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Sep 11, 2013 10:54 AM

Non-snooty + really good food

Hey Chowhounders,

I have a friend who is completely hoity toity averse. If he sees a white table cloth he gets the heebie-jeebies. Me - all I care about is great food. Any suggestions for super down to earth with great food. I'm near Culver City, the closer the better.

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    Most restaurants mentioned are not fancy. Any other criteria to go on to help you narrow it down?

    1. is your friend tied to american food or americanized food?
      there are tons of ethnic restaurants that serve great food in a casual atmosphere.

      2 Replies
      1. re: westsidegal

        He's pretty open with regard to the type of food. With him the difficulty is steering clear of any place that smacks of upscale, or in his outdated language 'yuppie.' LOL

        Thanks WSG

        1. re: engie

          for sushi, take him to Hide sushi on sawtelle.
          since they have a parking lot behind the place, you will actually be able to completely avoid the sawtelle parking nightmare
          the sushi will be good.
          the prices will be better than reasonable.
          when you get in the restaurant you sign in by writing your name on the whiteboard that they have on the wall.
          this place is not a secret, so if you go during peak times they will be crowded and there will be a wait.
          CASH ONLY.

          for sushi at the next level up, try echigo. echigo is located on the second floor of a nondescript strip center in west LA. sushi really good, and, as you would expect, prices are correspondingly higher.
          their monkfish liver is about as good as it gets.
          i've never encountered a wait nor a yuppie there because most folks spending that much on food expect some sort of decoration/ambiance along with the really good fish.
          i've made whole meals of piece after piece of that monkfish liver.
          imho, don't get the lunch special, just order off the regular menu; to my palate, the fish:rice ratio of the regular menu items is better.

          for meat and potatos (they also serve fish), i'd take him to The Galley in santa monica. there is nothing upscale about the place. their decoration includes christmas lights all year long.
          if a yuppie accidentally walks in there, once they see the christmas lights they will back out
          the restaurant also has a very comfortable bar that only serves traditional drinks (i.e. no mixologists will be found at that bar, no pomegranate juice can be found anywhere in the restaurant). there is a public parking lot that can be accessed through the driveway just to the north of the restaurant. the lot uses a pay station system at practically all hours of the day and night and all days of the week, so be SURE to buy enough time before you walk away from your car.

          for japanese izakaya, i'd take him to Musha in santa monica.
          only open for dinner.

      2. Zam Zam is the antithesis of white cloth hoity toity. If that's too far in the sparse range, Metro is pretty laid back.

        2 Replies
        1. re: bulavinaka

          Zam Zam is the ticket here. Everybody has to try it at least once

          1. re: BrewNChow

            Zam Zam is absolutely my suggestion too, but he needs to be prepared, and have no expectations other than the biryani. If anything else is available, it's a bonus.

            Mr Taster

          1. re: wienermobile

            I have to wonder if the OP's friend might take their "no substitutions" policy the wrong way. Also, I've never had issues with their staff but I know some really nice folks who felt snubbed by the servers.

            1. re: bulavinaka

              also, if your friend got a look at the gjelina wine list, the jig would be up. . . . .
              the upscale lives of some of the patrons will be obvious if your friend is the least bit observant. (once, at lunch, i watched as a mother hand fed her adolescent son because the son wanted to use his hands to play some game on a portable electronic device)