HOME > Chowhound > Los Angeles Area >
What are you cooking today?

Restaurant Selection Help

jsandler Dec 4, 2012 01:43 PM

Hi everyone,

I'm organizing an end of the semester dinner for my graduate school class this Saturday. I had originally want to do it at FIG in Santa Monica to take advantage of the half priced menu between 5 and 6. However, I called to make a reservation only to discover that they have a full restaurant buy out Saturday night. Anyone have any suggestions for something comparable, Santa Monica or West LA preferred with a $20-30 a person price range? Thanks

  1. d
    Dirtywextraolives Dec 6, 2012 01:05 PM

    For future reference, Zengo in the Santa Monica place mall has a 4-7 happy hour daily.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Dirtywextraolives
      westsidegal Dec 6, 2012 01:58 PM

      i've been there and i like the food, but i needed three or four of the small plates that were offered as part of the happy hour deal to feel full enough.
      after you've paid for 3 to 4 small plates, there really is no cost savings over just going somewhere else and having a real dinner entree.

      i thought that the bartender that served us, whose name i forget, made a terrific margarita.

      1. re: westsidegal
        Dirtywextraolives Dec 6, 2012 03:58 PM

        The Sunday brunch is the real steal here. Have not been to happy hour, so really couldn't say.

    2. j
      jsandler Dec 5, 2012 06:53 AM

      Thanks for the responses. I think I'll go with Westside Tavern.

      1. westsidegal Dec 4, 2012 09:46 PM

        wurstkuche comes in at budget.
        you wait in line to place your order and pay.
        you find seats at one of the tables which are mostly communal tables covered with brown wrapping paper, sometimes the wrapping paper has grease stains all over it, but it doesn't seem to be their policy to change the paper.
        your sausage is brought out on a piece of wax paper that has been placed in a hot dog-sized metal trough which, i'll bet is rarely washed.
        if you're looking for a nice sit down waited-table experience, wurstkuche is not it.

        food and beer/stout seletions there are good.

        1. wienermobile Dec 4, 2012 04:37 PM

          Westside Tavern has two nice private rooms.

          2 Replies
          1. re: wienermobile
            jsandler Dec 4, 2012 04:49 PM

            Thanks. This was actually my next thought.

            1. re: jsandler
              wienermobile Dec 4, 2012 05:26 PM

              Wurstkuche Venice could also work.

          2. d
            djquinnc Dec 4, 2012 03:51 PM

            Neither take reservations, but how about either Father's Office (Culver City site has more space) or Versailles?

            7 Replies
            1. re: djquinnc
              ipsedixit Dec 4, 2012 03:52 PM

              I would love to be there when a whole class of graduate students ask for ketchup ...

              1. re: ipsedixit
                djquinnc Dec 4, 2012 04:34 PM


              2. re: djquinnc
                westsidegal Dec 4, 2012 04:13 PM

                the parking problem at versailles on a saturday night: horrific.

                1. re: westsidegal
                  ipsedixit Dec 4, 2012 04:35 PM

                  the food at versailles on any night: horrific.

                  1. re: ipsedixit
                    westsidegal Dec 4, 2012 09:52 PM

                    gotta agree with you on that too ipse, but, to be fair, our opinion is not universally shared across the board.

                    1. re: westsidegal
                      ipsedixit Dec 4, 2012 10:09 PM

                      .... our opinion is not universally shared across the board

                      But that should never stop any of us from expressing it.

                      1. re: ipsedixit
                        westsidegal Dec 5, 2012 08:30 AM

                        completely agree with you both in theory and in practice.

              3. d
                Dirtywextraolives Dec 4, 2012 03:49 PM

                There are lots of happy hour specials going on at Santa Monica places, but don't know if they do happy hour specials on Saturdays.

                Edit: check into Pourtal wine bar, they appear to have a hh special from 12-4. Not sure why, but I have a nagging feeling they are no longer there, but I could be thinking of someplace else.

                1. Wayno Dec 4, 2012 03:44 PM

                  How about R+D? Not sure how big your party is, or if R+D would be too loud.

                  1. westsidegal Dec 4, 2012 03:40 PM

                    all the other comparable restaurants cost a lot more money.
                    in my experience (westside only) even fig-at-five, would easily end up costing more than $20-$30/pp out the door.

                    given your budget, i'd consider C & O Cucina in venice or Shamshiri Grill on westwood blvd.

                    another idea: on venice blvd where it meets abbot kinney, Tlapazola. Just know, though, that if you go at prime time, even with a reservation, at Tlapazola you will be waiting.

                    how many people?

                    Show Hidden Posts