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Dinner in Westwood/West LA with baby

Looking for a place in Westwood or West LA (east of the 405) to have an early casual dinner with my husband and baby (8 mos. old). I want a place that has decent food, is reasonably priced, and casual, for our Friday evening dinners. We like to eat around 6pm since our daughter goes to bed at 7:30pm.

We've been going to Pitfire Pizza for a couple months, but we're both sick of it. We also go to Poquito Mas a fair amount. Any other suggestions for places that are kid friendly? Not interested in Persian food, but all other types are fine as long as the food is decent.

Thanks!

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  1. We frequent all the following places, with Chowpup in tow...

    Westside Tavern (at Westside Pavilion) - Great fries, flatbread
    Soleil (corner of Wilkins & Westwood Bl.) - Beef Bourgignon, warm spinach salad, poutine, tarte tatin
    Jinya Ramen (on Sawtelle, just south of Olympic) - Ramen! (of course)
    Plan Check (on Sawtelle, south of Santa Monica) - Fried chicken!
    Emporium Thai (on Westwood Bl., just south of Wilshire) - Morning glory salad

    5 Replies
    1. re: J.L.

      Early dinner at Plan Check would be perfect. Don't miss the fried chicken or pastrami nosh.
      http://www.plancheckbar.com

      I am also a fan of Fundamental LA. Wonderful food.
      http://www.fundamental-la.com

      1. re: wienermobile

        Love the pork belly bahn mi at Fundamental, but where do you park the stroller?

        1. re: wienermobile

          We used to go to Fundamental for lunch all the time (before the baby). Never tried it for dinner.

        2. re: J.L.

          I really like Westside Tavern, but I think it's more expensive than we're looking for.

          I was just reading about Emporium Thai in the other Westwood thread. We'll definitely give that a try. We used to go to Jitlada all the time.

          1. re: J.L.

            We tried Emporium Thai on Friday and it was great. Hardly anyone there...easy parking. They were fine with me walking my baby around (when she got fussy). Very friendly waitress. Now...to find the best dishes to order. One dish was awesome (morning glory salad), one was ok (southern chicken curry), and one was not-so-good (honey duck).

              1. re: DanielleW

                For casual sandwich/salad/soup and small but kid friendly, Green Peas on Sepulveda just south of Braddock in Culver City.

            1. Just had another thought. Metro Cafe in Culver City. Nice Serbian fare. Kid-friendly. Reasonable prices.

              2 Replies
              1. re: J.L.

                re: metro
                not $30 for 2 people.
                love the place.
                normally, for me, the check runs about $50 for two people without alcohol.

                maybe gloria's on venice blvd would work ?
                for vegetarian indian food, bawarchi or samosa house.

                1. re: J.L.

                  I have been wanting to go there. Good to know it is kid friendly.

                2. I find most places are pretty kid-friendly that early in the evening.

                  If you're sick of Pitfire, this may not be the best suggestion, but how about 800 Degrees?

                  Santouka or one of the other places in Mitsuwa?

                  The new ROC Star / ROC Kitchen / whatever name they'll settle on, on Sawtelle at Mississippi?

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: PeterCC

                    in my experience, 800 degrees can only be said to be kid-friendly at 11:30 am on most days and at about 3pm on the weekdays.
                    the rest of the time it can be a hellish experience for the stroller brigade.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      Disagree. Been at 800 Degrees at peak hours with the Chowpup & stroller. Not a problem. Everyone is too happy munching down to make a fuss.

                      1. re: J.L.

                        i believe the poster's name was noshie (not nosh) who complained bitterly about how difficult it was to negotiate 800 degrees with kids in tow.
                        there have been a few threads about this.
                        complaints about high chair availability.
                        complaints that they aren't allowed to take up a table for the kids while one of the adults does the waiting in line(i.e. the WHOLE FAMILY needs to wait in line or one of the parents needs to take the kids out of the restaurant until the line-waiting parent gets to the front of the line).
                        complaints about the difficulty of negotiating the movement of food from the counter to the table while trying to keep the kids from shrieking.
                        complaints about waiting at the soda machine while some other person's kid uses the machine as a neat toy and everyone else in the restaurant is waiting behind him.
                        complaints about the food not being "kid-friendly" (i.e not much finger food. the pizza, having a soft center needs to be eaten with a knife and fork).

                        lotsa complaints.

                        thankfully my kid is grown, so this whole problem doesn't relate to me.
                        still, i saw a very happy contingent of the stroller set on a sunday morning at 11:30AM when they had the whole restaurant to themselves and i normally try to time my visits during the week at 3pm and the restaurant is practically empty then also.

                        1. re: westsidegal

                          Yeah, I went to 800 degrees a couple times when I was pregnant and I can't imagine going back with a baby. I could barely maneuver myself with my big belly.

                    2. re: PeterCC

                      That whole food court is fair game. In that food court, I'd recommend also Tendon Hannosuke.

                    3. If you're fine w/ Poquito Mas, you might want to give Eduardo's (in the strip mall just south of Santa Monica Blvd on Westwood) a try. It's a bit hole-in-the-wall, but the prices are reasonable, it's not crowded, and the I think the place should be pretty stroller friendly. Another place that might be worth trying is California Fresh (right next to Pitfire). It doesn't look like much from the outside (or even the inside, actually), but I actually think their salmon combo is perfectly respectable, as is the pizza. The BBQ chicken salad would be more interesting if used a different green, but it's still better than decent. I don't think I've ever tried their pastas.

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: ilysla

                        A door or two to the north of Eduardo's in the same strip mall is Mandarin Kitchen. Comments on this board over the past year or two seem to agree with me that it stands at or near the top of the westside Chinese restaurants. Certainly kid-friendly in atmosphere, and very inexpensive, especially at lunch.

                        1. re: nosh

                          The board agrees w/ you, or you agree w/ the board??? ;) ::snort::

                          I've not tried it myself, but my recollection is that the threads on Mandarin Kitchen indicate it's a totally decent place to eat (which would meet the OP's criteria).

                          To westsidegal below, WeHo might be hard to get to on a Friday evening (the traffic can be terrifying), esp w/ a baby in-tow. The Brentwood Lemonade also seems very family-friendly, though, so I can't see why the WeHo one would be much different (I haven't been myself....).

                          I think the Century City mall is a good idea, though, since there's plenty of space (although also plenty of patrons) and a wide selection of decent (and sometimes even good) food. Didn't realize they had a Counter there; is that new? (it's been a couple of months since I've been.... I was always partial to Coral Tree Cafe).

                          1. re: ilysla

                            i didn't even know that there was a lemonade in brentwood. thanks for the 411!

                            the Counter's website says that they have a century city location, so i presume they do.

                            actually, your recommendation of the Coral Tree Cafe is a good idea!

                            1. re: westsidegal

                              I've been to the Counter in Century City a couple times when my baby was a newborn. I've been to the Coral Tree in the mall, but the one in Brentwood is not ideal as it is west of the 405.

                              1. re: westsidegal

                                Yup, a Lemonade (albeit w/ a much smaller seating area than the Venice one) in Brentwood Village. Easy parking (2 nearby lots), although I can't remember what the rate was....

                                To the OP, there's also O Sushi in the same strip mall near Hole in the Wall. It's decently stroller friendly, I think, and the food is fine.