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The 20 Best Deals for dineLA 2015

From must-eat lunches to decadent dinners, here are this year's best deals.

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The success of dineLA is in its participation — more great chefs, more great restaurants, more great diners flock to the program with every cycle, meaning the access to previously untried restaurants is better than ever.

But who has time to try the dozens and dozens of participating restaurants on this year's dineLA list? For ease of use, Eater has distilled the list down into 20 must-try spots, making it easy to move from one cheap-as-hell Valley dim sum lunch to a high-quality $45 dinner option, complete with $18 wine flight pairing. And since dineLA starts next week from January 19 and ends on February 1, now's the time to get acquainted with all of the best deals going.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Abigaile

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Tin Vuong’s Abigaile in Hermosa Beach is ostensibly offering a light five-course dinner for $50, if you count the pao de quaijo to start and housemade Snickers bar to finish. In the middle, everything from grilled octopus to fresh burrata to Thai red curry shortribs are available.

This new age Moroccan lounge is going vintage dineLA — nothing too fancy, just a solid $40 three course dinner deal, with light starters like crudo or housemade beef carpaccio giving way to gnocchi, scallops or braised shortribs and a trio of possible desserts. This is the simple, straightforward kind of deal that gets newcomers through the door and makes dineLA worthwhile for everyone.

This perennial favorite is keeping things tidy for dinaLA — they only offer a $25 weekday lunch option, but it’s still one of the best ways to enjoy the menu from Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne. Maneuver between cheese and charcuterie plates or Spanish fried chicken to start, with market-driven mains like torchio with baby broccoli. Add a dessert (always add the dessert at a.o.c.) $6 more.

Bagatelle LA

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La Cienega’s Bagatelle is upscaling the typical dineLA dinner deal. Here, $50 nets a three-course meal that could hypothetically be as rich and fulfilling as a pork belly rillette dumpling appetizer, lobster risotto or NY strip steak main and Valrhona chocolate cake finisher.

Blue Plate Taco

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It’s not the flashiest pick, but you’d be hard-pressed to beat a $30 dinner option that includes seared ahi tuna to start, moves through entrees like grilled skirt steak or seafood enchiladas and finishes with churros.

Casa Vega

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This Sherman Oaks Mexican staple does a $30 dinner deal that glides from the hand-chopped guacamole into lobster enchiladas or carne chile colorado, complete with a side of soup. Tack on the third-course dessert like churros, flan or fried ice cream, and it’s a hard deal to pass up.

Connie and Ted's Seafood

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Much more than just a seafood shack, Connie & Ted’s is LA’s great seafood equalizer. Anyone can come and enjoy a meal here, especially when the $25 lunch deal includes a half-dozen oysters to start, followed by sandwiches like a clam strip roll or battered cod sandwich. Don’t sleep on the Hook Burger, either, which is one of the city’s underrated burger gems.

This elegant Century City space is usually off-limits for folks without an expense account, which means a $50 three course dinner is quite the bargain. There’s also an abundance of choice here, with mains as rangy as salmon, quail, braised beef or torchio pasta.

Dal Rae Restaurant

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There’s no better time to try this Pico Rivera classic than dineLA, when $50 nets you a starter salad, soup or grilled artichoke, followed by their famous pepper filet mignon and a triptych of possible desserts. The throwback space and awesome service is worth the price alone.

Faith & Flower

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$45 is a small price to pay to experience one of L.A.’s hottest restaurants, especially when the food from executive chef Michael Hung can be paired at dinner with a somm’s choice wine flight for $18.

Firefly Studio City

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Studio City longtimer Firefly has one of the city’s most underrated patio spaces (it’s practically the entire restaurant). Dine under the stars with a $40 dinner, including options like ricotta gnocchi or big eye tuna tartare to start, followed by unagi risotto, Scottish King salmon or prime hangar steak. Don’t forget dessert, either.

Jar Restaurant

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This Beverly Blvd. mainstay opens its doors to all for dinner, where $50 gets three courses, anchored by the impeccable house pot roast.

MessHall Kitchen

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MessHall already made our best lunch deal map, and it’s no different here: this is one of the best dineLA deals you can get. $15 for a three course lunch, with some seriously sturdy starters, is tough to beat. Even if you aren’t dining at the next hot place in town, saving bucks on a neighborhood restaurant is always a great plan.

Polo Lounge

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For pure feel-like-a-celebrity-ness, there’s Polo Lounge’s languid patio and $25 lunch deal, which includes a veal vitello tonnato, lobster club sandwich and timeless flourless chocolate cake as a finisher.

While not as exclusive as the New York location, Rao’s may still be a hard seat to get this dineLA, thanks to a four course $50 dinner that swings through signature dishes like their meatballs, eggplant parmesan and cannoli.

Scarpetta

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Perennial dineLA favorite Scarpetta returns with a strong $50 dinner menu that includes their signature spaghetti with tomato and basil, plus entrees like striped bass, organic chicken or dry-aged sirloin (with a paid supplement, of course).

Shanghai Rose Dim Sum

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This Studio City dim sum parlor is killing dineLA with a $15 lunch that includes a choice of soup, egg roll and plate of dim sum — before you even get to the main course.

STK LA

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This dinner deal is pretty great for anyone who’s otherwise put off by the high tabs at STK: a $50 three course dinner with options like the petite filet or heftier kurobuta pork chop as main entrees.

The Gadarene Swine

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You won’t find another six course chef’s choice dineLA menu anywhere, which makes the vegan-leaning Gadarene Swine menu all the more enticing. At $50 for dinner, this is a great way to check out the inventive stuff happening here.

The Water Grill

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Is there a more longstanding, high quality seafood restaurant in L.A. than Water Grill? Probably not, which makes dineLA the perfect time to experience, or re-experience, its glory. There’s everything swordfish to striped bass on the menu, with crudos and clam chowders to start.

Abigaile

Tin Vuong’s Abigaile in Hermosa Beach is ostensibly offering a light five-course dinner for $50, if you count the pao de quaijo to start and housemade Snickers bar to finish. In the middle, everything from grilled octopus to fresh burrata to Thai red curry shortribs are available.

Acabar

This new age Moroccan lounge is going vintage dineLA — nothing too fancy, just a solid $40 three course dinner deal, with light starters like crudo or housemade beef carpaccio giving way to gnocchi, scallops or braised shortribs and a trio of possible desserts. This is the simple, straightforward kind of deal that gets newcomers through the door and makes dineLA worthwhile for everyone.

AOC

This perennial favorite is keeping things tidy for dinaLA — they only offer a $25 weekday lunch option, but it’s still one of the best ways to enjoy the menu from Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne. Maneuver between cheese and charcuterie plates or Spanish fried chicken to start, with market-driven mains like torchio with baby broccoli. Add a dessert (always add the dessert at a.o.c.) $6 more.

Bagatelle LA

La Cienega’s Bagatelle is upscaling the typical dineLA dinner deal. Here, $50 nets a three-course meal that could hypothetically be as rich and fulfilling as a pork belly rillette dumpling appetizer, lobster risotto or NY strip steak main and Valrhona chocolate cake finisher.

Blue Plate Taco

It’s not the flashiest pick, but you’d be hard-pressed to beat a $30 dinner option that includes seared ahi tuna to start, moves through entrees like grilled skirt steak or seafood enchiladas and finishes with churros.

Casa Vega

This Sherman Oaks Mexican staple does a $30 dinner deal that glides from the hand-chopped guacamole into lobster enchiladas or carne chile colorado, complete with a side of soup. Tack on the third-course dessert like churros, flan or fried ice cream, and it’s a hard deal to pass up.

Connie and Ted's Seafood

Much more than just a seafood shack, Connie & Ted’s is LA’s great seafood equalizer. Anyone can come and enjoy a meal here, especially when the $25 lunch deal includes a half-dozen oysters to start, followed by sandwiches like a clam strip roll or battered cod sandwich. Don’t sleep on the Hook Burger, either, which is one of the city’s underrated burger gems.

Craft

This elegant Century City space is usually off-limits for folks without an expense account, which means a $50 three course dinner is quite the bargain. There’s also an abundance of choice here, with mains as rangy as salmon, quail, braised beef or torchio pasta.

Dal Rae Restaurant

There’s no better time to try this Pico Rivera classic than dineLA, when $50 nets you a starter salad, soup or grilled artichoke, followed by their famous pepper filet mignon and a triptych of possible desserts. The throwback space and awesome service is worth the price alone.

Faith & Flower