GOURMET COFFEE WAREHOUSE
671 Rose Ave, Venice
The motto here is "Wholesale to the people," and if the rock-bottom prices don't lure you, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee will. Everyday folk get the same deal as the business buyers: five-pound bags of high-end coffee at an average price of $6.20 per pound. Also available are bulk teas, chocolates and mugs. Feeling peckish? Dunk some house-baked biscotti in a fresh brew of potent, dark-roasted black gold, and then tuck a roasted red pepper sandwich ($2.50) in a bag for later. Open seven days. Parking available. AE, MC, V.
THE GREAT GREEK RESTAURANT
13362 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks
Whether going on a date, taking out Mom and Dad or throwing a party, The Great Greek Restaurant is a mouthwatering, cheesy, garlicky place for the occasion. Sit down to a delicious dinner of moussaka while watching your waiter dance a Zorba around the table that would shame Anthony Quinn. The festive atmosphere is embellished with live music from a Greek band. Lunch and dinner seven days. Full bar; takeout; catering; valet parking. AE, DC, Disc., MC, V.
GREAT STAR OF INDIA
4059 W. Third St., L.A.
If you're in the mood for something spicy, hot and cheap, Great Star of India could be for you. At both lunch and dinner, you can enjoy delectable food for a reasonably low price. At lunchtime, try the tandoori chicken ($5.95) or lamb, and for dinner, you'll flip over the byrani ($5.95), which includes a choice of lamb, chicken, beef, shrimp or vegetables with tons of curry and green tamilin sauce. Open seven days. No alcohol; takeout; delivery; valet parking. AE, MC, V.
THE GREEK BISTRO
17337 Ventura Blvd., Encino
With its mirrored walls, artwork and fine dishes, this place is a favorite for those who love their food Greek. Try saganaki ($6.95), pan-fried cheese set ablaze at the table, then lay into a heavenly lamb tenderloin ($21.75), marinated and charbroiled to perfection. The Greek Bistro Feast, featuring 16 delicious items served in four separate courses ($21.95 per person), is just the thing for a party. Lunch and dinner seven days. Full bar; takeout; delivery; catering; valet parking. AE, CB, DC, Disc., MC, V.
8385 Beverly Blvd., L.A.
Although the sushi and noodles are delectable, Hirozen's real thrills are in its constantly changing specialty dishes. Traditional Japanese appetizers like fresh oysters ($6.50) complement inspired creations such as chirashi with miso soup ($8.50), sashimi with three kinds of fish ($15) or the custom-made "Hirozen course" ($38 a person gets you an appetizer, soup, sashimi, a main dish and a dessert). Lunch Mon.Fri., dinner Mon.Sat. Beer, wine and sake; takeout; catering; reservations accepted weekdays only. AE, DC, Disc., MC, V.
HOUSE OF BLUES
8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood
With five bars on the restaurant level, live music nightly and a dazzling collection of Southern folk art, this is a party palace extraordinaire. The signature dish is a spicy Creole jambalaya, made with rice, shellfish, spicy sausage and ham and spiked with potent habanero peppers ($10.95 lunch, $13.95 dinner). From the back-yard smokehouse come Southern-style ribs ($12.95 lunch, $14.95 dinner) and smoked half-chickens with Barq's root-beer gravy ($14.95 dinner only). Lunch Mon.Sat., dinner seven nights, gospel brunch Sun. Full bar; takeout; catering; valet parking. AE, CB, DC, Disc., V, MC.
5947 W. Pico Blvd., L.A.
It's like being in India, only a lot cooler. (Yes, that's temperature-wise.) The specialties here are succulent lamb chops, prepared in the traditional tandoori style by marinating and cooking in a clay oven ($12.95) and delectable fish tikka kebabs ($7.50). On Sunday, stop by for the champagne brunch, and stuff yourself like a goose for just $6.95. Lunch and dinner seven days, brunch Sun. Beer and wine; takeout; catering; delivery; parking; reservations accepted. AE, CB, DC, Disc., MC, V.
8711 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood
Walk in here, and you will feel as though you've entered the Bahia region of Brazil. The "Baiana" ambiance is artfully evoked by traditional musical instruments and images of orixas (Afro-Bahian spirits) on the walls. Settle in with some moqueca, Brazilian stew with dashes of tomato and coconut milk. The shrimp-laden Moqueca de Camarao ($15.95) is tasty, but the lobster stew, Moqueca de Mogosta ($17.95), is heaven-sent. Brazilian vocalists and guitar players perform on select days. Dinner seven nights. Beer and wine; takeout; catering; parking; reservations suggested. AE, CB, DC, Disc., MC, V.
260 N. Beverly Drive, Beverly Hills
This stylish Japanese restaurant has it all, from classic dishes like the teriyaki and tempura combo ($12.80), served with salad, miso, rice and fruit, to the ornate Tekkadonna meal, featuring slices of fresh tuna in a lacquered bowl of sticky white rice, garnished with sea urchin, crab, salmon eggs or mentaiko (spicy cold eggs), with pickled vegetables and miso ($14). Lunch Mon.Fri., dinner seven nights. Beer and wine; takeout. AE, DC, MC, V.