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ISO Good Group Lunch Take Out Downtown

David Kahn Jul 11, 2006 06:04 PM

About once a month, I need to organize food for a lunch meeting of about 20 people.

So far, I've had people order from Langer's (704 S. Alvarado St., (213) 483-8050, http://langersdeli.com/), which has been great (really good service, excellent food, top notch all around), and today, I'm getting sandwiches from the Eastside Market (1013 Alpine St., (213) 250-2464, http://www.esmdeli.com).

Still, I'd like to shake it up a bit, and many of my favorite downtown area lunch haunts seem like they wouldn't be so good for group take out. Dim sum obviously doesn't work, and Mexican food doesn't seem well suited to take out. Bbq would be great, but given the service hiccups at BBQ King, I'm afraid to try them.

Any other suggestions you guys can think of that would be good and interesting? Needs to be very good food, not too too expensive, and either close enough to downtown for me to go pick up, or else have delivery. An option for the salad eaters is a plus too. (They weren't much happy with today's choice.)

  1. m
    Mr Grub Jul 14, 2006 09:43 PM

    Mangia Mangia (in the rabbit warren below City Nat'l Plaza) will deliver delicious panini sandwiches & straightforward salads to the downtown door of your choice. The Grubster is not a big fan of their overwrought pastas.

    1. n
      nosh Jul 12, 2006 11:35 PM

      Lots of office people are picking up six to eight boxes of the crazy chicken special from Dino's. Half a small char-grilled bird with a fantastic vinegary-garlicky-turmeric marinade, good fries, slaw, and tortillas for about $5. Located on Pico at Berendo, two blocks west of Vermont. Also have good carne asada combos, burgers, burritos and huge pastrami sandwiches, but almost everyone is getting the chicken.

      1. i
        ickster Jul 12, 2006 06:00 PM

        There are a couple of places that come right to mind. The first is Suehiro Cafe, the japanese diner. I have done takeout for dinner and their food seems to hold up well. I find their food to be consistently reliable and the service is good. There is a variety of fried, grilled and baked dishes that travel well. Favorites there include the fried oysters, teriyaki chicken, salmon baked in salt, grilled sardines, eggplant stirfry. The other place that comes to mind is the greek place at Fig and 8th. Good salads, variety of greek specialties. A third would be takeout from Engine Company. I find their burgers, chili and some of their specials good lunchtime takeout eating.

        1. luswei Jul 12, 2006 01:42 AM

          oh my! i forgot b/c i've only been there once! it's the cutest little spot....you feel like you're in a dr. seuss book where all this traffic zooms by you....and yes, parking is a hassle. took a cab w/my friend from mark taper forum!
          840 s spring st

          1. luswei Jul 11, 2006 09:16 PM

            Smokehouse on Spring Street
            Mendocino Farms as previously mentioned
            Cafe Pinot where you probably go already
            Blossom Vietnamese
            Empress Pavillion
            China Fun
            www.taixfrench.com has a banquet lunch menu
            Izayoi on 2nd and central makes wonderful bento boxes, we know the chef!
            Koshiji in weller court (little tokyo) also has great lunch specials, lots of meat and vegetable skewers
            Papa Cristo's, www.papacristo.com

            2 Replies
            1. re: luswei
              David Kahn Jul 11, 2006 10:19 PM

              Really impressive. Papa Cristos and Spring Street Smoke House are excellent suggestions. Pinot is a bit on the pricey side for this sort of thing. Bento boxes sound good too; I'll have to do a field trip to get a menu and see how they feel about preparing 20 or so.

              1. re: David Kahn
                luswei Jul 12, 2006 01:26 AM

                they might well welcome the chance to make 20 bento boxes... in his old restaurant, they weren't open for lunch and had very little competition, but i read on the former chowhound they started doing inexpensive bento boxes b/c competition in little tokyo is so fierce

            2. s
              slacker Jul 11, 2006 09:01 PM

              Mama's tamales next to Langers;
              Yorkshire Grill, good deli at 6th & Grand, no need to take red line;
              take out window at Cafe Pinot.

              3 Replies
              1. re: slacker
                David Kahn Jul 11, 2006 10:12 PM

                Cafe Pinot's take out window has been closed for several years, unfortunately.

                1. re: David Kahn
                  ipsedixit Jul 11, 2006 10:23 PM

                  Ah, yes, so sad.

                  I recall fondly the days when I could pick up a bowl of chowder and some fries and eat to my heart's delight ... cholesterol be damned!

                  1. re: David Kahn
                    slacker Jul 11, 2006 11:28 PM

                    Ah, that's about how long I've been away from downtown except for some brief excursions back. Too bad about the closed window.

                2. Mrs Fang Jul 11, 2006 08:10 PM

                  I was in a meeting downtown last week and the host brought in lunch from George's Greek. Greek salad, a plate of gyros meat, chicken kabobs, rice, stuffed grape leaves and baklava. Just as tasty as the eat-in meals we get at their restaurants in LB.

                  1. ipsedixit Jul 11, 2006 07:35 PM

                    Try Masa.


                    1. e
                      Ernie Jul 11, 2006 06:09 PM

                      Mendocino Farms in the Watercourt has good sandwiches with interesting combinations and bread. They have a house salad with fresh basil that is very refreshing too and good options for vegetarians.


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