We go to Dish in La Cañada for homey all-American food and Border Grill in Santa Monica for nouveau Mexican. But for the quintessential L.A. kids' menu, it's hard to beat the multicultural mix at Curry House in Little Tokyo. Happy, patient servers offer children a choice of Japanese curry, chicken teriyaki, or spaghetti, along with french fries, corn soup, shrimp, and a Disney mini toy. » 123 Onizuka St., Ste. 204, L.A., 213-620-0855.
As soon as you smell those smoky ribs and see the peanut shells that blanket the floor, you know Johnny Rebs' Southern Roadhouse is the place for a meal the whole family can enjoy. Sit out on the screened porch or in the snug main room, which is festooned with junk from Grandma’s attic. Normally, such down-home ambience might make you wary. But Johnny’s food and service are genuinely good. Any doubts are put to rest by waiters in denim serving plates of country classics like pulled pork and fried green tomatoes and frosty drinks in mason jars. Little “Peanut Pals” can order fail-safe burgers, or catfish and a Grape Nehi. There also are special menus for tweens and seniors. » 16639 Bellflower Blvd., Bellflower, 562-866-6455.
Photograph courtesy inazakira