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Dining Alone - Los Angeles

There are other posts about this, but they're more than 2 years old or focused on other areas.

I'm going to be in town on business for 4 nights in December, staying at an LAX hotel. For lunch I'll be able to fend for myself, but are there any great restaurants for dinner the Chowhound community can recommend for dining solo? I don't mind eating at the bar, and it could be really upscale or really dive-y, just as long as the food is great and the staff won't shun a solo diner.

I won't be in the downtown area at all, unless the consensus is that I need to go there. Mostly looking for the Santa Monica, Culver City, west-side area, and to avoid tourists....I have a car and I'll be in a suit the whole time, but bring it on, mom & pop shops, hipster enclaves, feel-good vegan, greasy burgers, I'm open to anything!

Thanks!

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  1. Animal, Pizzeria Mozza and Osteria Mozza have wonderful food and nice dining bars.
    Gjelina in Venice and Manhattan Beach Post (not far from LAX) have both communal tables and great food.
    Also Pann's is a casual 1950's style "Googie" diner with the best patty melt and chicken and waffles, just 5 minutes from LAX.

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    Pizzeria Mozza
    6602 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038

    Pann's Restaurant & Coffee Shop
    6710 La Tijera Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90045

    Animal
    435 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

    Osteria Mozza
    6602 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

    Gjelina
    1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

    Manhattan Beach Post
    1142 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

    1 Reply
    1. re: wienermobile

      Don't see why MB Post didn't auto place link off of your mention of it, but in any case here it is.

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      Manhattan Beach Post
      1142 Manhattan Ave, Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

    2. the "mom and pop" place should be Mariscos Chente's/ Coni'Seafood.
      mexican seafood done in the style of Nayarit and Sinaloa.
      a million posts about this place on this board.
      strictly a paper napkin kind of place.
      terrific food.
      they close at 8pm.
      310-672-2339

      3544 west imperial highway
      inglewood ca 90304

      1. re: gjelina

        this is one of my favorite restaurants, but, be aware, at normal dining hours they can be jammed even at the communal tables.
        the last time i went solo at 9pm on a tuesday night, hoping to get a seat at a communal table, i was told there was a 45 minute wait. the restaurant really has no physical space to accomodate people who are waiting, so all of us were standing with our backs along the wall.
        also, be aware that if you go between 3pm and 5:30 or after about 10pm they will only be serving an abbreviated menu of charcuterie, pizzas, and the like.

        5 Replies
        1. re: westsidegal

          Gjelina is my favorite restaurant in Venice, but the wait can be annoying. Also on Abbot Kinney - Tasting Kitchen, Hal's, Joe's, Axe are all good spots for solo dining.

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          Tasting Kitchen
          1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90291

          Gjelina
          1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

          1. re: cookie monster

            agree about the annoying wait.
            i now tend to try to visit Gjelina at about 2pm or so for lunch:
            early enough for the full lunch menu to be available, but late enough so that the main lunch rush has passed.

            used to be a regular at Joe's until a series of bad meals:(-four strikes you're out).
            would rather be annoyed waiting at Gjelina than give Joe's another try. At least, once i'm seated at Gjelina, only good things ensue.

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            Gjelina
            1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

            1. re: westsidegal

              Yes, I'm still very fond of Joe's but I know other people have had bad experiences there in recent years. The other way to do Gjelina without a reservation is show up 5/5:15, order a pizza and drinks to start, then order some more dishes once the full dinner menu becomes available at 5:30. Usually works as long as you promise to vacate the table for their 7/7:30 reservations.

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              Gjelina
              1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291

              1. re: cookie monster

                brilliant!
                thanks SO much for that tip!

                1. re: westsidegal

                  i concur on Chente too.

                  Also, Musso and Frank for a classic steak or chop and a few martinis.

        2. I eat out a lot by myself, and really believe that you can go just about anywhere alone and not be "shunned." I go to dives....and to Providence....by myself. I think restaurant folks have learned that if you go to a high end restaurant alone, you're really there for the food (and perhaps wine) experience. And they appreciate that.

          2 Replies
          1. re: perk

            completely agree with perk on this.

            1. re: westsidegal

              Concur. Chente is a great place alone as well as Musso and Frank , if you want a classic dinner (though some don't like anything other than the chops and a a couple martinis).

          2. for santa monica dinining, go to Fig restaurant located in the Fairmont Miramar hotel.
            if you can, get a seat at the bar, as opposed to the communal table.
            (i'll be there myself tonight)