I often find myself looking for just that sort of place: decent food for under $20 an entree, good beverage selection, but not so noisy and crowded with 20 somethings that it doesn't look baldly out of place to be reading a book or working on a computer.
The best place I've found so far for this kind of evening is Barbara's at the Brewery, and the only drawback there is that the food isn't exactly given a lot of love in the kitchen.
I spend a lot of time in Atlanta and Steinbeck's fits my needs perfectly there. Could anyone recommend a spot in LA, preferably Eastside? (I have a feeling that there are probably more than a handful of spots like this on the Westside, so don't hold back those recommendations.)