TANDOORI NIGHTS8165 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood(213) 848-8626
For six years, Tandoori Nights has satisfied the curry cravings of its loyal WeHo patrons. House favorites include tender lamb tandoori ($9.95), marinated in spiced yogurt and cooked in traditional clay ovens till it melts in your mouth, and the vegetable aloo gobi ($6.95), with cauliflower and potatoes cooked in yellow curry sauce. All entrees can be spiced to order - mild, medium or fire-breathing hot - and are served with basmati rice and soup with plenty of poppadums and savory mint chutney. Lunch and dinner seven days. Beer and wine; takeout; delivery; catering; parking. AE, MC, V.
TAKA SUSHI1345 Second St., Santa Monica(310) 394-6540
Tucked within an archway on Second Street, Taka Sushi is close to the bustle and allure of Third Street yet is far enough away to avoid the ogling eyes of curious pedestrians. Feast upon a variety of fresh marine creations, from the crab-filled spider rolls ($12.50 for four pieces) to the exotic Second Street rolls (tempura eel wrapped with cucumber rather than seaweed, $12.50 for five). Two laser shows light up the restaurant nightly, pulsing to music by the Bangles and others. Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner seven nights. Beer and wine; takeout; valet parking; reservations suggested. AE, CB, DC, DIS, MC, V.
TAMARA'S TAMALES13352 Washington Blvd., Marina del Rey1-888-T-TAMALE
Tamara's is not just a restaurant but an institution where the delicate art of cooking tamales has been perfected. The menu lists some 30-plus varieties of tamales, so making a choice isn't easy. The Greek tamale with goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, olives and roasted pine nuts ($3) is wildly popular with the regulars. For the health-conscious there are fat-free versions available. The tamales are cheaper by the dozen, so buy large for your next party. Breakfast, lunch and dinner six days. Mon.-Sat. Beer and wine; takeout; catering; parking. AE, MC, V.
3606290 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood(323) 461-8600
You get a spectacular view of the city when you dine at 360. Reminiscent of old Hollywood, the lighting is dim and the seating cozy and sumptuous. The menu features American classics like buttermilk fried chicken with mmm!-mashed potatoes ($14), porterhouse steak ($25) and the bacon-wrapped 360 meatloaf ($15). Spend the evening! The 360 lounge stays open till 2 a.m., often with a DJ or live jazz. Lunch and dinner seven days. Full bar; takeout; catering; valet parking; reservations suggested. AE, MC, V.
TOI ON WILSHIRE7505 1/2 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood(323) 874-8062TOI ON WILSHIRE1120 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica(310) 394-7804
Where else can you recline on leopard-print cushions surrounded by psychedelic rock posters, and enjoy yellow curry at 4 a.m. in L.A.? Toi must have raided Elvis' living room, Angelyne's boudoir and Hendrix's rumpus room for its decor. Dishes like Thai spaghetti (spicy egg noodles with chicken and shrimp) or eggplant pumpkin tofu (both $6.95) are enduring favorites, and you might run into some of L.A.'s rockers enjoying them after a late night gig. Lunch and dinner seven days. Beer, wine, champagne and sake; takeout; delivery; parking. AE, DIS, MC, V.
TOMMY TANG'S7313 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood(323) 937-5733
Tommy Tang's has been around since 1982, and still serves some of the best Thai food in town. The mix of traditional Thai and Western influences has resulted in tasty creations like the spicy Thai linguini with grilled veggies and lemon-grass tomato puree ($8.95) and the Tiger Eye Roll (squid with salmon and avocado, $8), done up by a team of sushi chefs more international than the U.N. Not your run-of-the-mill, library-quiet Thai place; Tommy's rocks. Lunch and dinner seven days. Beer and wine; takeout; delivery; catering; valet parking; reservations suggested; AE, DC, MC, V.
TWIN PALMS101 W. Green St., Pasadena(626) 577-2567
Though about 20 miles from the sand, Twin Palms is the ultimate in California coast cuisine. On their rustic patio, you can dine under the stars and the ancient palms that gave the place it's name four years ago. Pop in after a UCLA game or a visit to the Norton Simon for a Warmed Sonoma Goat Cheese Salad ($6.50), Filet Mignon ($28.95) or Roasted Double Chicken Breast ($12.50). Lunch Mon.-Sat., dinner seven nights, brunch Sun. Full bar; takeout; catering; valet parking; reservations suggested. AE, DC, DIS, MC, V.
URBAN EPICURIA8315 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood(213) 848-8411
Come to Urban Epicuria and experience "the new way to shop for fresh meals." This is a gourmet take-away market that specializes in contemporary American cuisine. Drop in and try the eggplant rollatini ($5.50/lb.) or stuffed Portabella mushrooms ($12.50/lb.). If the hungries really got ya, the grilled veal chops ($12/lb.), salmon wrapped in banana leaves ($15.50/lbs.) or U.E.'s own home-style meatloaf ($9/lb.) are winning choices. A large assortment of side dishes, desserts and sandwiches is also available, and there's plenty of freshly baked breads. Open seven days. Parking. AE, MC, V.
WOODFIRE CAFE AND BAKERY10401 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles(310) 234-3300
The smoky sweetness emanating from the brick oven at Woodfire smells like California.dreamin. Indeed, this place puts some flavor back into healthy, Southwestern cuisine., The Spinach-Mushroom Lasagna($7.50) is a great post-workout or post-hangover, and so is the BBQ Chicken Pizza ($ 10.77-1681) rivals that of another pizza joint we know. And stop by for breakfast after picking up a Weekly next door at Al's Newsstand. Lunch and dinner seven days. No alcohol; takeout; delivery; catering. AE, MC, V.
XIOMARA69 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena(626) 796-2520
Xiomara is pronounced "see-oh-mara," an appropriately exotic-sounding name for a restaurant that specializes in French-Latin fare. The dishes aren't overly pricey, and they're as varied as they are delicious. Try the ceviche ($9) and follow it up with a spicy duck ropa vieja on a Colombian arepa (shredded duck meat, sauteed yellow corn cake and watercress with Cuban-style marinated tomatoes, $10). Xiomara is the perfect spot for those special dining occasions and offers weekday business-lunch specials ($9.50).
Lunch Mon.-Fri., dinner seven nights. Full bar; catering; valet parking; reservations suggested. AE, CB, DC, DIS, MC, V.
YABU521 North La Cienaga, West Hollywood(310) 854-040011820 West Pico, Los Angeles(310) 473-9757
Wolfgang Puck ain't the only one that can do noodles. Try Yabu's kinpun soba (noodles in a broth with gold leaf; $15) or soba with chicken ($7.50) or duck ($8.50) with fish broth. If you've yet to master the noodle slurp (suck them up too fast and you'll put your eye out), try the crispy, golden-brown shrimp and veggie tempura ($12). End the evening with a traditional dessert Wolfgang can't even pronounce: kuzunagashi, red beans topped with green-tea sauce and vanilla ice cream ($5.50). Lunch and dinner seven days. Beer and wine; take out; valet. AE, DC, DIS, MC, V.
Yangtze Restuarant1333 Third Street Promenade, Santa Monica(310) 260-1994
Having a hard time deciding between Thai, Chinese or sushi? Look no further - Yangtze, right in the heart of Santa Monica's bustling Third Street Promenade, has variations on all three cuisines. Stop in after a'malling and try the Chow Fun, a noodle dish featuring choice of meat and veggies smothered in a velvety brown sauce ($8) or kung pao chicken ($8). Check out the sushi for less than half the price of most sushi bars. Lunch and dinner seven day Beer and wine; takeout; delivery; catering; parking. AE, DC, DIS, MC, V.
YE OLDE KING'S HEAD PUB116 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica(310) 451-1402
On Comedy Central's Daily Show, John Cleese defended Great Britain's much-maligned culinary tradition by saying, "We had an empire to run!" Well, Ye Olde King's Head Pub colonized this corner of Santa Monica 25 years ago, and has been devoting itself to serving royally good British food ever since. The fish and chips ($11.50 dinner, $8.50 small) are stables among the regulars, and the shepherd's pie ($10.25, $6.25) and steak and kidney pie ($10.50, dinner only) are not to be missed. Lunch and dinner seven days. Full bar; parking. AE, MC, V.
ZIA FETTUCCINI809 N. Palm Ave. W. Hollywood(310) 657-9076
Everything about this cozy restaurant brings to mind images of an romantic evening in Little Italy. A handful of tables lit with dim candlelight. String music in the air. People stuffing their face with any one of the many varieties of homemade ravioli (chicken, veal, ricotta, or salmon, and each $7.95), a dish of jumbo shrimp bathed in clam sauce ($12.95), and some fresh garlic rolls on the side. Finish it all off with the tiramisu ($3.50) to round out this authentic and inexpensive Italian feast. Lunch and dinner seven days.. Beer and wine; takeout, delivery, catering. AE, DIS, MC, V.
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