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Best Bang for the Buck challenge

The L.A. times has an article about delicious deals. Chowsters can do better than what they have posted in the article below.


Come on folks, I'll show you mine, if you show me yours :)


Here's a start:
1/2 price omelets betwwen 10 & 11 weekdays:
Omelet Happy Hour S&W Diner 9748 Washington Blvd
Culver City, CA 90232 (310) 204-5136

Taqueria Sanchez on Centinella between Culver Blvd. and Washington.
for tacos al pastor or tortas or mojarra...and a terrific little salsa bar.

J&S Tacos 887 N. Garfield Montebello, (323) 725-8106 for really inexpensive chile verde burritos ($1.89 if I recall?) and hard shell tacos.

who's next?

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  1. Two large baked pineapple crust bao (bbq pork or chicken) from CBS Seafood in Chinatown are scrumptious and will more than fill you up at lunchtime. They're 60 cents each.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Chandavkl

      The glutinous rice & chicken parcels wrapped in lotus leaves (zhenzhu nuomiji) at CBS are also a yummy bargain. They're about $0.75 each and one makes a light meal. Great to take to the office and nuke for lunch (as long as your co-workers enjoy the fragrance of lotus leaves...).

      Other bargains are:
      --various and sundry bao at Yi-Mei, Ding Pangzi or MeiLin Doujiang. $0.75-$0.90 each, two make a solid meal. Also good for nuking at the office.

      --refried beans at Tito's (cue the hate). $1.35 for a pint tub of beans, w/ a free box of chips and salsa. Great, cheap lunch.

      --buttermilk bars at Primo's. Get 'em early when they're finger-burning hot and you've got a $0.75 ride to cholesterol heaven.

      --huarache w/ pastor at Valle de Oaxaca. $2.80 for a symphony of contrasting textures and temperatures.

      --cha gio at Golden Deli. Five fat cha gio and a mountain of foliage for $5. Plus, if the cute daughter brings 'em, you get that 1,000-watt smile no extra charge.

      Plus, just about any good taqueria, dumpling shop or noodle joint in town.

      Ahhh, bargain chow in LA...one of the best ways to forget about that rediculously absurd mortgage and your ensuing poverty...

    2. Yes, I'm banging the drum again for these, but four potato tacos at El Atacor #11 in Highland Park sets you back $2.89 and, if you eat the lettuce and tomato they're served on, and the chips they come with, enough food that the typical mortal needn't order anything additional.

      Bonus round: breakfast at Ikea cafe, which opens a half hour before the showroom does, is $0.99 and consists of scrambled eggs, bacon, homefries with peppers, and coffee. Sure it's steam-tray cafeteria food, but even if you just drink the coffee and poke at the spuds, it's a good deal.

      1. Special C at El Burrito Jr. on PCH in South Redondo. 2 huge bean and cheese burritos, chips, salsa, and a drink for $3.50. Doesn't sound like the best bargain but it will keep you full for the rest of the day.

        1. how about 2 tacos for 99 cents at jack in the box!

          6 Replies
          1. re: samtron608

            Please no chain-food! Not simply stomach-filling cheap food. Anybody can fill-up at Costco outdoor patios. We're talkin' CHOW!

            1. re: sassille

              At the risk of the moderators' ire and the scorn of my fellow Hounds, the tacos at JIB are surprisingly, surprisingly tasty.

              But I'll contribute some non-chain things from the Valley of the Damned: Thai spaghetti with pork and basil at Bua Siam, which costs $2.50; pretty much anything from the Wat Thai, where nothing is more than $5; a huge, enough-for-two-people meal from the specials board at Skaf's Lebanese Grill in NoHo for $10; 99c pupusas at the place on the corner of Bellaire and Sherman Way; two-course dinners for $8 or so at Las Quenas Peruvian Restaurant on another corner of Bellaire and Sherman Way; babkas with raisins for a dollar at Olive Marketplace on Oxnard between Whitsett and Laurel Canyon.

              Also, we go to dim sum in groups of 8 to 12 and never spend anywhere near $17.

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                You know, I went to Bua Siam about two months ago and did not see their vaunted $2.50 menu. Have they discontinued it, or is it something you have to explictly ask about? I was sort of disappointed, actually, but didn't want to look cheap, so I didn't bother to ask, and instead just ordered things off the standard menu ($6-8 per entree, if memory serves).

                1. re: ladelfa

                  I haven't been in a couple of months, but they were moving toward the "let the gaijin pay extra" model that's common up there. I'll ask next time I'm in.

                  1. re: ladelfa

                    I believe you had to ask for this special menu

                    1. re: ladelfa

                      I went a couple of months ago with the idea of trying several small plates from the $2.50 menu. I had to ask about the $2.50 items, they brought the $2.50 plates list with a smile and one of the dishes was spectacular! I forget if it was a 'country curry' or a 'jungle curry' but it was the hottest Thai dish that I've ever eaten, and one of the best! They didn't ask me how spicy, they told me that it was very hot and tried to get me to order a different dish. When it was served the waiters watched me as I dug in and were obviously surprised when I finished it! I gotta go back soon.

              2. $6.99 all you can eat Thai lunch at Thai Kitchen (in the old Thailandia location), the South side of Burbank Bl a few blocks West of Buena Vista in Burbank. Includes a huge selection of noodle dishes, BBQ chicken, larb, eggplant, etc- different curry every day of the week. 11am to 3pm

                You'll find me there chowing down every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday!

                Steve Doggie-Dogg

                1. $5.99 buffet (or was it $6.99?) at kathmandu kitchen in palms.

                  1. The empanadas lunch at Gran Casino Bakery on Main St. in Culver City: Two empanadas (spinach, chicken, or beef) and a big bowl of soup (hope for the black bean, it's soooo good) for $5. It is very filling. Toss in one of their 60 cent pastries for dessert and you'll have to roll out of the door.

                    1. any banh mi shop on valley blvd - depending on how many you buy, you can get as low as $1 / sandwich.....and it's well worth it !!!

                      1. Grand Central Market on 3rd and Hill Street has these insanely good Mexican food stalls - a huge taco (2 tortillas) with more meat (your choice) than you can eat- piled high with cilantro, onions and lime - for $2.00!!!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: IonaTrailer

                          Don't forget the place that serves the gigantic tortas for four bucks...

                          Oy, those things are intense.

                        2. Vietnamese BBQ beef banh mi on a long, crisp, freshly baked in-house baguette at Baguette du Jour on Valley Blvd near Fremont Ave in Alhambra. Garnished with sliced jalapeƱo, carrots, and cilantro for ~$2

                          1. Dino's "crazy chicken" special -- half of a small bird, marinated in a garlicky, vinegary, turmeric sauce and char-grilled. Served on a large bed of fries with a cup of slaw and three tortillas -- I think it is still under $5. Dino's also has a good carne asada plate, and is located on Pico at Berendo, two blocks west of Vermont.

                            1. The Napoleon at Urth Caffe. Flaky pastry, excellent custard, and HUGE! It easily feeds 2-3 people for dessert, and is only $2.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: hrhboo

                                really one of the best napoleons i've had ever

                              2. is it really two bucks at urth, i've never seen a dessert lesss than six bucks there. or was it possibly the day old stash that they charge reduced prices for.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: kevin

                                  I've had it a few times and it's always $2.

                                2. monday 1/2 price food at magnolia bar in pasadena on lake at san pasqual.

                                  1. All you can drink wine night (Saturdays) at Cezanne, the restaurant in L'Merigot (Marriott) Hotel in Santa Monica. Sure, it's a hotel restaurant, so it has no ambience. But the food is decent and the wine is all you can drink and they're not serving two-buck chuck.

                                    1. for an excellent falafal sandwich, go to the hungry pocket, across the street from Santa Monica College.

                                      i believe that they charge about $3.50 for the sandwich which they will serve on warmed pita bread (your choice whole wheat or white).
                                      the falafal is very tasty and ALWAYS made to order--never reheated- so it is crispy.

                                      they also serve a terrific homemade hot sauce, but you need to ask for it.

                                      two nights/afternoons a week they have an all-you-can-eat deal on these sandwiches. i believe the ayce price is about $6.75 or so, and i believe that this deal is offered on monday and wednesday evenings, but call to be sure.

                                      1715 Pico Boulevard Santa Monica, California 90405-1625, ph: 310.450.5335

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: westsidegal

                                        GREAT sandwiches, love the tuna, drooooling...

                                      2. $1 empanadas at the Continental Gourmet Market, 12921 S. Prairie Ave, Hawthorne. Your choice of beef (picadillo), spinach, cheese, spicy beef. They also have inexpensive Argentinian migas (finger sandwiches).

                                        1. Early Bird Special menu at Villa Nova overlooking the water in Newport Beach. Selected appetizers, entrees and desserts are all discounted, early bird menu is online at villanovarestaurant.com

                                          1. - 2 bucks for 2 scoops of gelato at Scoops
                                            - $1 for a hot gooey sweet pancake at Koo's pancakes
                                            - basically everything at zankou's

                                            1. Rice Things in Redondo Beach off of Artesia and McKinley. Fresh made to order Japanese food, two item plates with rice and salad, will run you about $5.95 and includes drink.

                                              1. Chef Marilyn's on Normandie and Crenshaw. All sides are .99 each and can easily serve two. True Southern Soul Food. A generous, plump and juicy fried chicken breast is $1.75. Thighs and drumsticks are also .99 each. Two people can easily get a couple pieces of chicken each and 3 sides for under 10 bucks for two. That's quite a dinner deal. Be prepared for the line. And you will still have leftovers!

                                                1. oopps.. sorry Marilyn's is on Crenshaw and Adams.