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Mar 26, 2007 10:27 AM

Decent Eats in the USC/Historic West Adams area?

I went to USC for four years and have been back on campus for a year and a half for work, and in all this time have really struggled to find a decent lunch. My coworkers and I mostly go to Togo's (or, sadly, Taco Bell), with an occasional foray into La Taquiza or Cafe Viztango at 30th & Fig - and sometimes we go further afield to El Chollo or Papa Christo's. But that's basically it. The 29th Street Cafe has a pleasant ambience, but I hate the food. La Barca can be convivial, but again, don't really like the food. Does anybody know of anywhere else in the area that's worth going to?

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  1. There's mercado la paloma, a gallo giro , and phillips bbq all within a 5-10 minute drive.

    2619 Crenshaw Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90016
    (323) 731-4772

    El Gallo Giro
    701 E Jefferson Blvd
    Los Angeles, CA 90011
    (323) 233-3623

    If I worked that close to phillips, I'd probably go there at least three times a week for lunch.

    1. As a fellow SC grad, I definitely relate to the lack of anything more than convenience food in the area. I must have eaten every sandwich at Subway before I got a car...

      I remember Upstairs Commons having decent food, but also remember never footing the bill. I've had a pretty good calzone at that pasta place in the same plaza as KFC on Figueroa before as well. If you and your coworkers are willing to drive just a bit, or even hop on a DASH, there's plenty of good food in Little Tokyo, Chinatown, and some of the smaller independent restaurants in downtown LA. If Downtown's within range of your transportation and whatever time you get for lunch, check out
      for some ideas (bear in mind those aren't reviews).

      1 Reply
      1. re: MeAndroo

        The pasta place is called Pasta Roma, and I love their Farfalla Gustos! There is a hole in the wall on the corner of Jefferson and Western next to the Churches Chicken called House of Dimes ( a little pink shack) who has great turkey tacos, the Indian taco (beef) are good but kind of greasy. Harold and Bells has great crawfish and shrimp etoufee (hope I spelled it right) but its about $22 for the lunch portion. If you like Soul Food try Chef Marilyns on Cresnshaw near Adams (they have a $1 menu). For a great kosher pastrami go to Johnnies on Adams Blvd and Crenshaw this place has been there for well over 30 years because my mother would have cravings for their pastramis and chili dogs when she was pregnant with me! Oh yeah I almost forgot about Chabelita's on Western 1/2 block before Washington they have great chicken taquitos and they also an enchilada plate for $8 (3 enchiladas rice and beans)

      2. Change your title -- Harold and Belle's, Philips, etc. are all great eats, but for lunch, not so much.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ttriche

          head up to k-town, like 5 minutes away for great lunch specials.
          Jeun-Ju, on Olympic and Vermont (in the plaza behind Hodori and across from Ham Nam supermarket on the same side of the street) has excellent bi-bim-bap (mixed rice/veggies/meat in stone pot)

          Upstairs Cafe's been recently renovated and improved. The food is much better and so is the decor. Unfortunately, in terms of finer dining, it's hard to find around USC.

        2. Curry House
          Head out to Little Toyko
          Langer's for a pastrimi sandwich

          1. Serre's aka Kenny's is/was a USC tradition. It used to be located in that "shack" behind Felix Chevrolet. I've been a customer for 20+ years.

            Seree's Coffee Shop
            Address: 2800 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007
            Phone: (213) 747-8233

            2 Replies
            1. re: JAB

              chef marilynn's place, the cobbler lady, the mercado la paloma (for taqueria vista hermosa or chichen itza), phillip's (of course), johnnie's pastrami on adams.

              1. re: JAB

                Ah the portugese sausage Eggs and Rice.....