Flavor of India
9045 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood
With a newly decorated interior to go along with a spectacular outside covered patio and garden, this restaurant is a sure pick for enjoyable dining (Dolly Parton is a regular). The food on the menu is as pleasing as the atmosphere, with tasty dishes like Madrasi duck curry (duck, covered in onions, garlic and coconut, served with rice, $19.95), and a curry lunch, served with either chicken or lamb à la carte ($6.95). Lunch and dinner seven days. Beer and wine; takeout; delivery; catering; parking; reservations suggested (four or more). AE, DIS, MC, V.
Floor 50 Restaurant
555 S. Flower St., Los Angeles (Bank of America Tower)
What better way to enjoy lunch than by sitting nearest the heavens, checking out the view of greater Los Angeles from the 50th floor? While gazing out over the city, start with some won-ton-wrapped lemongrass tiger prawns with sweet Thai-chili sauce and sesame-daikon dressing ($9.95). In a hurry? Go for the 50-minute lunch menu, which features an achiote-spiced chicken sandwich ($9.95) or the penne marsala ($10.95). Exotic tastes should try the lobster ravioli (steamed lobster ravioli in a smoked sun-dried tomato sauce, $16.95). Available for private parties at night. Open Mon.–Fri. for lunch. Beer and wine; catering; parking ($5.50 flat-rate with validation, per car). AE, DC, MC, V.
Flying Leap Café
2538 Hyperion Ave., Silver Lake
This intimate yet casual establishment gives diners a chance to feast on fresh homemade cooking while enjoying some music. Among many outstanding choices on the menu, there is the Silver Lake salad ($9.50) with apples, baby greens, corn, onion and sausage all topped with lemon-herb dressing. Or try the hearty half-pound burger ($6.95), served with coleslaw and fries or fruit. Dinner entrées range from $10.50 to $15.95 and include the enticing bow-tie pasta with garlic, tomatoes and basil drenched in a French Brie sauce. Dinner Tues.-Sun. Full bar; takeout; parking. AE, DIS, MC, V.
1017 Manhattan Ave., Manhattan Beach
Fonz's is renowned primarily for its San Franciscan cuisine and casual setting — but mostly for its home-cooking. Owned by silver-medalist of the 1996 Summer Olympics Mike Dodd, this steakhouse/seafood joint features some of the tastiest dishes in the South Bay. Start with seared ahi tuna ($10), with Asian slaw and miso vinaigrette dressing with a nice glass of MezzaCorona Pinot Grigio. Then go for a grilled New York steak ($22), seared Australian rack of lamb ($20) or the delicious wild-mushroom risotto with cremini, shiitake and portabello mushrooms ($19). Find the perfect wine to accompany your meal from Fonz's extensive list. Dinner seven nights, brunch on Sunday from 9 a.m.–2 p.m. Full bar; takeout; catering; valet parking; reservations suggested. AE, DC, DIS, MC, V.
643 N. La Cienega Blvd., Los Angeles
With the great, dimly lit shelves of books in the study and polished wooden furniture, dining here is an optimum experience. The two bars and dance floor, along with spacious surroundings and outdoor patio, make the Gate also a prime location for hosting private parties. Meanwhile, the regular menu features an array of highly decorated, fulfilling dishes like the sesame coated seared ahi tuna served with a spinach salad and topped with Asian spices, $23. Also recommended is the roasted lamb chops on a bed of white beans, pearl onions, cabbage and red-wine sauce, $26. Open Fri.–Sat. for dinner. Full bar; catering (on premises); valet parking; reservations suggested. AE, MC, V.
Gate of India
7300 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood
The folds of black and burgundy cloth billowing from the ceiling are more reminiscent of a work of art by Christo than a restaurant, but once the food arrives, there's no question you're here to chow. The menu features a wonderfully tangy chicken tikka masala ($5.95 lunch, $9.95 à la carte) and lamb pasanda cooked with almonds and cashews in a creamy meat sauce ($5.95, $9.95). Drop in for lunch for a 10-course buffet ($6.95). Lunch and dinner seven days. Beer and wine; takeout; delivery; catering; parking; reservations accepted. AE, DIS, DC, MC, V.
Gourmet Coffee Warehouse
671 Rose Ave., Venice
10780 Jefferson Blvd., Culver City
The motto here is "We're L.A.'s local coffee restaurant," 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: 5-pound bags of high-end coffee at an average price of $6 per pound (available from half a pound to 5 pounds). Also available are bulk teas, chocolate and mugs. Check out the scrumptious baked goods, or the 35 different coffee selections from 22 countries, or the assortment of over 100 teas. Gourmet Coffee provides beans for many Westside restaurants (over 200). Open seven days. Parking. AE, MC, V.