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Decent Eats in the USC/Historic West Adams area?

aching Mar 26, 2007 10:27 AM

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. ozzygee RE: aching Mar 26, 2007 11:01 AM

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

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

    http://www.mercadolapaloma.com/restau...

    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. MeAndroo RE: aching Mar 26, 2007 11:01 AM

      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 http://www.downtownladining.com/
      for some ideas (bear in mind those aren't reviews).

      1 Reply
      1. re: MeAndroo
        f
        FoodaholicinLA RE: MeAndroo Apr 5, 2007 02:06 PM

        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. ttriche RE: aching Mar 26, 2007 11:47 AM

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

        1 Reply
        1. re: ttriche
          r
          risottoman RE: ttriche Mar 26, 2007 11:54 AM

          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. w
          WHills RE: aching Mar 26, 2007 02:51 PM

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

          1. JAB RE: aching Mar 26, 2007 03:27 PM

            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
              k
              kevin RE: JAB Mar 26, 2007 03:30 PM

              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
                Skunk2Racer RE: JAB Mar 28, 2007 01:49 PM

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

              2. t
                trojandude RE: aching Mar 26, 2007 07:21 PM

                Agree with all the recs so far.

                In the immediate area you can't beat La Taquiza or Bis(Viz)tango. Across Fig is of course Fatburger, and the Japanese noodle house is pretty good as well. Every once in a while they have a pastrami sandwich in the engineering building's cafe that I think is great.

                Sadly, the biggest news in USC area eating is that Chipotle has opened up.

                Been meaning to try this taco place: El Parian at 1528 Pico Blvd. Saw it on a taco blog that says its a dive but great.

                If you go downtown don't forget Phillipe's. Sushi Go 55 lunch special?

                3 Replies
                1. re: trojandude
                  aching RE: trojandude Mar 27, 2007 11:45 AM

                  Chipotle - whaaaa...??? I totally missed that! How exciting! I just posted the other day about how I had recently kicked my Chipotle addiction, but now I may need to revert to my old bad ways...

                  1. re: aching
                    MeAndroo RE: aching Mar 28, 2007 08:42 AM

                    FYI, I think the Chiptole is at the new apartments near Exposition and Fig.

                    1. re: MeAndroo
                      g
                      gsmoose RE: MeAndroo Apr 5, 2007 04:38 PM

                      Very correct... in a line of Quizno's, Robek's, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, etc. It just opened a couple weeks ago.

                2. Emme RE: aching Mar 26, 2007 07:47 PM

                  You could see if Purgatory Pizza will deliver to you... the latest area addition...

                  1. e
                    Ernie RE: aching Mar 27, 2007 11:52 AM

                    There's a pretty good King Taco location down Washington Bl that you are not too far from

                    1. aching RE: aching Apr 20, 2007 06:30 PM

                      Has anyone tried the Indian joint on Vermont around 31st (called Manas I think)? It has an "A" from the Health Department, which is a good start...

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