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Dec 9, 2006 08:04 AM

Downtown LA Nibbling Tour

Some friends and I are planning to explore downtown LA (including Little Tokyo and Chinatown) by foot. This includes the delicious food that downtown has to offer. Our goal for the day will be to walk around and drop a few dollars here and there on tasty treats. Eventually, we plan to get full from all this random nibbling. Naturally I need everyone’s help in picking the spots. Here are some that are on my mind:

“Tijuana Dog” in the Garment District
Bacon wrapped hot dogs with grilled peppers, onions, and mayo. Planning on finding a random cart.

Gyoza: Tokyo Cafe 116 Judge John Aiso St, Los Angeles, CA
Delicious little fresh gyoza.

Egg Rolls: Empress Pavilion To Go 988 N Hill S, Los Angeles, CA
Where are the best egg rolls to-go in Chinatown?

Bahn Mi: Bu'u Dien 642 N Broadway, Chinatown
Although the bbq pork in my first and last bahn mi from here was as tough as beef jerky, I am still willing to give it another try. If anyone knows any other great bahn mi places in downtown, please speak up!

This list is clearly very scanty. I am looking for anything that is very cheap, delicious, and bite size. Any ideas?


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  1. That sounds fun :0) Some random suggestions:

    Start with some breakfast item at the Pantry.

    The eggrolls at Pho 87, a Vietnamese hole-in-the-wall, are excellent. They're either the imperial rolls or the spring rolls, I always forget... but they're the fried ones. You wrap them in lettuce and mint and dip them in tangy fish sauce... yummm. And they're very inexpensive, about $4 for a plate of four or five. I don't think they sell anything over $6 there. Pho 87 is on Broadway, east of Bernard (the far east side of Chinatown, a block east of Empress Pavillion.) You'll want to go back another day when you can do more than nibble.

    Get an order of dim sum from Empress Pavillion. I like the shrimp and chive dim sum... it's like har gow but with character.

    The chap jae at Suhoju in Little Tokyo is delicious.

    See if there's a way to get a nibble of the slippery shrimp at Yang Chow.

    Definitely not cheap but worth the nibble is an order of sushi from Sushi Gen, in the Honda Plaza on 2nd and Alameda. Their salmon and toro are my favorites. Best sushi downtown, easily.

    I don't have a specific recommendation, but you should include something from the Grand Central Market, just because it's classic downtown. Same thing with Olvera street.

    You could stop at Phillipes, since they're also classic LA, although I must say I haven't been there in about ten years.

    For dessert you could get a sample of Pinkberry knock-off If (fka Fiore) in Little Tokyo. Samples are free, can't get much cheaper than that. But maybe you should split a small.

    Or get dessert at the Phoenix Bakery after Pho 87.

    That should fill you up :0)

    1. I would stop at Luz del Dia at the PLacita end of Olvera Street, if only for one carnitas taco. They have amazing, thick handmade tortillas. The first time I had then was 30 years ago, and they were a revelation.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Paliman

        This would be my between Little Tokyo and China Town suggestion as well.