(Credit: Los Angeles Metro)

(Credit: Los Angeles Metro)


It’s official! May 20th marks the well anticipated expansion of the Expo metro line that will now connect downtown Los Angeles with Santa Monica. Enjoy station celebrations at six of the stops and free rides on Friday and Saturday of this weekend thanks to the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority. As the train travels through the Westside, make a note of a few places you can grab great food and drinks along the way. Check out these spots along the extended Expo line, specifically the areas between Culver City and Downtown Santa Monica. They’re all within walking distance of 10 minutes or less.
 
For more information about the Expo’s extension, maps and timetables, visit the LA Metro website.

Palms Station
10021 National Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(credit: Tiffany P./yelp)

(credit: Tiffany P./yelp)


n/naka
3455 Overland Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 836-6252
www.n-naka.com

If your plan is to eat at n/naka anytime soon, get your reservation into the system right away as it gets quite busy. Those in the know realize that you’ll need to put your name down up to three months in advance, which will give you time to save up for the pricey feast. The evening’s thirteen-course menus, which features modern or vegetarian dishes, are presented in traditional Japanese kaiseki-style. They are meant to be enjoyed at a leisurely pace, providing ample time for acknowledgement and appreciation of each dish’s technique and use of ingredients. Previous dishes have included abalone truffle pasta, yuzu grilled shrimp, buckwheat noodle soup and miyazaki wagyu beef.

(credit: Natalie S./yelp)

(credit: Natalie S./yelp)


The Garage
3387 Motor Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 559-3400
www.garagemotorave.com

If you’re heading through the Westside on the day of a big sports game, The Garage is this neighborhood’s prime stop. With more than 30 TVs, you won’t miss any of the action of whatever game you’re interested in seeing. The menu is all about pub food like nachos, pizza, burgers and sliders. Pair your beer with an order of habanero wings or housemade potato chips, braised beef short ribs and an assortment of toppings. The Garage hosts trivia nights every Wednesday and offers happy hour Monday through Friday from 4-7p featuring food and drink specials.

(Credit: Phorage LA)

(Credit: Phorage LA)


Phorage
3300 Overland Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90034
(310) 876-0910
www.phoragela.com

Phorage brought its locally-focused, sustainable Vietnamese food to the Westside a few years ago, and the casual restaurant continues to appease appetites with solid food. Pho, bánh mì, broken rice and noodle dishes comprise most of the limited menu. The oxtail pho, claypot chicken and Berkshire pork bánh mì are must-try selections. Vegetarians need not to worry as there are plenty of plant-based options. Wash it all down with Vietnamese coffee, Thai iced tea or housemade soda chanh.

Westwood/Rancho Park Station
11460 Gateway Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(Credit: EndoEdibles.com)

(Credit: EndoEdibles.com)


Flores & Sons
2024 Sawtelle Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(424) 273-6469
www.floreslosangeles.com

Flores & Sons is a treasure for casual American fusion food tucked along the strip of Sawtelle’s many restaurants. The menu’s offerings change often, but a tried and true favorite remains: their fried chicken. Whether it’s between a biscuit or perched atop a golden brown waffle, or on its own with a serving of honey, you can’t lose. If you’re there for dinner, definitely order the warm, fluffy potato rolls with maple butter. With weekend brunch and midweek happy hour from 4:30-6:30pm on lock, Flores & Sons will hit every spot.

(credit: Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle)

(credit: Tsujita LA Artisan Noodle)


Tsujita LA Artisan Noodles
2057 Sawtelle Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90025
(310) 231-7373
www.tsujita-la.com

When you have a craving for noodles, there’s no better place to visit in the city than Tsujita. The char siu ramen is one of the most popular orders, especially on a chilly day. Now that it’s summer, try the equally popular and warm weather-friendly char siu tsukemen. The cold noodles are served with a side of hot tonkotsu broth simmered for 60 hours, so you can dip as you please. Add a seasoned soft-boiled egg and other toppings to really round out the meal. If there’s a long wait for a table, slip across the street to Tsujita Annex for extra porky, Jiro-style ramen and their famous tsukemen.

Expo/Sepulveda Station
11295 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(Credit: Freddy Smalls Bar)

(Credit: Freddy Smalls Bar)


Freddy Smalls Bar + Kitchen
11520 West Pico Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(310) 479-3000
www.freddysmalls.com

American Italian fare dominates the menu at Freddy Smalls, although the restaurant also offers its versions of contemporary bar food. Mushroom arancini, calamari arrabiata and plump, saucy meatballs are mainstays on the starters list, while the ricotta cavatelli with lamb sugo and eggplant parmigiana with charred broccolini are just a couple of the larger dinner platters. Happy hour is up for grabs every day, 4:30-6:30pm, with food and drink deals that will keep you satisfied.

Expo/Bundy Station
12201 Exposition Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90064
(Credit: The Upper West)

(Credit: The Upper West)


The Upper West
3321 Pico Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 586-1111
www.theupperwest.com

The Upper West invites you in for its bistro-style menu featuring globally inspired dishes. Roasted sea bass with braised fennel and smoked chili and carrot romesco, chicken tawook with chana masala and tomato-raisin chutney, roasted corn soup with black bean falafel and fried sweet potato with chimichurri and queso panela are examples of what you can expect. There’s also a gluten-free menu, so if you have sensitivities, no need to make any guesses. Happy hour’s every day from 5-7pm, with extended hours through the night on Mondays. The restaurant is also very affordable, too.

26th Street/Bergamot Station
2602 Olympic Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90404
(credit: Celine L./yelp)

(credit: Celine L./yelp)


Mondo Taco
2200 Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 310-8922
www.mondotaco.com

We live in a city that loves its traditional tacos. Mondo Taco turns that idea on its head, serving tacos inspired by national and international dishes. Grilled lamb and tzatziki make up El Greco, the Beefeater showcases beef short rib and horseradish slaw, and the Taj Mahal includes coconut shrimp and curry sauce, while the New Yawker is a corn tortilla-wrapped hot dog. There are weekend brunch only specialties too. Enjoy 30% off on Taco Tuesdays from 7-10pm and a “spin the wheel, get the deal” happy hour every day from 4-7pm.

(credit: Anna S./yelp)

(credit: Anna S./yelp)


Tiato
2700 Colorado Avenue #190
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 866-5228
www.tiato.com

Tiato’s history is grounded in strong roots. The restaurant, market and event space belongs to the family behind Crustacean. Sit down at one of the tables to enjoy an Asian chicken sausage burrito or rice and quinoa porridge with chicken meatballs for breakfast. The lunch menu offers dishes such as a shaken beef bowl, Asian pulled pork sandwich or a satay plate with pickled vegetables. Smoothies, pressed juice, boba tea and specialty coffees are available as well.

17th Street/Santa Monica College Station
1610 Colorado Avenue
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(credit: The Chestnut Club)

(credit: The Chestnut Club)


The Chestnut Club
1348 14th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 393-1348
www.thechestnutclubsm.com

Cocktail like a boss at the laidback Chestnut Club. Slip into a leather lounge chair with your drink of choice like the Blackberry Honey Sour with bourbon, blackberries, lemon, and honey or the Ocean Park with Jamaican rum, pineapple, ginger, lemon, and a dash of soda. Even if cocktails aren’t your thing, you’ll find something noteworthy to sip thanks to an impressive spirits selection. When the lounge first opened, food wasn’t on the menu, but now you can nibble on items like ricotta crostini, smoked trout rillette, dill potato chips and speck with burrata and roasted grapes.

(Credit: Jeni C./Yelp)

(Credit: Jeni C./Yelp)


DK’s Donuts & Bakery
1614 Santa Monica Boulevard
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 829-2512
www.dksdonuts.com

Although our Metro doesn’t run all day and night, this 24-hour donut spot is there for you whenever you need a sugar fix. They serve traditional and wacky donuts, double decker onuts (croissant + donut), wownuts (waffle + donut), and donut ice cream sandwiches, along with various pastries, breakfast burritos and even sub sandwiches. If you don’t believe there’s such a thing as a pizza donut or a grilled cheese donut, just ask them for proof. Stuffed or topped, glazed or filled, sweet or savory, DK’s Donuts has got you covered.

Chrystal Baker is a freelance food and events contributor for CBS Los Angeles, Basil Magazine and Frugivore Magazine. She is the co-editor of a recipe blog, The Duo Dishes, and manages her own lifestyle and travel blog, Any and Everywhere.
Comments