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Restaurant Selection Help

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

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  1. 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?

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

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

          7 Replies
          1. re: djquinnc

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

            1. re: djquinnc

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

              1. re: westsidegal

                the food at versailles on any night: horrific.

                1. re: ipsedixit

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

                  1. re: westsidegal

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

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

                    1. re: ipsedixit

                      completely agree with you both in theory and in practice.

              1. re: wienermobile

                Thanks. This was actually my next thought.

              2. wurstkuche comes in at budget.
                caveat:
                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. Thanks for the responses. I think I'll go with Westside Tavern.

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

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                      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

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