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Trip to California in November


Jerry_A
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My wife and I are taking a trip to California in early November and are looking for places to eat that will not offend our palates but also not offend our hosts' wallets. We love to eat out and are not too afraid of price as long as the food and service supports it, however our hosts have different interests than us and prefer to not spend all their money on eating out (unlike us).

We will be staying in Redondo Beach and don't really know where that is relative to the rest of LA or any of the restaurants we have been looking at. One place that looked good to us was Joe's and we may try and get there either for Lunch, Dinner, or Brunch.

So any suggestions will be welcome, but we don't need sushi (we are drowning in good sushi restaurants here at home so we don't generally eat it when we are away).

Thanks in advance for the help!! :smile:

Edited by Jerry_A (log)
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We will be staying in Redondo Beach and don't really know where that is relative to the rest of LA or any of the restaurants we have been looking at. One place that looked good to us was Joe's and we may try and get there either for Lunch, Dinner, or Brunch.

First, you can find out a lot by just checking the prior threads on this board.

Next, to solve the financial dilemma, you can send your friends to Joe's Diner, 400 N Pacific Coast Hwy, Redondo Beach, CA for big egg dishes, etc. You can go to Joe's, 1023 Abbot Kinney, Venice, CA for some nice California-French stuff. BTW, not sure where you are coming from, but if you are willing to spend the money, odds are we have lots better sushi--stuff you've never seen or seen this well executed.

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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We are from Vancouver, BC and can barely walk a straight line without walking into a sushi place.

Also, would prefer to find places we can all go to as a group, without breaking the bank. I noticed a few places in the earlier posts, however I don't know which ones are easily accessible from our location.

Edited by Jerry_A (log)
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I lived behind Joe's on PCH for years -- skip it. For breakfast fare, grab a bottle of Champagne and head to Creme de la Crepe in Hermosa Beach. Fabulous, inexpensive brunch and there is no charge for corkage. No better way to have a champagne brunch...

For sushi and the BEST Japanese food in the state, you can't do better than heading to Gardena (about five miles from Redondo). As Hollywood indicated, search prior threads as I have discussed this at length (include Torrance in your search as that was where another tourist was headed, which is right next to Redondo).

For L.A., you are anywhere from 1/2 an hour to two hours away, depending on your destination (and this time disparity has everything to do with time of day traveling and traffic). Just get used to it... it is SO L.A. and just the way of the world.

Have a great time!

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I noticed a few places in the earlier posts, however I don't know which ones are easily accessible from our location.

2 thoughts here: 1) if you are going to be making return visits, it might make sense to spend about $25 for a Thomas Guide (big indexed map book that's readily available); 2) you can download lots of driving directions off Yahoo Maps or Mapquest (but as Carolyn suggested, depending on time of your trip, be skeptical about the purported driving times). Let's motor. Let's eat.

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

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Wow!! I just read the menu for Chez Melange that was mentioned in a previous thread on Torrance. The brunch sounds spectacular, I will definitely be going there!!

Is Creme de la Crepe better, or should we go to both?

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Wow!!  I just read the menu for Chez Melange that was mentioned in a previous thread on Torrance.  The brunch sounds spectacular, I will definitely be going there!!

Is Creme de la Crepe better, or should we go to both?

Chez Melange is quite exceptional -- and hoity-toity expensive. Creme de la Crepe is VERY informal. Just great crepes and strong French press coffee that makes for a nice brunch when you provide your own alcohol (I used to always bring in a Caymus Conundrum to order with the Raclette crepe).

Try both and report back!

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It's not Spago expensive (is it?), but then it's not Spago either.

I've only been to Spago in Vegas, but the prices seem similar! However, the brunch seems reasonable, and sounds delicious!

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Redondo Beach is a ways south of LA, on the coast. If you drive up the coast, you'll pass a bunch of the beach cities --Manhattan Beach, Marina Del Ray, Venice and Santa Monica. These last 2 are probably your best bet for food.

Venice is a little more interesting, especially Abbot Kinney, the street where Joe's is. Another good spot near there is Axe, a very modern little restaurant with a world/asain menu that actually works quite well. The prices are reasonable, but it can get loud at night (awful acoustics). Also nearby is Amuse, a new place which seems promising. I had a very good brunch there, and I bet dinners would be better.

A great bargain can be found at Chaya Venice (a very trendy, upscale CA fusion place on Main street) While meals are expensive, they have great happy hour deals on sushi rolls. I know sushi is not your pref, but these are very creative California style offerings, and the room is really nice. You might call ahead for happy hour details.

For a fun lunch if the weather is nice, try Cha Cha Chicken on Pico, near the beach. A carabbean theme, outdoor spot, funky, fun, and inexpensive, with yummy jerk chicken. Right down Pico is Shutters On The Beach, a lovely and fancy hotel. I love to go there for drinks in the afternoon, they are right on the beach and the vibe is quite civilized!

In Santa Monica, Border Grill is still very good, IMO. The portions are huge, so get a few appetizers or share some entrees to keep the cost (and waste) down. La Serenata di Garibaldi across the street is good to, more Mexico City style food, and very authentic, fair prices, but not cheap.

I'm not familiar with places farther south, but I'll make a stab anyway.

You could go to Versailles, a Cuban place that is totally cheap and good. I haven't been to the branch mentioned here, but the ones up in LA are great. Plantains, roasted prk or chicken, garlic sauce, and avacodo salad are the calls.

On Zagat.com, Gina Lee's Bistro caught me eye. Citysearch Link. I haven't been, but Zagats rates it 25, with food costs at $31 (as opposed to $62 for Spago). Maybe you friends are familiar with it?

I am often dissappointed by "mid range" restaurants, finding much better food for the $ either on the low end, or the high end. Maybe if you concentrate on cheaper ethnic places for several meals, you could get your friends to go all out for a big splurge--right now Sona is the LA darling (certainly my favorite spot at the moment) but it is pricey for sure.

Best of luck, and please let us know what you decide on!

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This topic is right up my alley!...Try getting away from the beach and east of Aviation for some great hidden treasures...Gardena Bowling alley has the best Hawaiian style breakfasts...its on Vermont Ave....Las Hamacas has great authentic southern mexican food (mole' and stuff like that). Its at Prairie and Marine. Rizzo's pizzaria is a family place in Torrance that has all you can eat pizza, pasta, salad and the best garlic/butter bread sticks every Sun-Mon for 6 bucks..

I have a bunch of places reviewed on my site, take a look as there is a good selection of places...oh yea, havana mania in Redondo on Marine is awesome as well....the best Lechon Asado (garlic pork) around!

Moo, Cluck, Oink.....they all taste good!

The Hungry Detective

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I have a bunch of places reviewed on my site, take a look as there is a good selection of places...oh yea, havana mania in Redondo on Marine is awesome as well....the best Lechon Asado (garlic pork) around!

Wow, Chris! Great site!

BTW, What's a Hawaiian breakfast?

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