There used to be a time when I felt the need to drive east of Sepulveda for lunch. Not any longer! Not to mention that Joan's on Third, SweetGreen, and Erewhon are coming soon. Mostly quick serve/relatively fast restaurants for easy, healthy options when you don't have time for a leisurely lunch. Most of these are in Santa Monica.
  1. Sweetfin
    My new obsession! Poke bowls that you can customize. Super clean and beautiful atmosphere. I'm legitimately on my way to Mercury poisoning with the frequency of my meals here.
  2. GTA
    If you don't mind the sometimes annoying Abbot Kinney crowd, this is a good quick option when you crave Gjelina but don't want to deal with the song and dance of trying to get a table.
  3. Frida
    Love the tacos in lettuce cups with a side of rice and beans. Plus it's fun to traipse around the Brentwood country mart, and Farmshop is always too crowded and I can't do Reddi Chick on the regular.
  4. Gjusta
    I prefer this to GTA, more space to sit outside and just beautiful food options. I like anything on the sprouted rye with the works.
  5. True Food Kitchen
    A staple-- I usually have this once a week. Get the veggie crudités and the kale salad. If you're really hungry the bison burger is my favorite burger ever.
  6. Tender Greens
    We are all familiar. I like the tomato soup and the steak salad.
  7. M Cafe
    Not as great as it used to be but still a solid option. These are my favorite fries in the city-- they sprinkle them with seaweed and salt and I swear they taste like McDonalds!
  8. Thyme
    Kind of has a Joan's vibe-- nice atmosphere with prepared salads and sandwiches to order.
  9. Nong La
    My favorite Pho. Clean and super fresh, quick and pretty inexpensive. Parking sucks so it's best to go when you want an early or late lunch to avoid the crowds.
  10. Cabbage Patch
    I was so happy when they added this Playa Vista location. I love everything they make-- mostly the salmon bowl and the lentils.
  11. A Votre Sante
    This place is my childhood. I've had everything on the menu but usually end up with the Sante Garden salad or an egg white scramble.
  12. Shophouse Kitchen
    The Chipotle of Southeast Asian food. Pretty good! Plus when you eat rice noodles you tell yourself it's healthy because they're gluten free...
  13. Sunny Blue
    Love this tiny hole in the wall on Main Street. Omusubi rice snacks filled with goodness. I like the Wasabi Tsukudani.
  14. La Scala
    It's gotta be on here for those days when nothing else but a chopped salad will do.
  15. Huckleberry
    My favorite thing is their roasted cumin carrots with avocado. Random, but trust me!
  16. Cora's Coffee Shoppe
    I usually eat inside (with my husband) because it feels like a cozy diner by the sea. We get tortilla soup and truffle Caesar salads with chicken.
  17. Pono Burger
    Hawaiian themed simple burger joint. Everything is grass fed and delicious. Plus the tin roof shack vibe makes it fun.
  18. Kye's
    They created the Kyerito. Kind of similar to Omusubi but more creative and shaped like a wrap or burrito. You can get nori wraps or lettuce wraps. I like the Macro Salmon but they do simple Turkey and Burgers too.
  19. Superba Snack Bar
    We're in restaurant mode now but it's still a great staple. Avocado toast, little gem salad, you get it...
  20. Cafe Gratitude
    Because sometimes you just need a macro bowl and some kale chips. For a busy restaurant they always seem to have a table and it's pretty fast.