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Best Dive Restaurants

We love a great dive, and L.A.’s got the best of them. These are our personal top picks; the places we go to eat when we’re hungry and pressed for time. They are not necessarily in order of importance and none of them are our clients:

1. Apple Pan aka The Pan — (310) 475-3585– 10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles

What to order: Hickory Burger with Cheese, Fries Well, Dr. P and don’t forget to ask for a side of sauce.

Scene: Counter service and take-out only. Crowded as lunch. Closed Mondays.

2. Zankou Chicken — (310) 444-0550– 1716 S Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles

What to order: Half chicken plate.

Scene: This is a dangerous area so only go in the day time. This is a great place to grab take-out from if you’ve got a box at the Hollywood Bowl. But make sure you’ve got plenty of mints for after you eat.

3. Nate-n-Als — (310) 274-0101 — 414 N Beverly Dr, Beverly Hills

What to order: Anything. The best Jewish deli on the West Coast.

Scene: Entertainment and media business movers and shakers for breakfast, families, and seniors at lunch and dinner. Be prepared to wait. It also has a take out counter.

4. Niko Niko Sushi — (310) 470-2661 — 10839 National Blvd., West Los Angeles

What to order: Our favorite is the rainbow roll – ask for real crab (adventurous ordering not advised.) 

Scene: Modern atmosphere and good service.

5. Sunni Lebanese Café: — (310) 477-2253 — 1779 Westwood Blvd. West Los Angeles

What to order: Chicken kabob with a side of hummus.

Scene: bleak, dingy and cheap, but the best hummus you’ll find this side of Beirut 

6. Sorrento Italian Market — (310) 391-7654 — 5518 Sepulveda Blvd, Culver City

What to order: Meatball Sub

Scene: To go only. Amazing selection of Italian imports. Right of the 405 freeway at Jefferson.

7. Poquito Mas– (310) 474-1998– 2215 Westwood Blvd # C, Los Angeles

What to order: San Felipe shrimp burrito. 

Scene: LA mini-mall chic – perfect for up and comers.

8. Alejo Presto Trattoria: — (310)822-0095– 4002 Lincoln Blvd, Marina Del Rey

What to order: Shrimp Diablo Pasta

Scene: This place is tiny and gets packed at dinner time so be prepared to wait, go off-hours or get take out.

9. Bay Cities Italian Deli — (310) 395-8279– 1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica

What to order: Godmother Sub

Scene: Counter service only. Tables outside. Always crowded.

10. Brentwood Country Mart — On 26th St. in Brentwood, just South of San Vincente

What to order: Chicken and rib basket

Scene: Always busy, but not necessarily crowded. Look for the BBQ chicken place (not sure of the name) and get extra seasoning salt on your fries. If you really want enough sauce, tip the guy at the counter. Closed Sunday.

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Eric Schwartzman