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Los Angeles

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.

14 Answers

top answer by
Jason from Los Angeles

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 II 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.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. A-Frame (restaurant)
  2. Father's Office II (restaurant)
12 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Courtney from Los Angeles

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.
  • 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. 
  • 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. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Alejo's Presto Trattoria (restaurant)
  2. Lemonade (restaurant)
  3. Primitivo (restaurant)
  4. Il Fornaio (restaurant)
  5. Salt Creek Grille (restaurant)
  6. Veggie Grill (attraction)
10 thankscomments (7)

answered by
JR from Manhattan Beach

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. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Plan Check Kitchen + Bar (restaurant)
8 thankscomments (5)

answered first by
Patrick from Los Angeles

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.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Whole Foods Market (attraction)
7 thankscomments (4)

answered by
Pala from Flagstaff

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.

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), and Rush Street (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 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!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Culver City (city)
  2. Ugo (restaurant)
  3. Ford's Filling Station (restaurant)
  4. Rush Street (restaurant)
  5. Joxer Daly's (attraction)
  6. Santa Monica (city)
  7. Third Street Promenade (attraction)
6 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Ernst from Long Island (New York)

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 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.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Thai Talay (attraction)
  2. Ayara Thai Cuisine (restaurant)
  3. Togo's Sandwiches (restaurant)
  4. Togo's Sandwiches (restaurant)
  5. Boston Market (restaurant)
  6. Panera Bread (restaurant)
6 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Jillian from Los Angeles

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. In 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 really can't go wrong. There's a little eating area right outside for you to sit as well.

Also, 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.

And 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.

Hope this helps. Enjoy!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Alibi Room (restaurant)
  2. Gjelina (restaurant)
  3. Salt Air (restaurant)
  4. Pork Belly's Sandwich Shop (restaurant)
5 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Supun from Carson (California)

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.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Al-Watan Halal Tandoori (restaurant)
  2. Al Noor (restaurant)
  3. The Lakes at El Segundo (attraction)
  4. Bawarchi Indian Kitchen (restaurant)
  5. Mayura Indian Restaurant (restaurant)
  6. Annapurna Cusine (restaurant)
  7. Govinda's (attraction)
  8. Gaby's Mediterranean (restaurant)
  9. Gloria's Cafe (restaurant)
  10. Simpang Asia (restaurant)
  11. The Vegan Joint (attraction)
  12. Clay Oven Indian Restaurant (restaurant)
  13. The Curry Leaf (restaurant)
5 thankscomments (3)

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 :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Whole Foods Market (attraction)
  2. The Habit Burger Grill (restaurant)
  3. Plaza El Segundo (attraction)
5 thankscomments (1)

answered by
Sona from Newport Beach

Urth Caffè... 

Thai Talay is a decent spot. 

Toast Bakery Cafe is yummy!

There's also 26 Beach CafeWurstküche Restaurant and C & O Trattoria

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Urth Caffè (restaurant)
  2. Thai Talay (attraction)
  3. Toast Bakery Cafe (restaurant)
  4. 26 Beach Cafe (restaurant)
  5. Wurstküche Restaurant (restaurant)
  6. C & O Trattoria (restaurant)
5 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Christine from Palm Springs

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. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Freddy Smalls Bar and Kitchen (restaurant)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by
TJ from Marina Del Rey

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!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Boneyard Bistro (restaurant)
4 thankscomments (1)

answered by

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. The Apple Pan (restaurant)
1 thankscomments (1)

answered by
John from St. Louis

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

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Langer's Delicatessen-Restaurant (restaurant)
1 thanks

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