LA / Venice / Malibu / Marina del Rey food recommendations

blueiris24March 4, 2014

I hope it's ok to post on this side - I know there are several members in the LA area and am hoping for some recommendations for my sister and her family - they will be staying in the LA area for several days - looking for casual (not fine dining) recommendations in the above areas and Hollywood is ok too - seafood especially, but pretty much anything goes - lunch or dinner recommendations greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Hi there! Lars lives nearby Venice and I know that if you look at his birthday post he mentions somewhere new...
There's the Hungry Cat, which has some excellent seafood and a terrific hamburger too! We dined at one of their locations last week and really enjoyed it. Malibu has Dukes -not gourmet, but their quality is consistent and the setting cannot be beat! The Lobster on the Santa Monica pier isn't cheap ,but it's always good! Santa Monica offers many diverse options. Melrose Farms in the Marina makes delicious sandwiches and salads. M Cafe and Stella Rosa are also good options on Main Street in the SM/Venice area.
If they want a healthier option-- try True Food on 3rd street. Also the Sonoma Wine Garden is good for tapas and a drink with a terrific view.
I use Trip Advisor, Urbanspoon and Yelp to vet my options, and I recommend that they check out current reviews for updates. The problem will be to choose from many good options- there are LOTS of good options in the vicinity!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2014 at 7:40PM
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Another place to discover is Bay Cities Deli in Santa Monica. it's not picturesque but their Italian sandwiches and meatballs are huge local faves. It's busy and you might want to take your sandwiches to go, seating is limited.
In Venice there's a place called Baby Blue's BBQ which was featured on Diners Dives and Drive-ins. I've not eaten there yet, however the reviews are very good!

Also tell them to subscribe to Eater LA for daily emails and to check the Los Angeles forum on Chowhound for current recommendations.

This post was edited by compumom on Wed, Mar 5, 14 at 13:37

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 1:34PM
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Chowhound is a good source for dining recommendations, as Ellen suggested.

I lived in Venice for 15 years and still go back there for restaurants. We also frequently go to nearby Culver City (which is gaining a hip vibe) and Marina Del Rey, which is adjacent to my current neighborhood (as is Culver City).

There are so many choices in Venice/Culver City/MDR that you really have to narrow it down to what you like or want to experience. The day before my birthday, we went to East Borough Fraiche Vietnamese in downtown Culver City (Washington Blvd & Culver Blvd), and there are a slew of new hip place clustered in that triangular block. It's next door to a sourdough pizza place that we want to try, and there are more great places around the corner and down the street. On my birthday, we went to Paiche in MDR, and it is a bit expensive, but extremely good if you are adventurous and want to try Peruvian Izakaya style food. Good for a group of 3-4 people (not children) who have small to medium appetites.

Also in the area I mentioned, you have your choice many Middle Eastern restaurants, including Lebanese, Turkish, Persian, etc., and so if you are interested in that, I can recommend what I like. Also, if you like Japanese, you can go to the Sawtelle neighborhood on Sawtelle between Olympic and Santa Monica Blvds.

Wharo is an excellent Korean Barbeque restaurant in MDR on Lincoln, just south of Washington Blvd, almost in Venice. Then there is Abbot Kinney Blvd, where Kevin and I used to live, which has several interesting restaurant and gelato shops. I highly recommend the French Market Cafe, where I have frequently seen TV stars dining on the patio, but the food is definitely worth it, if you like French Bistro style, and it is not expensive. It is one block from my old house and was our nearest market, and so we went there often. Further down the street is Joe's Restaurant - a great place for brunch, lunch, or dinner. I had another birthday brunch years ago when I still lived in Venice and a cooking forum member took me there.

If you are interested in possibly seeing celebrities, you could try The Cat & Fiddle on Sunset in Hollywood. The food is British (not to my taste, but some people like it), and I have seen Keanu Reeves and Gina Davis there on the same evening, but that was 10 years ago. For better British food, I recommend Ye Olde Kings Head in Santa Monica, half a block from the Third Street Promenade. BTW, Abbot Kinney Blvd has been named the hippest street in L.A., taking over the title from Melrose Ave, which is still worth visiting. Another hip place on Abbot Kinney is Four Square Restaurant, about a block from Joe's.

Another place to try for pizza is Pizzeria Mozza, but I also like Abbot's Pizza on Abbot Kinney - much cheaper and very good.

For people watching on the Venice Boardwalk, try The Waterfront Cafe or The Sidewalk Cafe, which has a better view, although I prefer the food at the Waterfront. They are both good for boardwalk cafes.

If you want, you can email me, and I will give you my phone number so that you or your sister could call if you want additional recommendations. It's really impossible to list all of them without narrowing down the selection.


This post was edited by publickman on Wed, Mar 5, 14 at 21:10

    Bookmark   March 5, 2014 at 9:02PM
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Thank you so much for all your recommendations! CompuMom, Lars, wow, so many great suggestions -- I will pass all on so they have some great choices no matter what area they end up for meals - thank you SO much!

    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 3:53PM
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If you want Turkish food, I recommend Sofra Kabab Express on Venice Blvd (north side) about two blocks west of Overland. East of Overland on Venice Blvd is Gaby's, which has good Lebanese food, and just east of that is Versailles Cuban Restaurant.

I also forgot to mention that for Japanese food, you should go to the Sawtelle Neighborhood if you are in WLA, which is Sawtelle Blvd between Olympic and Santa Monica Blvd, or you can try your luck in Little Tokyo downtown, which I do not know quite as well.

For Korean food, there are many places in Torrance as well as Koreatown L.A., and for Armenian, try Carousel Restaurant in the "Little Armenia" part of Hollywood.


    Bookmark   March 10, 2014 at 6:56PM
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