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where to take foodie, last minute, westside

  • v

we need a place that can accommodate a medium-sized group (maybe around 10 people) tomorrow (Thursday night) or Friday night. there will be at least one out-of-town foodie (from Seattle) so looking for something "special" or "LA" on the westside.

casual, fun, GOOD FOOD, easy on the pocket, like <$20/entree.

Rustic Canyon and Gjelina won't have availability. What about Warszawa?

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Warszawa Restaurant
1414 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

Gjelina
1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

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  1. Two suggestions. Upstairs 2 above the Wine House (buy a bottle from them and corkage is only $10 - or $15 if not from the Wine House) or the Blue Stove in the new Santa Monica Place Nordstrom's.

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    Wine House
    2311 Cotner Ave, Los Angeles, CA

    Upstairs 2
    2311 Cotner Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90064

    1. There's Nook Bistro in WLA, but under $20 per entree is going to be tight. And if I recall, there is a communal table available there for a group; dunno if it will accomodate 10 people, though.

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      Nook Bistro
      11628 Santa Monica Blvd Ste 9, Los Angeles, CA 90025

      3 Replies
      1. re: silence9

        respectfully disagree with the suggestion of bringing a "foodie" to Nook,

        1. re: westsidegal

          Hi westsidegal... And I greatly respect your opinions on chow in Los Angeles (enjoy reading your 'thumbs-down' as much as your 'thumbs-up recommendations)... I suppose it is true, I don't know if Nook is really a foodie destination or not. I eat just about everything, so I may be too much of a generalist in the pie-hole and palate department. I like Nook, but I also know that you are not alone in finding it less than worthy...

          1. re: silence9

            nook's strengths are it's "comfort food" dishes.

            their other stuff, imho, is a no go.

            stick to nook's rendition of the old-style high-saturated-fat type dishes that my grandparents' generation adored. for me, they hold no appeal.

            had an absolutely embarrassing first date there.
            we went to Nook because my date's son had recommended it.
            we both ordered the fish.
            when the fish arrived, it's rotten-smell preceded it.
            after tasting it, both my date and i moved our respective portions around on our plates for the rest of the time, neither one of us ate another mouthful.
            since this was a first date, neither one of us was comfortable saying that the emperor had no clothes.

            at my age, the men i date typically are eating food that they construe to be "heart-healthy" which makes Nook less than ideal for my purposes.

      2. Rustic Canyon might surprise you. If you make a reservation for 6:00 PM you may succeed. We got lucky with a party of 10 on 2 days notice for an early Sunday reservation. This was just about 2 weeks ago. Open Table did not show availability. Calling the restaurant worked. Good luck. Everyone loved their food.

        2 Replies
        1. re: maudies5

          what is the noise level at Rustic Canyon?

          1. re: veee

            It can get loud after 8pm (small room with bad acoustics). But for their great food it is worth the noise.

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            Rustic Canyon Wine Bar
            1119 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

        2. Fig.

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          Fig
          100 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

          1 Reply
          1. re: wienermobile

            i LOVE LOVE LOVE the food at Fig.
            that said, unless they are running their "Fig at 5" special, i wouldn't call them <<easy on the pocket>>
            depends if you can get there at 5pm and if the special is running that day (for sure the special WON'T be running during restaurant week,)

            had dinner there tonight, as a matter of fact,

            1. FuRaiBo, on Sawtelle: Sit on tatami mats, enjoying excellent Japanese teba saki (chicken wings) and izakaya food.

              Alternatively, Father's Office or Lukshon (next door) may be quite busy, but fun nonetheless. For FO, bring your IDs (hope your IDs all say you're over 21 years old).

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              Father's Office
              1018 Montana Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90403

              Lukshon
              3239 Helms Ave, Culver City, CA 90034

              1. You will have to wait for awhile, but A-Frame is certainly unique, fun, and will fit the price range.

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                A-Frame
                12565 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90066

                1. Check out fundamental LA. It's casual and modern... a "hidden gem" on Westwood Blvd http://www.fundamental-la.com/

                  The food is great, as well as a cool beer and wine list.

                  Don't just take it from me, read the reviews on Yelp: http://www.yelp.com/biz/fundamental-l...

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: GaleAA

                    But of course, if yelp says so, then it must be gospel... :-P

                    Many of us are here to escape from yelp. Please help keep this Chowboard yelpster-free.

                    Though I do agree in this case that Fundamental LA would be good.

                    1. re: J.L.

                      Woops! First time Chowhound poster- looks like I made a rookie mistake. Ignore the Yelp link... Take MY word, for what its worth, the food/ambiance at fundamental sounds like what you're looking for. :)

                      1. re: GaleAA

                        Much better. You'll fit in quite nicely here. Welcome! :-)

                  2. Warszawa? A foodie destination? Really? Where did that come from? That's way out in left field. I'd take that off the list. You only have one foodie out of 10.

                    Waterloo & City. The main courses are higher than $20, but keep in mind the portions are pretty generous.

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                    Warszawa Restaurant
                    1414 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                    1. ok I am craving french food...

                      what about Church & State vs Le Petit Creperie vs Le Saint Amour??

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                      Le Petit Cafe
                      2842 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica, CA 90404

                      Church & State
                      1850 Industrial Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

                      Le Saint Amour
                      9725 Culver Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: veee

                        Church & State has traditionally be good but it is not close to the Westside.

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                        Church & State
                        1850 Industrial Street, Los Angeles, CA 90021

                      2. I've vever had a bad meal or service at Warszawa in the last 20 years. It's original (food and setting), the service is great. Best choices are the pieorgies, the bigos stew, COLD (NOT hot) borscht), tomato salad. They can put you in the main or side room and you'll have dinner that's truly great and distinctive. And, no, I don't know them, but my family has had our birthdays at this restaurant for literally 20 years. It is a solid choice if you think it might be up your alley.

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                        Warszawa Restaurant
                        1414 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90401

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: TracyO

                          I've enjoyed this restaurant for a long time - even before Esquire called it one of the best restaurants in the country back in 1982. But it isn't one of the best restaurants in the country, nor L.A. or the west side. IMHO - at best it's okay. But it has a weirdly funky quirky atmosphere to it that I find interesting. (Even little depressing in a "melancholy" way) - but in no way is this a foodie spot. It is neither current, hip or delicious. However, the OP has 10 in the group and only one foodie. Only one. If they're really a foodie - they should know where to go in L.A. (I don't live in New York or S.F. - but I know of plenty of places I could recommend).

                          1. re: foodiemahoodie

                            Really good point, foodiemahoodlie - I love the food here, but it may be more of my love of this type of atmosphere (which I'd NOT thought of as melancholy, but hey, I'm Russian Swedish so that's probably in my blood) than the au courant-ness of the food. I never thought to answer FIG, which is actually maybe the best type of answer here - very unusual ingredient parings, up to date crowd and cocktails.