Something decent, not fancy, and good causal is fine, too.
(1) 15 minute drive each way range from Century Blvd.
(2) Beach area not necessary (nor not necessarily desirable, because it will be dark early, and could (I know, shudder) could be inclement weather during the visit.
(3) Nothing mostly raw, or mostly spicy. Otherwise, various ethnic varieties are fine.
(4) Nothing that is going to require more than 5 or so minutes of walking from a car.
(5) Interesting and/or eclectic wine lists are a plus.
As a last resort, the hotel has a Daily Grill, but I’m not much of a resort guy, so I would like to try and avoid the last resort.
@J_L & @westsidegal - Can’t say I completely disagree with y’all. Although I haven’t had as poor of meals/experiences as you guys have apparently had there, I live extremely close by and haven’t eaten there in almost a year, which says something, I suppose. Still, to my recollection, the food I have had there has been adequate for a decent dinner, if definitely over-priced.
My suggestion was mostly based in the fact that Playa Provisions basically meets all five of OP’s criteria, which, not many other suggestions in this thread do. (Note: not 100% sure about “interesting” wine except for the fact that they have a full bar.)
Based on my experiences there, I still feel like the quality of food at Playa matches the thread criteria - maybe too literally! -, but I understand your point.
Never thought I’d be going to bat for Playa Provisions!
Side-note: Have you been back to The Ramen Joint since your original report? I haven’t been yet but plan to soon and am curious to know if any repeat visits were as relatively successful as your first.
I know . You’re just trying to be helpful and end up debating the merits of a restaurant you probably don’t have strong feelings for anyway. It has happened to me. Ironically with a poster on this thread.