Two “tasty,” two very “enterprising” and one just a “hop” skip and a jump away — that definitely sums up a handful of recent dining out experiences for the Lippmans:
Ingo’s Tasty Diner (www.ingostastydiner.com) Our first visit here was for Irene’s birthday with the kiddies and it was so very tasty that we returned a couple of weeks later for a Happy Hour at their bar counter. Seated there, we sipped on a trio of bourbon, gin/cucumber and tequila concoctions and pointed out two accoutrements not normally glimpsed behind the counter of a traditional diner: a rotisserie chicken roaster and Lazy Susan displays with mini bottles of bitters, etc., that the bartenders use for their cocktail recipes. Love the cozy atmosphere and dim lighting; at our birthday-outing booth, we dug into a white fish club sandwich (me), a Paris Texas burger with bacon and cheddar (Xander), tuna tartare (Miss A), “Greek-Town” style thin-shaved leg of lamb (Irene) and chicken noodle soup (Troy, who was dealing with the aftermath of a tooth extraction), all items ranging from $9 to $17.
Enterprise Fish Company (www.enterprisefishco.com) Located between Main and Pacific just north of Rose Ave., this 35+ year-old seafood restaurant is housed in a historic 1917 brick building. We also hit this place twice, each time with the kiddies. On the first visit, we raised $1 oyster shooter toasts to Troy’s 12th birthday among other reduced price happy hour bites. When our check arrived, we were handed a sealed envelope with instructions not to open until we returned for our next visit. Enter the “enterprising” aspect: after finishing our lunch (including a delicious tuna melt, a spicy shrimp po-boy sandwich and hearty Manhattan clam chowder), the manager opened our envelope to reveal the prize – 15% off our check (no such luck on snagging the top cash discount of $100!).
Hopdoddy Burger Bar (www.hopdoddy.com) A burgers and beer spot in the fast-casual style that is so popular these days (order, choose a seat and the food is brought to your table), Hopdoddy satisfies on all levels. The burgers (“from humanely-raised cows, never ever given growth hormones or antibiotics” says the menu) are a very nice quality on egg buns, and the price is right: the men had burgers (my “Classic” with the add-on of a fried egg); the girls split an ahi tuna burger with pickled ginger, sprouts and honey wasabi that was equally solid (there are also lamb, turkey and vegetarian selections), and we all shared a large order of Kennebec fries that spilled out from a paper cone onto a metal mini cookie sheet. Some of us dipped our fries into the BBQ/ketchup called “Sassy Sauce” that came with the burgers (priced from $7 to $12.50). There are also three kinds of dinner salads and a variety of shakes. Irene and I washed our meals down with a beer – my El Segundo Blue House IPA served in a frosty schooner. Gotta go back to try the “Little Larry” – a mini-classic frozen margarita topped with Grand Marnier. This place is a definitely a keeper — and just a short drive south from us in Playa Vista.