays.

                      2. re: J.L.

                        You are correct, J.L. Emporium Thai is older than its sister, Jitlada. But I have walked by Emporium Thai so many times and never noticed it. After having tried it, it has jumped to one of my favorites!

                      3. The food service by the pool at the W is a lot of fun. The food at Napa Valley has improved a lot and is good. Not a hot spot. There is a lot of activity at Palamino and Casa Azul is very good Mexican with a nice bar from the Frida group.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Thor123

                          Palomino is not very good, just average, but gets a big bar crowd.

                          1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                            "lot of activity" does not mean "very good", although the mushroom salad is good.

                            1. re: Thor123

                              Gotcha, just figured you mentioned it because you probably considered it good, as it wasn't qualified above.

                        2. For anyone joining this thread now, check the dates. Most of us would no longer recommend Noodle Planet (hit and miss these days, at best) and though I too liked Acupulco, it's long gone.

                          I still like Falafel King.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: BobtheBigPig

                            For falafel and the like give Bella Pita a try.

                            1. re: taiwanesesmalleats

                              I have a soft spot for Falafel King. Especially of course and only when the falafel balls are freshly formed and fried to order rather than the wan balls that are sitting in the metal chafing container.

                              1. re: kevin

                                Not to sound like a super fan of Bella Pita, which I'm not, but they always seem to make the falafel to order.

                          2. Hottest thing in Westwood Village the last year, hands down, is 800 Degrees.

                            Hottest thing in Westwood Village forever, with the longest lines ever this summer, is Diddy Riese. No longer do the hot dogs, replaced with shaved ice, which they do pretty well.

                            Thing to come in Westwood Village is a Umami Burger, supposed to be called U-Mini. Shouldn't it be opening sometime soon?

                            Biggest little known surprise in Westwood Village is Thai House, on Gayley across from the Whole Foods. Surprisingly good Thai food (mee krob is excellent) with carpeting, real glassware, good service, beer and wine, a quiet atmosphere -- all this at prices no higher than most of the fast food or casual service restaurants in the area.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: nosh

                              i have to disagree on thai house..... never had the mee krob but things i've had there in my 2 recent visits were average / subpar....(tom kar gai, gai yeung, stuffed chicken wings, "ugly duck", pad thai)