Cheap eats needn't mean cheap cuts of meat laden with fat, tons of pasta or a vegetarian diet.
In the South Bay, there are plenty of places to eat rather inexpensively without sticking exclusively to pasta or vegetables or lousy meat.
These establishments stand out because of their attention to detail, style of food and healthy menu options.
El Segundo already knows and loves The Original Rinaldis, and their Manhattan Beach store is gaining fame for its Boar's Head meats and cheeses that turn any sandwich into a delicious bite. Better still, their 60-plus sandwich choices are reasonably priced for a quality you won't find at many other eateries. In Manhattan Beach, you have all of their breads/rolls (squaw, honey wheat, Italian sub) and a killer crusty French white roll. And their attention to detail catapults them beyond the norm: their veggie sandwich includes sliced cucumber and marinated and roasted red bell pepper slices. Sandwiches come in six- or 10-inch configurations and have names like Ripcurl Riley, Air Force Lou, King of Sepulveda, Godfather: 6 Proteins, Stinky and First Alarm.
- 350 N. Sepulveda Blvd., Suite 1, Manhattan Beach; 310-379-9968 or 888-629-3124.
- 323 Main St., El Segundo; 310-647-2860.
The Mediterranean diet is known for its healthfulness and this Lebanese "eatery and deli" offers a mind-blowing menu full of family recipes that result in irresistible flavors. Tabbouleh Salad, Cucumber With Yogurt, Grape Leaves, Lentil Soup, Baba Ghannouj, rotisserie chicken, kebabs that come in beef, Kofta, Shawarma, chicken, lamb, and all sorts of wraps [hummus, chicken caesar, gyro] make this restaurant worth exploring. Combo plates, lunch and other specials that frequently come up and the fact that they deliver to Manhattan, Hermosa and Redondo beaches with a minimum $25 order almost makes Sabra Beirut Mix golden.
- 500 N. Pacific Coast Hwy., Hermosa Beach; 310-376-8226.
Chicken Dijon helped move healthy eating forward with its first location on Artesia Boulevard in Redondo Beach. That original storefront expanded into space next to it, and now the Chicken Dijon name has grown to include locations in El Segundo, Torrance, West Los Angeles, Long Beach, Hollywood and Irvine. Their focused menu offers a selection of Mediterranean items, including hummus, stuffed grape leaves, Greek Salad, Fattoush Salad, falafel and gyro sandwiches and rotisserie chicken. There's plenty of flavor in their fare and with items such as steamed veggies, healthy eating can be had for people on the go.
- 2515 Artesia Blvd., #B, Redondo Beach; 310-370-7707.
- 251 Main St., El Segundo; 310-414-9000.
This longtime and much-loved Peninsula deli offers everything from pizza by the slice or whole, pasta dishes, deli salads and amazing sandwiches. Their ample Antipasto Salad is hard to duplicate and their meats are quality. One of the standouts is the roast beef and baked oven turkey, and their meatballs and sausage sandwiches and dishes are incredible. Craving a Barbecue Beef sandwich? They have it. Eggplant Parmigiana sandwich anyone? Yes, they serve it. If you live on The Hill and haven't eaten Appetizer food, get there now.
- 700 Deep Valley Drive, Rolling Hills Estates; 310-541-1411 or 310-377-8394.