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Casual Restaurant Recommendation

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I'm going to be in LA towards the end of the month on a business trip and at some point I would like to take my cousin, who lives in Redondo Beach, for dinner and drinks. The problem is I'm going to be staying at the Westin downtown and so it would be great if someone could recommend a good casual restaurant that we could meet at somewhere in the middle? By casual, I mean nothing too fancy, lively and fun atmosphere with great cuisine. Speaking of cuisine, American, Asian or Mexican would be great.
Thanks!

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  1. I'm thinking maybe mid city would be easiest and Golden State or Animal would be the best call there.

    1. Not sure how important the drinks are, but... Monte Alban or 800 Degrees (WLA/Westwood)? Or anything along Sawtelle? PeterCC also did a recent review of Tar and Roses, which sounds like it might fit your criteria.

      1. Father's Office or A Frame in Culver City.

        1. Thanks for the recommendations!

          1. How about Plan Check?

            1. In Redondo:

              Mexican: Ortega 120 or Coyote Cantina
              Chinese: W China Bistro
              Upscale Chez Melange
              Great Food Dominique's Kitchen

              1. You have a lot of good recs here but most are not between DTLA and Redondo Beach. Redondo Beach is much further to the south and west. If your cousin is good with these recs around West LA, Melrose/Hollywood or Culver City, then disregard.

                3 Replies
                1. re: bulavinaka

                  I was thinking the same thing.
                  The Rosecrans corridor bordering El Segundo/Manhattan Beach might work, with recommendations accepted. Houston's is fine enough in the same center as Bristol Farms. MB Post or Fishing with Dynamite in downtown Manhattan Beach or Tin Roof Bistro on Sepulveda just south of Rosecrans would also fit the need.

                  Post & Beam in the Crenshaw neighborhood might also work.

                  1. re: carter

                    I like Houston's. But if the El Segundo / MB area ... MB Post / FWD are great, but "lively" (loud) - be ready to wait

                    El Segundo:
                    Second City Bistro
                    Farm Stand
                    Chef Hannes

                    MB North End
                    North End Cafe - Small inside, great food (was on Dine-ins/Drive-ins and Dives)
                    Fishbar - Fantastic. But if NOT there before 530p, or after 800p there can be a wait.

                    Mar Vista
                    Louies of Mar Vista (think MB North End Caffe, more space, with full bar and even better food!)

                    Santa Monica
                    The Lobster - Great food, and a fantastic view of the SM pier.

                    1. re: carter

                      I was thinking Manhattan Beach recs too. I know this skews things to the South Bay, but Redondo Beach is so far away from many of the recs. Something vaguely close to the 110 or even the 91 might be logical, but not much comes to mind for this situation. Parts of Torrance are relatively accessible to the 110 - Torihei or Musha come to mind but it can be loud in either place.

                  2. I simply chose WLA/Santa Monica b/c it's roughly equidistant from the Downtown LA and Redondo, even if it's not "in between."

                    1. Pann's www.panns.com is equidistant from your hotel and Redondo Beach. American diner food with great googie architecture. Best patty melt in LA (old school non gourmet type) and love the wings and waffle or wings dinner with fries. They do have a limited drinks menu with things like a very good bloody mary.