I discovered a gem in Westwood called Manny's Bistro. Located on a pleasant lane next to Westwood Blvd., the place is small and cozy like someone's home, and the food is home cooked too.
I always have fantastic meals here. The cuisine is "California Cuban". Regularly on the menu are such dishes as the "Cuban Burger", which is ground spiced sausage on a bun served with a "half-ass Caesar salad", Cuban Pizza, and other interesting fare. The specials are my favorite though, and change every week. I remember fondly Manny's short ribs with navy beans, wild rice potato pancakes with marinara, and BBQ country ribs. The specials come with a half ass Caesar, and potato pancakes or black beans/rice, all for $5 or $6. Did I mention the prices are way cheap!?
Manny also makes wonderful homemade desserts every day, which have included chocolate mousse, cupcakes, cheesecake, and always available, his special orange flan. If you want adventure ask for his special chocolate lollipops in offensive shapes. Also try the raspberry ice tea, the real thing, no sugar, excellent.
Manny, the proprietor, has been in the same location for 40 years. He is very friendly, a character, and will tell you some wild stories. There is a regular clientele that comes to hear Manny's jokes as well as eat his delicious food.
The restaurant is open for lunch Tuesday-Friday, 12pm - 2pm, and for dinner on Fri-Sun. For dinner, you cannot just show up, you need to make reservations the day before. Located at 1748 1/2 Westwood Blvd, just North of Santa Monica, on the east side of the street. Phone is 310-474-6277.