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A good restaurant mid-way between North Hills and Irvine?

I will be visiting friends in Irvine and I would like to meet a woman after her work who works in North Hills and is willing to drive half way. So I would like to find, with 'hound help, a good-value-for-the-money restaurant (any but the highest price point, as this is our first meeting) of any ethnicity that is mutually convenient i. e. close to a freeway. Any suggestions? TIA!

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    1. I hope she works unconventional hours. Trying to get out of Irvine in the afternoon/evening on a weekday is pretty rough.

      1. Flossies, great Soul Food at great prices just off the 405 in Redondo Beach Closed Mondays
        http://www.yelp.com/biz/flossies-sout...

        a little more $$ Houston's Manhattan Beach would be a good meeting place.

        Pann's is a wonderful 1950's dinner off the 405 near LAX,
        http://www.panns.com

        1 Reply
        1. re: wienermobile

          One other thought for something farther off the more well traveled culinary path: http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/...

        2. When I googled the trip, it wanted to send me up the 5. What's half way on that route is Pico Rivera. Unfortunately the only thing worth noting for something like this is Dal Rae and I think that would not be a good first date place.

          If you are willing to add 10 or so miles to your trip and subtract those miles for her and you don't want to go up the 405 Downtown LA will significantly open up your possibilities.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Mattapoisett in LA

            Gentleman that I am, I should be willing to drive the extra 10 miles. Around 6 P. M., that shouldn't take more than an extra half hour, should it?

            1. re: Joebob

              What's traffic like and which route are you taking? Driving from North Hills southboud shouldn't be in an issue on the 170 to the 101 until you hit Hollywood. Not sure what it might be like on the 5 (which would be more direct). Just *don't* take the 405 to the 10.

              How about Colori Kitchen or Wood Spoon? Check hrs, though, b/c I think Colori especially has some "non-standard" closures. Both should easily fit your budget.

            1. re: wienermobile

              For a first date, I'm thinking $100 or less total for the two of us.

              1. re: wienermobile

                You could do MB Post in Manhattan Beach. Wonderful food. Wonderful chef.
                http://eatmbpost.com