Restaurant like Phil's in Moss Landing, only near West LA?
January 6, 2014 6:10 AM   Subscribe

Whenever I get hungry, I wish I lived in Moss Landing. I would be at Phil's all the time. It's pretty much my dream eatery. Super casual, extremely yummy, reasonably priced for what you get. Where can I get that type of experience here on the west side of LA?

I guess I'd prefer seafood, but we can open it up to other types of food. Important: easy parking and no waiting. MUST be a casual atmosphere though.

Not looking for a particular occasion, just to find someplace that would be nice to go to on a regular basis when I'm hungry! Any ideas?
posted by bluesky78987 to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
One of my favorite cheap casual seafood places is Malibu Seafood on PCH. A little out of your way, but a fun place to go.

It's counter service, and you sit at picnic tables and watch the beach and PCH as you eat. I've never been to Phil's, but this seafood is more along the lines of fried fish, sandwiches, soups, etc.

It's dependable stuff with a great view and great people watching. My go-tos are the clam chowder, the fried fish, and the fried squid.

If you go during a cooler time of year, it's less of a zoo. Basically think "is today a great day for the beach" to determine whether the place will be busy. But even if it's horribly busy on the perfect summer beach day, the longest it has ever taken me is about 5 minutes to find a spot along PCH, and about 20-25 minutes to stand in line, order, and get my food when it's done. Not that bad.
posted by Old Man McKay at 6:30 AM on January 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Not quite the same, but I feel this way about California Chicken Cafe.
posted by samthemander at 7:14 AM on January 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you're open to Mexican, then definitely check out La Fiesta Brava on Rose in Venice. Here's their menu. I've never had a bad meal there, and everyone I know loves it. (Try the garlic shrimp!) It's tiny, but I've had good luck avoiding crowds. There's a small parking lot next door and some parking on Rose.

Seasalt just opened on Santa Monica and 5th. I haven't been yet but it's casual and pretty reasonable for seafood.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:27 AM on January 6, 2014 [1 favorite]

Go to Main Street in Santa Monica. There is this tiny, unassuming eatery called 'holy guacamole'. But honestly, I called it 'open tacos' because that is what the neon sign on the window read.

Excellent Mexican food. And it's prepared right in front of you while you wait.

Tacos and burritos. And then there's a 'super burrito', it costs about $10 and will put the hurt on you if you aren't used to eating tons of food that tastes really damn good.

Fish, shrimp, veggie, chicken, carne asada, pastor, and ground beef. I only tried the first 5, and then changed my diet so I could eat the first 3. Really damn good...and reasonably priced for Santa Monica.

On Saturday nights I'd take a walk from bicknell all the way to open tacos while people just kinda stared going "you aren't dressed for a sana Monica Saturday night", and come back with a huge bag filled with burrito, and styrofoam cups filled with pickled jalapeƱos and carrots. Oh my god, and the horchata is really f'in good.

And none of those valley fuckers used to bother me...I was content with my super fish burrito, and I'd snicker 'whatever van buys, go back to where you came from...and leave me and my burrito alone.'

Then I'd go home and watch Joey Greco hosting "Cheaters" while eating.

Besides that, there is an original Tommy's on Pico and lincoln. Of course that's good.

Oh. And in Venice,there is a Chinese restaurant called 'mao's'. I've never had anything shitty there except the service. Everything else is excellent.

Good luck...I envy you.
posted by hal_c_on at 8:49 AM on January 6, 2014

Tacos Punta Cabras. Delicious fish and shrimp tacos as well as seafood cocteles which are like ceviche. Very fresh and delicious and they make their own tortillas. The only drawback is parking can be tricky sometimes--there are a few secret spots in back (but don't park in the apartment spots), on weekends you can park down the alley in the school spots or otherwise it's street parking. Anyways, it's worth it.

Also Cafe Brasil on Venice Blvd. I love their shrimp plate with rice, plantains and black beans. Lots of food for a good price...wish it were closer to me!!

Also seconding Mailbu Seafood on a sunny day.
posted by hellochula at 10:11 AM on January 6, 2014

I see Fish Grill has a location on Wilshire between Barrington and Bundy, which gets you a little bit closer inland. I can't vouch for it, but years ago we used to go to the one on Beverly and it was good.
posted by Room 641-A at 11:36 AM on January 6, 2014

Have you tried Lemonade in Brentwood? I heard Clementine is good but I haven't tried it myself. I love California Fish Grill but I think the closest location to you is El Segundo.
posted by Dansaman at 10:47 PM on January 6, 2014

I feel a little limited because I know some good sea food joints around LA, but I don't know Moss Landing or Phil's. Could you describe what you like about it in some more detail?

Malibu Seafood is key, and Old Man McKay gets is exactly right. Sometimes the line can be long, and if that happens the best course of action is to order something simple like the fish & chips, 'cause they churn those out super fast.

About as far away but in the other direction is King Seafood in Glendale. It's a seafood market with excellent ethical selections and counter service in front of the most incredible charbroiler I've ever encountered. Lemon butter and magic!
posted by carsonb at 6:32 AM on January 7, 2014

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