I have a friend in town, working on a Bravo TV food show (a food producer - I mention this so you know what I am up against).
We're going to have dinner on the west side (Santa Monica, Venice...maybe even Culver City if it's right) this week.
The caveat - we're both on a budget. If we were on my side of town we'd go to My Taco or The York...
Anything but Chinese will do (Sushi's out because of the budget - $20 per person)
It's been forever since I was on that side of town and all I can think of is Lares. I know there is better/more out there (don't get me wrong - I do love their potato tacos...)