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This vast metro area has plenty of restaurants to suit every taste. Whether you're looking for particular ethnic cuisine, fresh seafood, classy and romantic, unique, or just something quick and cheap, you will find plenty of options.
Santa Monica's i Cugini is a great choice for an ocean dining experience. Enjoy a great view of the sea while dining on the patio. Italian seafood specialties include fritto misto, brodetto and branzino. If you don't know what those are, come for dinner to find out. You won't be disappointed. Also, for ok lobster , and close to the ocean is The Lobster. It has a nice view of the Santa Monica Pier area. $$$$
For an interesting eating experience for game, Malibu Canyon has one of the best game restaurants in the country. This is for the adventuresome eater....Saddleback Lodge. Its pricey $$$. For a wonderful Sunday brunch, Geoffrey's of Malibu has a wonderful view of the Malibu Ocean Area; service is good; Hollywood stars and other locals come here to eat. Its a Dirona Award Restaurant. $$$$.
For a nice view of the Hollywood area, Yamashiro (very close to the Grauman's Chinese Theater) is a wonderful experience. It is an exact replica of a palace in the Yamashiro mountains of Kyoto, Japan. It also has a fair amount of television and movie history (Sayanora, Lethal Weapon 4 post premier party. It is good for drinks and/or dinner. $$$ to $$$$.
Fans of Thai food will love the selection in Los Angeles. A great choice is Rambutan Thai. Located on Sunset Boulevard, it's trendy, upscale, and has a great menu of tasty entrees. It's known by locals and tourists alike for its outstanding service and pleasant atmosphere.
A great upscale choice for a romantic dinner or important business meal is Water Grill. Enjoy fresh seafood while taking in the surrounding elegant decor. Main courses range in price between $20 and $30.
Coffee shops are abundantly located throughout the city to start your day, and you can finish it off with dessert at popular spots like Diddy Riese Cookies, home of cheap, tasty and freshly made ice cream sandwiches.
Other fun inexpensive places to go for dinner is the Farmers Market area - inexpensive foods with a wide range of places, foods to choose from. Its Farmers Market, located at the corner of Fairfax and Third Street in Los Angeles, opened in 1934 at what was then known as the Gilmore Ranch. 18 farmers parked their trucks on the corner and began selling produce from their tailgates. The Market now features almost 100 shops visited by an estimated 3 million people visit each year (approximately one-third of which are tourists). Vendors at The Market speak about 23 different languages. In 2003, The Grove opened adjacent to the Market and has become an enormously popular shopping, dining and entertainment destination
For a family friendly (peanuts, beer, huge steaks and salads) Northwoods Inn on Rosemead Blvd. in Rosemead is one of the best places to go in the area. This is a fun restaurant with a Northwoods Theme. You can order sandwiches to very large ane excellent steak and seafood dinners. $$ to $$$
For one of the best Mexican dinners complete with live Mariachi show, Guadalaja Grill in Baldwin Park is great. Baldwin Park is about 15 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. It has good food and you can tell its a favorite with the locals; large familes line up to get a seat for excellent Mexican dinner and live show. Book in advance. Prices are downright reasonable for this experience.$$
There are action packed dinners in Buena Park by Knotts Berry Farm. You can enjoy a good equestrian show while you eat chicken with your fingers at Mideval Times; or go to Pirates and enjoy a Pirate themed dinner. Family friend. $$$
Another place to enjoy a nice meal is on the Queen Mary at Chelsea - Its the 2004-2005 winner of the prestigious Golden Sceptor Award. It has one of the freshet, most delectable seafood specialties, complete with beautiful ocean views. $$$
Cheesecake Company - There are several Cheesecake Company Restaurants in the Los Angeles area (Downtown Pasadena, Newport Beach Fashion Island Mall).
Dodger Dogs - One of the best hot dogs in the world is the Dodger Game complete with baseball. $
You must try In N Out Burger. Great Burgers, fries, and milk shakes. Wallet friendly and filling. $
For a real homegrown "burger experience" you MUST go to Tommy's. It is worth standing in line, even at 3:00 a.m. for the Double Chili Cheese burger - still under $4. No frills. Stand in line. Order. Eat stading up next to a napkin dispenser which you will definitely need.
Don't be afraid to stop at a strip mall. Many of the best LA restaurants and some of its most elegant ones are located in malls.