Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > United States
Reload this Page >

Favorite casual mid-priced Los Angeles restaurants

Favorite casual mid-priced Los Angeles restaurants

Old Jul 28th, 2008, 01:58 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 529
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Favorite casual mid-priced Los Angeles restaurants

We (husband and 2 teens) will be traveling to LA soon and staying near UCLA. Any suggestions for your favorite casual restaurants in the general area? Or farther afield? We will travel for good food! Especially looking for favorite Mexican and beach restaurants. (With 2 teens we're trying to stay away from the $20+ entree restaurants as that adds up quickly.) Thanks!
bellairegirl is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2008, 03:17 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 13,443
Likes: 0
Received 2 Likes on 2 Posts
San Gennaro Cafe in Brentwood is nearby. You can find a coupon on hotcoupons.com, just put in the zip code of your hotel area (90025)....also I see a coupon there for Malibu Seafood, Coogies Cafe, and Fish Grill.

Lots of affordable stuff near UCLA including the funky LaMonicas New York Pizza, Diddy Reise Cookies, and Pomodoro Cafe in Westwood (not the chain restaurant, this one is a little hole-in-the-wall at pomodorowestwood.com) Be sure to try the cafe at the Getty Center if you visit, there is a full restaurant there too but pricier than you want, probably. Great place for a memorable Fri or Sat night dinner however if you want a splurge night.
clarkgriswold is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2008, 03:18 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 2,832
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I haven't lived in LA for about ten years, but El Cholo, downtown on Western Avenue, used to be one of our favorite Mexican places. For decent, not very expensive entrees, the Hamburger Hamlet chain is good.

Don't forget to visit In n' Out for that authentic SoCal burger experience.
azzure is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2008, 05:59 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 10,297
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
We really like Lula in the Main St. area of Santa Monica. It is an interesting area to stroll around as well. Lots of interesting shops to look at. Lula is really good Mexican food and has an old time beach restaurant type of vibe going on as well. ( We got disenchanted with El Cholo and can no longer recommend it.)

Another great casual place on Main St. that has wonderful food and great prices is the Library Ale House. A super casual fun bar atmosphere inside, but the outdoor seating in the back is highly recommended. Get there early as it is very popular and if you go past 6:00 you have to wait forever!

We live in Boston but DS lives in LA and we go there frequently. There is a great fun cook it yourself Japanese place on Pico just across the street from Westside Pavillion. I think your teens would also like it a lot--very lively. I will try to get the name of it. The food was superb.

The Counter on Ocean Park Blvd in Santa Monica is a fun burger place with the best sweet potato fries ever. They have hundreds of burger combos and they give you a cute paper listing all the possible permutations and you have fun creating your own personal choice by circling your choices of meat. toppings, bun, etc. Atmosphere is neutral in that there is no snazzy decor but the energy of the place is palpable!


socialworker is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2008, 06:07 PM
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 529
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
These recommendations are great! Keep them coming! Thanks.
bellairegirl is offline  
Old Jul 28th, 2008, 06:37 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 23,971
Received 4 Likes on 3 Posts
The Apple Pan

http://www.gayot.com/restaurantpages...ES0051&code=LA

John O'Groats

http://www.gayot.com/restaurantpages...S00278&code=LA

Clementine

http://www.gayot.com/restaurantpages...021287&code=LA

Da Pasquale

http://www.gayot.com/restaurantpages...S00160&code=LA
Jean is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2008, 05:54 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,556
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There's a good family-style Italian restaurant at Venice Beach, just off the boardwalk on the main road coming in. I forget its name, though. It would be great for feeding two teens. Has a nice outdoor patio. Anyone know its name?
PeaceOut is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2008, 10:41 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 23,131
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Gawwwddd. NOT El Cholo.

If you want to go downtown Los Angeles two of the better places in Olvera Street..the less expensive is Luz del Dia (at the city Hall end) and about half way down is La Golondrina.

In Santa Monica there is an inexpensive Mexican restaurant (old school type) Gilbert's El Indio on Pico at 25th Street. Cash only.

The same family owns Casablanca in Venice (220 Lincoln at Rose).

There's also Monte Alban for Oaxacan style (moles) at 11927 Santa Monica Blvd (Brockton Ave) which is fairly close to Westwood Village.
mlgb is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2008, 10:59 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 10,556
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
No, not El Cholo. I said Italian, not Mexican.

I think it's C & O Trattoria. Family-style, great garlic rolls, good prices. Excellent for filling up teens!
http://www.cotrattoria.com/menus/index.html

PeaceOut is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2008, 12:00 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 23,131
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Umm, I was responding to azzure.

mlgb is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2008, 02:15 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 923
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Under the right circumstances, Canter's Deli might be appropriate. It serves a wide range of traditional deli food 24 hours a day, people watching is very interesting at unusual hours.

http://www.cantersdeli.com/

I loved eating at Farmer's Market as a kid. You can buy bits and pieces of delectable items from a variety of vendors. My ideal meal would be a spear of fresh pineapple, a slice of cheese pizza, fresh lemonade, and a pink frosted donut in the shape of a cat. (I am a vegetarian)
http://www.farmersmarketla.com/

On the more upscale side is the restaurant at Chateau Marmont. I love their heirloom tomato salad for lunch, and the place is filled with film industry types.
Kailani is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2008, 03:25 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 200
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
On Mondays after 5 p.m., The Stand has $1.00 hot dogs. Right in the middle of the village:

http://www.thestandlink.com/


Bella Pita has pretty good falafel's for $5. You add the condiments yourself:
960 Gayley (few doors down from In n out Burger!)

for Oaxacan try Monte Alban,
11927 Santa Monica Blvd.

travisblue is offline  
Old Jul 29th, 2008, 09:51 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 2,240
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The kids we know who went to UCLA took us to
AL GELATO on Robertson in Beverly hills. It's an excellent gelato shop, but in the back there is food served, all made there. Huge raviois and salads. 4 people can eat for around $30 with dessert. Extremely casual.

MISTO in Santa Monica has really good Italian food. plan on sharing. Portions are huge.

The teens might like DUKE's in Malibu. Right on the water. Surfing motif and atmosphere.
elnap29 is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2008, 04:10 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,360
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
If the key words are casual, Mexican and beach, then my choice would be the Baja Cantina <http://www.bajacantinavenice.com/> in Marina Del Rey, near Venice Beach. When I attended UCLA, it was a favorite of ours.

If you wants a real, local institution and certified hole-in- the-wall, then you must try Tito's Tacos in Culver City, Under the freeway (405) and with zero ambiance. Think picnic benches and paper plates and you will get the idea. Their all beef burrito at $3.40 has been my favorite for years. Do not be deterred by the appearance of the place. They are cheap and very good and have been a legend for many, many years. I am not exaggerating.
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2008, 04:16 AM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,360
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Oops! Forgot to give the URL for Tito's <http://www.titostacos.com/>.
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2008, 08:42 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 23,131
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Tito's is NOT good unless you like greasy fried tacos and grey mystery meat. It's an institution that thrives on the dulled taste buds of UCLA students.
mlgb is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2008, 09:42 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,360
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There is a wide range of different opinions on Tito's Tacos <http://tinyurl.com/5dkjr6>.
Orlando_Vic is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2008, 11:22 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 11,523
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Seconding Tito's Tacos! Inexpensive, tasty, and they have a good range of salsas for your food.

Lee Ann
ElendilPickle is offline  
Old Jul 30th, 2008, 12:55 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 23,131
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
"A good range of salsas" = red or green (being blended canned jalapenos) and some very thin avocado sauce (not really guacamole).

Seriously, don't do it.
mlgb is offline  
Old Aug 2nd, 2008, 10:06 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 1,130
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sitting here with two 2008 grads of UCLA. After some giggles and serious mentions of Titos and Chipotle they said Reel Inn in Malibu. If you want to dine where people from The Hills (ask your kids) go then head to Don Antonio's in Hollywood.
TTess is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -