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college graduation

veee Jun 13, 2011 11:26 PM

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.

  1. J.L. Jun 14, 2011 05:52 PM

    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.
      veee Jun 14, 2011 10:09 PM

      what is the noise level like at 26Beach?

      1. re: veee
        westsidegal Jun 14, 2011 10:36 PM

        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: westsidegal
          veee Jun 15, 2011 05:15 PM

          what's wrong with the seating?

          1. re: veee
            Servorg Jun 15, 2011 05:18 PM

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

        2. re: veee
          J.L. Jun 15, 2011 10:59 PM

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

          1. re: J.L.
            nosh Jun 15, 2011 11:48 PM

            OP asked about it.

            1. re: nosh
              J.L. Jun 16, 2011 12:04 AM

              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.
                westsidegal Jun 16, 2011 06:44 AM

                maybe it's time for new glasses?

                1. re: westsidegal
                  Servorg Jun 16, 2011 06:51 AM

                  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
                    J.L. Jun 16, 2011 10:31 AM

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


                    1. re: J.L.
                      westsidegal Jun 17, 2011 01:23 AM

                      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
                        veee Jun 18, 2011 01:19 PM

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

      2. westsidegal Jun 14, 2011 04:36 PM

        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
          Phurstluv Jun 14, 2011 04:40 PM

          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
            wienermobile Jun 14, 2011 05:06 PM

            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
              westsidegal Jun 14, 2011 10:31 PM

              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
                wienermobile Jun 14, 2011 10:35 PM

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

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

        2. Baron Jun 14, 2011 08:54 AM

          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
            nosh Jun 14, 2011 09:30 AM

            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
              westsidegal Jun 14, 2011 04:30 PM

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

            2. wienermobile Jun 13, 2011 11:36 PM

              Westside Tavern.

              Westside Tavern
              10850 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA

              3 Replies
              1. re: wienermobile
                westsidegal Jun 14, 2011 08:31 AM

                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
                  wienermobile Jun 14, 2011 08:40 AM

                  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
                  nosh Jun 14, 2011 09:26 AM

                  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

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