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Jury duty ... next week ... Criminal Courts Building ... downtown Los Angeles ...

Looking for good spots to try on a juror's lunch hour.

I like everything, but try and eat low-carb during the week (which sort of eliminates sushi and other Asian where rice or noodles is essential to enjoying the meal).

I'd prefer to walk, but I guess I can move my car.

I know about Olvera Street and Phillippe's The Original.

That's pretty limiting.

How about the seafood places back on Central ... anyone think I can make if over there on a juror's lunch hour (about an hour and a half, IIRC)?

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  1. Fisherman's on Central is pretty crowded, but try Catch 22 just across the street, same side of Central.
    Fare very comparable to Fisherman's.
    Place never crowded, decent chow, very underrated in this Honorable Board.

    1. An hour is not much - I faced the same problem while on jury duty a few years back.
      I ended up walking to Disney Hall & MOCA across the street - decent sandwiches and salads - fast self serve - Splichal venues.

      1. If you're at the CCB, you're a very easy walk to Chinatown. Take Spring Street (on the east side of the building; it's a much flatter walk than Broadway). If you feel like dim sum, you can go to Ocean Seafood. Better still, go to OK Seafood, which is located on the ground floor of the same building.

        OK has great lunch specials for around $4.95, including an excellent hot and sour soup and all the jasmine rice you would care to eat. My advice would be to splurge and get the scrambled egg shrimp (probably around $6.95) for the best version you will ever have tasted. If you've never had this before, trust me! You will hope to get on a jury just so you can go back to have it again!

        1. Rice isn't essential to a nice sashimi lunch...check out Sushi Go 55.


          Good tacos, burritos and tortas are a short walk away at the Grand Central Market (3rd & Broadway). I'm partial to Ana Maria's. Tacos Tumbras a Tomas is pretty much the same (same owners, slight menu variation but same recipes). Good taco & burrito combo plates at Roast to Go as well.

          1. Jurors actually get an hour and a half, which extends your options wonderfully. During the couple of times I've been there/done that, I usually take the opportunity for a good brisk walk (having had the luck to do this in walking weather!), and more often than not head down to Chinatown or Olvera Street. The latter is quite a bit closer, and tacos and other things made out of tortillas have a deep appeal to me when I'm feeling Lunchy. There's a nice cheap place at the south end whose name I don't remember, which is highly recommended by everybody on this list, and is always full when I show up, so I've never eaten there. At the north end are La Golondrina and another place whose name escapes me, both a bit fancier and more expensive, LG especially. The other place, ???, has good service, a covered outdoor seating area, handmade tortillas and pretty good food.

            A legendary lunch joint, which I am frankly amazed nobody's mentioned yet, is Philippe The Original just a bit down the street. I recommend the lamb dip (with plenty of that blazing mustard) and the excellent potato salad.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Will Owen

              "Jurors actually get an hour and a half, which extends your options wonderfully."

              And really, in my experience on jury duty, the hour-and-a-half is the MINIMUM... if they reach a good break point at 11:30 as opposed to noon, you'll get two hours.

            2. eastside deli might not be too far away, and you're about a 15min brisk walk from chinatown.

              1. I second the Grand Central Market idea. Or, you can still do Chinese without ordering noodles - walk to Mandarin Deli in the Far East Plaza on Broadway and order dumplings. Discard the skin if you need to.

                1 Reply
                1. re: maybelle

                  sadly, mandarin deli is closed.

                2. I know you said you prefer to walk, but you should consider the Dash buses which run in downtown. Only 25ยข and they run frequently. It expanded my range considerably when I was on jury duty. I think there is a Dash map in the free downtown newspaper you see in some racks. Although, I had one "scare." I went to Cole's on Sixth for a French dip and was slow coming back figuring how quick I'd get back on the Dash bus. It stalled at one point and I was getting pretty nervous, however the driver got it started after a few tries and I got back with time to spare.

                  1. Here's a jury-duty string from last summer. You can have a great time taking The Dash or the Red Line. Go to Langers. Have a chow-adventure every day and let us know the best and the worst. Low carbing it could be your biggest obstacle. :(
                    -- http://www.chowhound.com/topics/82534...
                    - Here's the link for the redline and DASH bus scheds
                    - And if you live near LAX don't forget about the new nonstop freeway flyer from LAX to Union Station for only $3 bucks!
                    - http://metrolinktrains.com/lax/

                    1. For some basic grub in a comfy environment, you can hike up the hill via First Street and try the cafeteria at the DWP building, or go down the hill to the Roybal Federal Building which also has a really good cafeteria.

                      Also, don't forget Traxx at Union Station (right across the street from Philippes).

                      I would avoid the fish places on Central -- really greasy stuff and the fish is usually over-battered.

                      1. If you actually get called to a courtroom to sit, just don't be late getting back from lunch or you may get sanctioned by the judge. At the least you'll get an embarrassing lecture.

                        I went to Daikokuya in Jtown and it was fantastic (noodles, though), and got back with lots of time to spare.

                        1. I did jury duty around this time last year, and I know I'm going to get beat up for this, but after trying to walk to different places and use the bus my favorite thing was going to the courtyard Starbucks and getting an egg sanwhich and a coffee and sitting in the sun. My recommendation is not to try to cram a lot in but to decompress!

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: rachaels

                            The entire jury duty process is decompressing, in and of itself. Everything moves half as fast as regular life, most of the time you're sitting around waiting for something to happen, even when you're on a jury they never spend more than an hour or an hour and a half on the trial, before a break or lunch or another break or the end of the day. Lunches last a good long time and are the highlight of the day. On a positive note you can get in a lot of reading. One time I got on a jury and I mostly ate in the Grand Central Market. Last year I had to go for a single day so I walked to Daikokuya. I have also successfully (in terms of time alloted) taken the Red Line to Langer's and the DASH to Chinatown.

                            1. re: Debbie W

                              I've done it before and that was my experience as well.

                              I didn't eat all that well that time around. I just did whatever. This time I'm planning ahead. But everything does move at half speed.

                          2. I work downtown and have been on and off Atkin's for five months now. These are my favorite low-carb meals downtown:

                            The sashimi platter at Sushi Gen (in the Little Honda Plaza on 2nd and Alameda). Very generous portions of quality sushi (toro, yellowtail, albacore, etc.), plus a few salads and miso soup for about $13. You can eat everything but the rice. The problem is that you have to get there early (around 11:00) or late (about 1:30) or you might have to wait a while for a table.

                            Sushi Go 55, on the third floor above Mitsuwa Market on 3rd and Alameda, also has a nice sashimi lunch. Not quite as good as Sushi Gen's, but much less crowded.

                            There are a few Korean BBQ places that are fairly low carb if you forego the rice and potato salad. Great galbi lunches at "Korean BBQ" on 1st and San Pedro or Giggle Giggle on the third floor of the Weller Court (next to the New Otani.) The meat has sauces but it's fine if you're not too strict about it.

                            Takumi is a new sushi bar on the 2nd street side entrance of Little Tokyo. Haven't done low carb there yet but I'm sure their sashimi is excellent.

                            Hoy King on (I think) Alpine is a hole-in-the-wall in Chinatown that heas cheap cheap cheap lunch specials, The fish filet with gai lan is fairly low carb, only $6 and is very good, Obviously, skip the steamed rice.

                            Some dim sum at Empress Pavillion at 988 N. Hill is low carb: gai lan, roast duck, pork spareribs and jellyfish are my favorites. Try to get there on the earlier side to get a better selection of dishes.

                            The Palm on 11th near the Staples Center has nice meats of course, and I love their Gigi salad (lettuce, shrimp, egg, green beans, bacon, hard-boiled egg with a ranch and/or viniagrette dressing.)

                            I haven't done low-carb there yet but Izayoi on San Pedro and 2nd is wonderful.

                            1. By all means, take the Dash. Walk to Chinatown?? That seems a bit far to me, plus it will consume too much of your lunch time. Don't forget, you may only be on jury duty for one day since I think all of LA county now has the one-day system.

                              Some ideas not previously mentioned:
                              Around the Office Depot in JTown (2nd & Central): Weiland Brewery, Senior Fish (I think that's still there), Izayoi (if you get there early enough you can get one of their limited bento boxes), the Cuban restaurant next to Weiland.

                              Or take the Dash up the other way, to bunker hill: Mendocino Farms, Tesoro, Nick & Stef's, Noe.

                              8 Replies
                              1. re: slacker

                                Yeah, I forgot to mention, take the "B" dash to Chinatown. And yeah Izayoi is on Central, not San Pedro.

                                1. re: slacker

                                  anybody know the name or address of this cuban place? that sounds like what i'm going to aim for for tuesday, but i don't want to waste time wandering aimlessly, when i could be tucking into some black beans. thanks

                                  1. re: chez cherie

                                    Walk to Little Tokyo and it's right before you get to Senor Fish, on the same side of the street, down a side street. I ate there the last time I had jury duty and thought it was good.

                                    1. re: Michelle

                                      do you think it's this one?

                                      it's at 1st and Central. If so, I think I will try it tomorrow. thanks

                                      1. re: chez cherie


                                        Yes, that must be it, since Senor Fish is on 1st. Central must have been the side street I was thinking of...have fun!

                                  2. re: slacker

                                    Noe is not open for lunch. Tesoro is better avoided, food is mediocre.

                                    1. re: Mr. Cookie

                                      I agree that Tesoro usually disappoints. I think Zucca is far better and about the same price.

                                      1. re: chowmominLA

                                        Exactly. Zucca isn't great but it's the best Italian I know of downtown. By the way, the oyster bar at Kendall's Brasserie, across the street from the county courthouse, looks worth trying. I haven't done that yet, however.

                                  3. oh, lord...me, too! i'm hoping for call in service, not show up service, but will be watching this thread in case i have to do my time in person.

                                    1. First of all, it depends what type of jury duty you are called for as to timing. There is a 5 day maximum, excused and then there is on call for 30 days, being excused from one jury just means you go back to be called for the next. If you are in the later group, BYO

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: lizziee

                                        Not in the state (Superior) Court. The entire Los Angeles County system is one day/one trial. You may be on-call for one week; however, IF you actually are called to show up, you're done after one day UNLESS you are on a case.

                                      2. I did jury duty downtown at criminal courts a couple of years ago. I, too, felt that it was a vacation compared to going to my office.

                                        Red Line - take it to Union Station, go to Phillipe's have a French dip and a glass of cabernet. Go to Chinatown. Go to Langer's. I did all three, and took a quart of soup home to my wife.

                                        I went to MOCA's Pimiento Cafe once or twice. One day a week MOCA is free for jurors. Also, one day a week the cafe has half-price glasses of wine.

                                        One day I ate on Grand Ave over by the Music Center, and then walked through the big cathedral around the corner from the courthouse.

                                        Might as well enjoy your long lunch breaks and cover some ground.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. okay, i had to show up today, and while the general experience was fairly hideous, i was surprised by a friend who works in the 'hood, taking me to PATINA for lunch! that softened the blow of juror service today, but i gotta go back again tomorrow....where will i lunch then? more suggestions, please. i don't want to move my car, but will DASH if required. thanks!

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: chez cherie

                                            I liked walking--Olvera St. is possible. La Golondrina, La Luz del Dia are some choices. I think Dash goes there, too, if you don't want to walk.

                                          2. The Cathedral has a very nice cafeteria...lot of variety including daily specials and when I was on jury duty last August, we went there several times because of price, location and variety.

                                            Pitfire Pizza has pizza, salads, pasta

                                            Izayoi has wonderful bento boxes

                                            Koshiji in Weller plaza, right around the New Otani, skewered meats and veggies

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: luswei

                                              One thing is Pitfire gets pretty busy at lunch time. I visit a friend who works in Little Tokyo and while he likes Pitfire he won't go at lunch time; it takes too long (he does have a short lunch break though). I posted earlier that there is a free downtown paper that has a map (or at least used to have one) of the Dash bus routes. Maybe you can search engine a printable map of the bus routes. Not sure there is one, but just another thought.

                                              1. re: luswei

                                                Izayoi perhaps has wonderful bento boxes, but only if you show up early for lunch. They only make about 20 or so, so it's a crap shoot when you get there. They may have them, they may not.

                                              2. EVERYONE I KNOW HAS BEEN CALLED TO JURY DUTY THIS WEEK! I went last week (love the 1 day / 1 trial - I was 1 day) and it was a total vacation! You end up chatting it up with other folks tired of reading and yes, the hour and a half lunch helps get you through the day! I did R23 (only becuase my husband picked me up) but a bunch of people walked to Little Tokyo and raved about inexpensive noodles and sushi! Sounds like you really can't go wrong anywhere down there!

                                                1. Like the others, I'd recommend places in Little Tokyo.

                                                  But if you want to stay close to the Courthouse, try Mendocino Farms, right near...one of the entrances to the Omni Hotel, between MOCA and the Water Court areas. The salads and some of the soups ought to be low-carb. Skews, while it doesn't have the best food, might be able to accomodate as well.

                                                  1. If anyone cares ... my jury duty was postponed until later in the month for what is going to be a long trial.

                                                    I got sent home the at 10 am the day I reported, so I didn't even get a chance to eat lunch. But if I get on that long trial, I'll be able to write a book about my lunch experiences.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: PaulF

                                                      I was on a 4-month trial a couple of years ago, and I've never eaten better. I'm a walker, so I would walk as far as Staples Center for lunch. With an hour and a half, you can walk the entire downtown area, from Chinatown to J-Town. There are so many good places. You'll love it.

                                                      A couple of highlights:

                                                      There's a farmers' market in Chinatown on Hill and Alpine every Thursday afternoon
                                                      Patinette at MOCA
                                                      Redwood Saloon
                                                      Thousand Cranes in the New Otani
                                                      Walk south on Broadway... lots of little Mexican places, nearly all good
                                                      Pupusas in the Grand Central Market
                                                      Shabu Shabu House

                                                    2. purely in my own self interest, let me say that i may be facing a long stay in the courthouse, so i'd like to keep this thread alive. yesterday i enjoyed the business lunch at patina--i think it was $28 w/o wine. (a juror needs to stay awake after lunch in that boring voir dire!). 1st course was a squash agnolotti with parsnip batonette and chanterelles, and second course was a lovely pork wrapped in pork dish (pork belly with porsciutto and some pork confit, i think) that was quite tasty.
                                                      today i took the B line of the DASh over to fifth and flower, then walked a block to ciudad...but they couldnt guarantee service, even at the bar, for at least 35 minutes, so that was a no go. walked a steep block back up grand to the water court, where a quick moving line at mendocino farms yielded a roasted beet salad and a cabernet steak chili. the price was right--about $5! but the chili was more like soup, and thin soup at that, with few chunks of meat (steak would be a stretch, but it was beef...) and a couple of black beans, served with a small square of bread. the beet salad was nothing special.
                                                      monday is a court holiday, but i'm already thinking ahead..tuesday recommendations gladly accepted!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: chez cherie

                                                        The Water Grill is near the B line stop at the Gas Company. It took me 5 minutes to get there when I was on Jury Duty last month.

                                                        1. re: chez cherie

                                                          If you liked Patina you might want to try Zucca Ristorante. It's in the Patina group, but I personally far prefer it to Patina. Less expensive but great food. They specialize in pumpkin pizzas and pastas (zucca means pumpkin, I think.)

                                                          Zucca Ristorante
                                                          801 South Figueroa (at 8th)
                                                          Los Angeles, CA 90017
                                                          (213) 614-7800

                                                        2. I have to also recomment Patina. During my last jury duty stint, went there for a salad. It wasn't all that expensive and the aforementioned luncheon special is really quite reasonable. Service was great....and fast. It was a very nice break in that long, waiting to be called but not having it happen, day.

                                                          1. Nick & Steff's would be a less expensive alternative to Patina.

                                                            1. Another option is Patinette at MOCA.

                                                              Patinette at MOCA
                                                              250 S. Grand Avenue
                                                              (213) 626-1178

                                                              3 Replies
                                                              1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                I actually ate there last time I was on jury duty.

                                                                It's good, but IIRC, I ended up spending more than I would like on lunch, though I might not be recalling correctly.

                                                                Good suggestion, though, food is good.

                                                                1. re: PaulF

                                                                  You're right, it is a bit on the pricey side.

                                                                  During one previous summer, IIRC, they were giving you 15% off if you had a ticket stub from MOCA, which made it all the more palatable ...

                                                                  1. re: ipsedixit

                                                                    And MOCA is free to jurors ... so maybe you can get a ticket stub that way.

                                                              2. Is it possible to make Langer's and back on a juror's lunch hour?

                                                                It's there a train or something?

                                                                4 Replies
                                                                1. re: PaulF

                                                                  Posters above say it's the red line.

                                                                  If you take your car out of parking, you could also do the curbside pickup.


                                                                  1. re: PaulF

                                                                    I believe if you take the Metro Red Line from Union Station you can get to Langer's.

                                                                    But don't take my word for it. I'm a die-hard Angeleno and haven't the slightest clue about public transportation.

                                                                    See link for more info. http://metro.net/riding_metro/riders_...

                                                                    1. re: PaulF

                                                                      YES. Langer's should be the THIRD stop from the Civic Center station. First stop - Pershing Square, second stop - Metro/7th&Fig, third stop - Alvarado. Make sure you're on the right Red Line spur - not hard to figure out. You MAY have to change trains at Metro Center, but I'm not sure. VERY easy, VERY quick. Train stop near Langers is closer to Langer's than their parking lot. I have an office one stop away and try to go there regularly. Worth it.

                                                                      1. re: woojink

                                                                        No need to change trains. All Red Line trains stop at MacArthur Park. The split doesn't come for a couple more stops.

                                                                    2. The Westlake/MacArthur Park Red Line station deposits you within one block of Langer's. There's also a station adjacent to the courthouse at First and Hill streets.

                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                      1. re: Mr. Cookie

                                                                        Exactly. Langer's is three stops away from the civic center redline stop. The southern entrance is on Hill & 1st or you can enter from the flag plaza. Trains run every 5 to 7 minutes (and the ride to MacArthur park takes approx. 5 minutes).


                                                                      2. Patina also has a fast serve location inside the Disney Concert Hall which is good.