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Jun 13, 2011 11:26 PM

college graduation

This will sound vague... but I'm looking for a fun place for a small graduation dinner (~5 people), that has excellent food.

Price range ~$15 entrees
Location ~mid-city or west LA
Cuisine ~something a little adventurous but not too adventurous
Atmosphere ~casual but special occasion-feeling... not too loud.

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  1. Westside Tavern.

    Westside Tavern
    10850 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

    3 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile

      does westside tavern take reservations these days?
      if the graduation is from UCLA and the dinner is on graduation day, i would not hazard going to westside tavern without having reservations.

      1. re: westsidegal

        Westside Tavern does take reservations on OpenTable.com, but it seems they only offer early times. I would call them.

        Westside Tavern
        10850 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

      2. re: wienermobile

        Westside Tavern fits the casual but special, but certainly is not quiet. Their dinner sandwiches run $14-16, but real entrees are almost all low $20s.

        Shamshiri Grill on Westwood north of Santa Monica Blvd. offers generous skewers of kabobs or ground meats (koobideh) or sliced from a rotisserie (shawarma) with huge mounds of rice and grilled veggies for right around $15.

        Thai Boom, on the north side of Venice Blvd. a few blocks east of Sepulveda, would feed a group of five a variety of shared dishes for $15 a person easily. It is small and nondescript, but every time I've been there the service has been helpful and most friendly.

        Shamshiri Grill
        1712 Westwood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90024

        Thai Boom
        10863 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034

        Westside Tavern
        10850 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

      3. Fun and adventurous? Check out Typhoon at the Santa Monica Airport. You can watch the planes land and have some pretty good Asian cuisine. The super-adventurous can order some bug dishes, grasshoppers, etc. (they may have discontinues the bug dishes)


        Santa Monica Airport Restaurant
        3300 Airport Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90405

        2 Replies
        1. re: Baron

          They still have the bugs, but unless someone in the group very carefully controls the ordering the pricepoint at Typhoon can exponentially exceed the OP's budget.

          1. re: Baron

            typhoon is way more costly than the veee's stated budget.

          2. if you can make it to Venice,
            C&O cucina, a neighborhood Italian restaurant at 3016 washington blvd, does a fine job within your budget.
            terrific complimentary hot garlic rolls delivered to your table continually during the meal.
            works well for family style dining.
            this is not high-brow food, but they offer very good price/quality/quantity ratios.
            they will take reservations and the 'rat-pack' music makes it fun.

            my nephew had his graduation dinner there a few years ago and it was very successful.
            the menu was wide enough to accommodate all sorts of eaters, (vegetarian, picky, kids, low-cal, low fat, low-carb, etc.) .

            4 Replies
            1. re: westsidegal

              and can be festive, and is a better rec, than all I could come up with at that price point and other parameters, which is like Buca di Beppo.

              1. re: Phurstluv

                I also like C&O. I like their trattoria closer to the beach more than their cucina a few blocks east.

                C & O Trattoria
                31 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

                C & O Cucina
                3016 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

                1. re: wienermobile

                  don't know the current situation, but in the old days, the trattoria did not take reservations whereas the cucina has always taken reservations.
                  also, imho, the parking situation at the cucina is marginally better

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    C & O Trattoria now accepts reservations for 2 or more.

                    C & O Trattoria
                    31 Washington Blvd, Marina Del Rey, CA 90292

            2. Metro Cafe:


              In West LA.
              Solid Serbian (and non-Serbian) food.
              Easy for conversation.

              Congraduations! (yes, I stole this neologism from "Three's Company" eons ago)... And no, I have no stake whatsoever in the aforementioned eatery.

              12 Replies
              1. re: J.L.

                what is the noise level like at 26Beach?

                1. re: veee

                  unless everyone in the party is willing to stick with burgers and salads, the tab at 26 beach will exceed budget.
                  noise level has always seemed ok to me.
                  the seating, though, not so comfortable.

                    1. re: veee

                      I've always found their "throw pillow" seating (at least where we have been seated) didn't give enough back support.

                  1. re: veee

                    I don't recall mentioning anything about 26Beach??!!

                      1. re: nosh

                        In the original post? where?

                        I mean, I clearly saw that veee mentioned it as a response to my Metro Cafe suggestion, but there was no mention of 26Beach in the OP, or are my eyes in need of a checkup?

                        1. re: J.L.

                          maybe it's time for new glasses?

                          1. re: westsidegal

                            I assume you mean your vision prescription needs updating, (g) since J.L. is exactly right. The OP (veee) brought the question of the noise level up at 26 Beach in a direct response to him, but that was their (veee's) only mention of it in this thread. Certainly veee never mentioned 26 Beach in the post that began this thread, and J.L. never mentioned it first.

                            1. re: Servorg

                              (Breathing a sigh of relief as I call to cancel my premature eye checkup with the ophthalmologist)...


                              1. re: J.L.

                                i'm happy for you and i apologize. i didn't get the chronology of the posts correctly.
                                what is the proper specialist for me to see because i appear to be losing it?

                                1. re: westsidegal

                                  ay, i don't get which post to reply to in order to keep the chronology correct, so it was probably my fault!