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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
$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!