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Gordon Tindall

Ojai, California

Eating alone in LA?

I'm working in a new location and driving home right after work is nearly impossible. Where are some good places to stop where I wont feel out of place eating alone?

Looking for places preferably West of the 405 between Manhattan Beach and Northridge.


Edit: Thanks for the great answers so far. To be more specific I'm looking for something along the lines of Father's Office or a cheaper (and quicker) version of Milo and Olive. Also, a big fan of Thai and Japanese food.

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15 Answers

Most Mentioned Places for this Question

  • Thai Talay (attraction)

    8441 Lincoln Blvd Westchester CA 90045 (310) 670-3055

    2 mentions

  • Whole Foods Market (attraction)

    760 S. Sepulveda Blvd. El Segundo CA 90245 (310) 333-1900

    2 mentions

  • Jason Carlin

    top answer by

    I work in Venice and live in Eagle Rock, so I feel your pain. Let's see if I can come up with anything.

    Eat at the bar at A-Frame in Culver City! The food is incredible, as are the drinks, and the bar staff is friendly as all get-out.

    Father's Office is a bit further east, but I've used it many times as a port in stormy traffic. On a nice night you can grab a seat on a bench on the patio. They seat 8, but there are always parties of 2 or 3 occupying only one half of the table. I suggest reading on your Kindle or iPad or something paper because sitting around playing with your phone ain't nobody's idea of awesome.

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    • Gordon T.

      Gordon T.

      Thanks for the response Jason. I appreciate it. I think A-Frame is a new one for me. Maybe I'll go there tonight on my way out. · (0 likelikes)

    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      +1 for A Frame. You have to check it out! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Courtney Robinson

    answered by

    Hey, Gordon,

    I was in pretty much the exact same position when I worked in MB! Here are some ideas:

    • Alejo's Presto Trattoria - insanely good Italian food that's incredibly reasonable.
    • Alejo's Presto Trattoria
    • Lemonade - They've just opened one in MB and they have GREAT food! Very, very reasonable prices, too!
    • Primitivo is great and they have a bar area where you can just sit and eat while you wait out traffic. Primitivoimage from vixenslahappyhours.com
    • Il Fornaio has a little bar area, too where I think you'll feel just fine eating by yourself.
    • Salt Creek Grille has a great happy hour and is spread out enough that you won't feel weird eating alone.
    • Veggie Grill - I usually HATE vegetarian restaurants and/or chains but I really like this place. The mushroom burger is phenomenal.

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    • Gordon T.

      Gordon T.

      I had no idea there was a lemonade in MB. That's pretty perfect. · (0 likelikes)

    • Courtney R.

      Courtney R.

      I think it just opened, actually--you know there's one in Venice, right? · (0 likelikes)

    • Gordon T.

      Gordon T.

      I did know about the Venice location. Just a pain to drive inland for it. Almost better to just stop in Brentwood to do a loop around Wilshire to Sunset. · (1 likelikes)

    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      If you do ever head to Venice, love Primitivo! Sit in the back patio. Great call. · (1 likelikes)

    • Courtney R.

      Courtney R.

      @Gordon--true, although if you plan to do "First Fridays" or something you can make a night of it. That's what I used to do. · (1 likelikes)

    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Note on First Fridays - its still great, but honestly has gotten really crowded. I went this last Friday and the lines were really long. I'd almost recommend avoiding it, sadly. However, if you go to Primitivo, get the heirloom tomato buratta salad. Just had it, and it was killer. · (0 likelikes)

    • Courtney R.

      Courtney R.

      I agree, Jillian--I happen to like crowds but if you don't I can see how it wouldn't be the best experience! · (1 likelikes)

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    6. Veggie Grill (attraction)

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  • JR Johnson

    answered by

    Here's the tip: Plan Check Kitchen + Bar. It's literally just off the 405, food is the best gastro pub food I've ever had (literally craving it as I write). We had spicy ahi stuffed tempura jalapeños last time just to give a taste of what they will throw your way. It made Jonathan Gold's top restaurants in LA list too.

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    • Gordon T.

      Gordon T.

      Gastro pub is pretty much right up my alley. And looks like in a perfect location. · (1 likelikes)

    • JR J.

      JR J.

      you can thank me later :) · (0 likelikes)

    • Patrick H.

      Patrick H.

      JR, I was going to suggest this same place too.... Good place to go.. :) · (2 likelikes)

    • Brew J.

      Brew J.

      Near plan check is Tsujita and Tsujita annex. See my tip below... Insane ramen. · (1 likelikes)

    • Gordon T.

      Gordon T.

      Plan Check didn't disappoint. Thanks for the rec. @Brew Tsujita is amazing, easily some of the best ramen in the city/outside of Tokyo · (1 likelikes)

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  • Patrick H

    answered first by

    There's a Whole Foods Market on on sepulveda blvd, and a bit north of rosecrans ave. There's a place in there that will grill the meat that you just buy at the counter. And there is also a wine bar if you just want to chill and hang out. They close pretty early tho. So you may want to check the hours.

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    • Debbie L.

      Debbie L.

      There are Whole Foods with wine bars? Mind... blown...! · (1 likelikes)

    • Gordon T.

      Gordon T.

      Thanks for the tip, good to know about the wine bar at the WholeFoods. · (0 likelikes)

    • Patrick H.

      Patrick H.

      Found their tapas bar menu on FB: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Tapas-Bar-at-Whole-Foods-Market-El-Segundo/191246380971293 · (1 likelikes)

    • Penelope d.

      Penelope d.

      I lived in Venice for a while and the place I loved most when eating alone was indeed at Whole Foods! This one is so huge, with so many booths and choices... · (0 likelikes)

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  • Pala Hadassah Dan

    answered by

    Have you tried downtown Culver City? It's to the east of the 405 but in a very nice neighborhood next to Sony Pictures studios. www.downtownculvercity.com

    I love it there. When I was eating alone I'd frequent Ugo Italian restaurant, Ford's Filling Station (co-owned by Harrison Ford's son, Benjamin Ford) http://www.fordsfillingstation.net, and Rush Street http://rushstreetculvercity.com (which was acutally the spot for the bar scene for "Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man" movie ... all these places are great. Make sure to try the fried fish at Ford's Filling Station. Everything is good at Rush Street, UGO has some of the best sand dabs I've ever had in the city. All have counter space for eating alone. You'll enjoy the nightlife as well.

    If you venture a bit down the street there is a really cool neighborhood bar Joxer Daly's http://joxerdalysirishpub.com but make sure you try their Irish Nachos ... yum. This place is just off the freeway and fun on big game nights. Very busy on the weekends.

    You could also venture into Santa Monica to check out Third Street Promenade but that's a ways off west from the 405.

    Hope this helps!

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    • Carina C.

      Carina C.

      +1 on Ford's Filling Station! Their mushroom lasagna was magnificent! · (0 likelikes)

    • Gordon T.

      Gordon T.

      Thanks for the great ideas. Fried Fish sounds great right now. · (0 likelikes)

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  • Ernst Mutchnick

    answered by

    Although I don't know what you like to eat, here are some possibilities: Togo's Sandwiches, Togo's Sandwiches Boston Market, Thai Talay, Ayara Thai Cuisine (haven't been personally, but I would try it out if I were in the area again) Panera Bread (next to Trader Joe's). Togo's and Boston Market mentioned above are in the same shopping center, along with a Ralph's Supermarket and Starbucks. There are 4 Urbane Cafe locations http://urbanecafe.com/locations/ between LA and Ojai. I used to go to the Ventura location a lot when I was living in Santa Barbara and working in Ventura County. That is their original store and I haven't been to the other locations. Urbane Cafe won't make sense for this particular question, if you want to eat right after work, but it's a place you can try out another time driving between Ojai and LA.

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    • Gordon T.

      Gordon T.

      Thanks Ernst. I didn't really give much to go on so I appreciate you throwing these out there. Urbane is a great place to grab a sandwich, one I keep forgetting about but shouldn't! · (1 likelikes)

    • Noelle L.

      Noelle L.

      Thai Talay is great! · (1 likelikes)

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  • Jillian Geer

    answered by

    Definitely check out the Alibi Room in Culver City. Sit at the bar and order the kogi three taco combo. The short rib and spicy pork are the best. I could have eaten 5 of those things when I was there. Alibi RoomIn Venice, if it's not too west, check out Gjelina Take Away (GTA) for a quicker option. As much as I want to try new places, this one tops the list when I'm alone and just want good food. The prosciutto buratta toasts, pork meatballs, or any slice of pizza is a win..you really can't go wrong. There's a little eating area right outside for you to sit as well.

    Gjelinaimage from meatballsanddumplings.wordpress.comAlso, I really enjoy the bar at Salt Air, which is the same owners as A-Frame. There's usually always a spot, and the people who work there are really friendly (Becca is awesome) so you can have some conversation if you're alone. The oysters, squid ribbons, octopus, and burger (get the egg on top!)--all good. It's a really high quality place that doesn't come off pretentious.

    Salt AirAnd for that pork sandwich you've been craving: Pork Belly's Sandwich Shop. My favorite is the Chop Melt. They throw in a mini chocolate chip cookie on every order, which melts a little from the sandwich heat. Worth every bite. They don't really have seating, but have a stand up table that's perfect for one.

    Pork Belly's Sandwich ShopHope this helps. Enjoy!



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    • Gordon T.

      Gordon T.

      Going to be all over the Pork Belly Sandwich! · (1 likelikes)

    • Carina C.

      Carina C.

      Pork Belly is ridiculously good. · (1 likelikes)

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  • Supun Edirisinghe

    answered by

    Close to headquarters you could try the two best Pakistani restaurants that I know of, Al-Watan Halal Tandoori and Al Noor. As an aside, an old friend used to kill time at the driving range at The Lakes at El Segundo. The driving range is open til late, but I'm not sure how long their sandwich shop is open.

    (I'm picking places just east of the 405, just because that side of the 405 needs some love :) )Since the 405 slows down right before the 10, a good place to eject is on Venice Blvd in Culver City. There's a bunch of Thai places there--too many to name! There's like one on every block. A really good little Punjabi restaurant is Bawarchi Indian Kitchen. Right next to it in the same little plaza is a decent South Indian place, Mayura Indian Restaurant. Down the street is Annapurna Cusine if you end up liking South Indian food. Govinda's and their very fresh and mostly healthy $8 all you can eat buffet is close by too. Gaby's Mediterranean and Gloria's Cafe are worth checking out if you want to keep trying new places. If you go up Motor closer to the 10 Freeway, there's a decent Indonesian place called Simpang Asia--get the Nasi Bungkus (not just because it's fun to say, but because it smells great to get curry and rice inside a banana leaf!). I also stop by The Vegan Joint a lot when I'm in that area.

    Once you make it into the Valley, one place that I go to a lot by myself when I get hungry while stuck on the 405/101 interchange is Clay Oven Indian Restaurant. There's a bunch of places to try over there on Ventura Blvd.

    Since we're talking about the Valley, I have to mention my buddy's dad's place, The Curry Leaf, in Reseda--one of 3 Sri Lankan restaurants in the Valley. If you end up at Curry Leaf try the Kottu Rotti, my favorite street food from back home.

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    • Gordon T.

      Gordon T.

      Ya know, I always see a ton of indian restaurants and wonder if they're any good. Thanks for giving such a solid break down. · (1 likelikes)

    • Supun E.

      Supun E.

      you welcome. most of these places have a buffet option so if you can try a lot of stuff and not have to wait for service · (1 likelikes)

    • Carina C.

      Carina C.

      I LOVE Gloria's Cafe!!!!!!!!! Lots of other really good recommendations too! · (1 likelikes)

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    6. Annapurna Cusine (restaurant)
    7. Govinda's (attraction)
    8. Gaby's Mediterranean (restaurant)
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    12. Clay Oven Indian Restaurant (restaurant)
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  • Noelle Lee

    answered by

    There are a ton of spots! If you've never been to Plaza El Segundo, check it out.

    There are a lot of different restaurants in there, as well as a Whole Foods Market.

    If you want a burger, there's The Habit Burger Grill too :)

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    • Gordon T.

      Gordon T.

      Good choice on the Habit! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Sona Sani

    answered by

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    • Gordon T.

      Gordon T.

      Urth Caffe huh? What's your go to there? · (0 likelikes)

    • Sona S.

      Sona S.

      lunch/brunch/coffee... not dinner · (0 likelikes)

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  • Christine Soto

    answered by

    Freddy Smalls Bar and Kitchen! Great vibe, go a little early if you can. Eat at bar. So much good food on westside but this is up there.

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    • Gordon T.

      Gordon T.

      Thanks for the extra tip :) · (0 likelikes)

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  • TJ Trapp

    answered by

    If you're in the valley, try Boneyard Bistro on Ventura in Sherman Oaks. They have some great bbq food and (oftentimes) Pliney on Tap!

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    • Gordon T.

      Gordon T.

      Much closer to home so that's awesome! · (0 likelikes)

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  • Penelope de Ruffey

    answered by

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    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Yes - the "I am Transformed" is my fav! · (0 likelikes)

    • Carina C.

      Carina C.

      I usually just get one of each seasonal special- you can never go wrong! And who knew vegan desserts could be so good?! · (2 likelikes)

    • Penelope d.

      Penelope d.

      I meant The Cafe Gratitude on Rose Avenue, not the one in Melrose. · (0 likelikes)

    • Jillian G.

      Jillian G.

      Hi Penelope! Thanks so much for pointing this out. I'm a community manager here, and I've made the change to the Rose Avenue location for you. Again, great choice! · (1 likelikes)

    • Penelope d.

      Penelope d.

      You're welcome Jillian ! · (1 likelikes)

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  • Stan Hammersmith

    answered by

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    • Gordon T.

      Gordon T.

      Thanks for the suggestion. I've heard really good things about this place but still haven't made it out there yet. · (0 likelikes)

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  • John Colona

    answered by

    Go to Langer's Delicatessen-Restaurant, best pastrami you can get anywhere in the country.

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