Santa Monica, CA
Great chophouse in Old Town. Start with the excellent french onion soup or a Caesar salad made at your table. I don't eat seafood so I tend to stick to the hot plate dinners with slices of meat, gravy, garlic mashed potatos and creamed spinach for around fifteen bucks.
Very, very good Oaxacan food. Perhaps the best tortilla soup I've ever had. The mole here is excellent, not overwhelmingly spicy.
Good inexpensive Japanese-style curry. Even the "extra spicy" isn't as hot as I'd like it though.
Best carne asade burritos in Los Angeles. Also excellent carnitas. Why is everyone else ordering tortas? It's in a pretty scary neighborhood so go for lunch.