Some friends and I have a semi-regular evening out to try a new restaurant with great foodie buzz, which is usually someplace relatively decadent and expensive.
But while I love this tradition and all the fine restaurants in L.A., one of my favorite things is trying relatively undiscovered holes-in-the-wall, where I can try great new tastes without re-mortgaging my house.
So we've got a new plan -- to try to discover a great, cheap new restaurant every week (or so). Problem is, places like this, which are often grubby-looking places in anonymous strip malls, are hard to distinguish from just plain icky places, unless you get recommendations.
So, here's my request: recommendations for truly exceptional but relatively unknown and relatively inexpensive places that we simply _must_ try. Location: we want to be able to do weeknight dinners without too much travel, so preferably between downtown and the beach, south of the hills, and north of the 10.
I apologize for my long-windedness. I fear such a broad request may incite a deluge -- but I'd love to get a long list to work through. Thanks!