I'm looking for a place to take my mom for her birthday in one of the beach areas (Santa Monica, Marina del Rey, Redondo, Hermosa, Manhattan, etc.). She'd really like Northern Italian or Mexican, but would also consider American/contemporary/seafood. Water views would be a plus but not a requirement...the food is most important, as we can always grab a drink overlooking the water before dinner. We'd like to spend no more than $50 for the two of us, without alcohol and before tax/tip (i.e. looking for a place with entrees in the $15-20 range or less)...we typically share one appetizer, two entrees, and maybe a dessert.
Any great restaurants come to mind for places that fit these criteria? All suggestions are greatly appreciated!