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Good espresso and good cheap Mexican in *DOWNTOWN* LA?

I'm in LA Nov 1-5 for a conference and sequestered downtown at the Grand. I've looked up LA-area serious coffee houses- places that have outstanding espresso, well-trained baristas, latte art, that sort of thing. I've found a few places that look impressive but none are remotely in or near downtown. I know this might be a shot in the dark and I'll survive on Starbucks at the hotel if I must, but I hope somebody can steer me to something better. Downtown, please.

As to Mexican- I am looking for a cheap-n-cheerful taqueria within a safe walk from the Grand. I know there's fast food in a nearby mall food court but I'd like a mami-papi operation that will slake my Mexican needs until I am next in the states.

Thanks!

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  1. Espresso @ Lost Souls Cafe - http://www.lostsouls.com/

    Good, cheap mexican @ Ana Maria or Tacos Tumbras a Tomas in Grand Central Market - http://www.grandcentralsquare.com

    1. Second Ana Maria's or Roast to Go at Grand Central Market. For coffee, try Banquette Cafe at 4th & Main, next to Pete's.

      1. For espresso close by on Grand, try the Red Cat Lounge at Walt Disney Hall. I also agree with Ana Maria's stand at the GCM, good stuff and massive portions

        http://redcat.org/visit/lounge.php

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ernie

          I agree with the Red Cat Lounge, they serve excellent espresso beverages and their staff is friendly. It's also a beautiful Gehry space.

        2. For Mexican at GCM, I prefer Tacos Tumbras. Their carnitas were less dry than at Ana's and their carne asada burrito was very juicy. I do like the gorditas as Ana's though.

          1. I agree with Lost Souls. What a great place not only for expresso.
            As for Mexican, I love Roast-to-Go (their Gorditas!) at Grand Central Farmers Market.