I am a big participant in DineLA's Restaurant Week. It has given me the opportunity to try many restaurants that are normally only "special occasion" places (re: out of my price range). Next month, fall restaurant week will be held October 4-9 and October 11-16 at over 200 participating restaurants. With three-course meals at three different price levels, there is something for every budget. Lunch ranges from $16-$28 and dinner from $26-$44.
How do you choose which restaurant to go to? First, see if the restaurant you've been dying to try is on the list and then, look up its menu to see if it sounds appealing.
More details at: http://discoverlosangeles.com/play/dining/restaurantweek/participating_restaurants.html