Help! I just started a new job on Wilshire across from the La Brea Tar Pits. There is nothing notably good to eat here for lunch. Or rather I should say, nothing good within walking distance.
I'm looking for some suggestions of where/what to try on Wilshire Blvd. between Fairfax & La Brea. I've hit up a FEW decent places (Black Dog Cafe, ummm...Marie Calendars???). Ok, I lied, there isn't anything decent. The best thing I eat is salads & sandwiches from the Foodies guy who comes to our building.
Walk to Ralph's. Get some deli. Walk to Tom Bergin's. DASH bus to Farmers Market and walk back or vice versa. It's a mile. Wahoo Fish Taco on Crescent Heights or Rocco's across the street. Bring lunch and sit in the park. If you take the DASH, the Town and Country center across the street from the Farmers Market has Whole Foods, a cheap Thai place and the "Italian" place next to it that has a very nice chicken sandwich. Wilshire Boulevard is a great street to walk on. Must resist urge to hop in car. Enjoy exploring your new neighborhood!
Hunan Taste on the NE corner of Olympic and San Vincente is good. They have nice lunch specials for about 8 dollar. You can walk there or drive,big parking lot. Service and food is good and fast. Agree with Farmers Market, or go to Whole Foods, next
door in the courtyard Andres Italian, simple food but good and resonable. A few minutes away is El Coyote, fast service , nice salads. There is also a couple of places west of La Cienega that is supposed to be good.
I've worked in the neighborhood for the past 5 years and agree with almost all of the posts on the thread. The cafeteria at the museum is really the sleeper in the area -- a huge cut above ordinary cafeteria food and often better than what I've gotten at some of the fancier Patina Group places. (They run the cafeteria.) Luna Park can be good, but I find really hit or miss at lunch. Sometimes the service is fast, other times it goes at a snails pace. One day the food is fine, the next time almost inedible. Black Dog is pretty good, but you'll exhaust the options there pretty quickly. Campanile/La Brea Bakery take out sandwiches are excellent, but it is a longish walk (at least by LA standards) and parking is tricky, though sometimes they'll let you valet park for free when just picking up a sandwich. Farmers Market is a great choice and fairly quick to get to and from if you go East to Hauser and take it to Third and go in the "back " entrance to the Grove. We easily make it there and back for lunch in an hour. (Hauser is a good back road for chow -- I took it down to Venice and shot down to Surfas Cafe for lunch and was back in less than an hour.)
Good luck, and yeah, stay away from Callendars at all costs -- bad food, bad service, bad attitude.
There's a new Indian place on the south side closer to LaBrea, took over a Russian restaurant. I'd been looking at the location myself, but the rent was too high. In any case, I'd love to know how it is, so maybe you'd like to go there? I would, but I keep kosher, and it's not. Just wanna know whether the place is destined to survive.
Give Black Dog another try - the white cheddar with curry and cherries is really good, and they will make you your own combinations if ask.
There is a Patina group Italian place at the museum, although I've only liked desserts there. Many places on Third St are good and some deliver. Luna Park in at LaBrea and Wilshire. The Dash bus goes to Farmer's Market, so for 25 cents you can get there pretty quick.
re: Food Good
Try La Brea Bakery for sandwiches and cookies. They have a few tables outside; otherwise, you take it to go.
Further east is Larchmont Blvd; there are a few options there. The sandwiches at Larchmont Wine & Cheese are very good, but the place gets busy and the line doesn't move that fast. You can call in your order though. Only a couple tables out front.
Almost directly north of you on Melrose is the Village Idiot. They have a tasty burger and fries; I haven't tried anything else.
I work about 2 miles east of you. Occasionally we'll call in a takeout order to Langer's. It's worth the 15 minute drive to 7th and Alvarado.
You're also close to little Ethiopia.
If you are looking for more nice sit-down type places, on La Brea there is Luna Park which has reliable comfort food and it pretty pleasant during lunch hours (i.e. not deafening loud like at night). Also a little further up on La Brea is Ca'Brea, one of my favorites for Italian lunch, they had a fire a few months ago but I think they should be reopened by now.
For cheaper stuff, when I used to work in the area, I would occasionally splurge and hop in the car and go to the Roscoe's on Pico just west of La Brea.
And if you don't mind walking a bit further west to Crescent Heights, there is Rocco's on Wilshire just west of Crescent Heights - great pizza and pastas.
But yeah, there is not much else in the area. Find a new job somewhere else :)
672 S. La Brea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036
346-348 LaBrea Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036
Roscoe's House of Chicken
5006 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019
Rocco's Italian Kitchen
6335 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90048
After 11 years in that location, I usually bring my lunch. But here's a few other suggestions.
At Black Dog, I like the fresh mozzarella sandwich and the beef salad.
In the tall building across from Black Dog is a grill-type place called Gourmet Bites -- they have a good chicken, arugula and goat cheese salad, and other sandwiches and stuff.
India's Tandoori on Wilshire is ok if you have a craving for Indian, I think they have a buffet now.
Ngoma is an interesting place to try for African food at least once.
Some of my co-workers like the taco place in the camera building next to Busby's, they have 50 types of tacos or something like that.
I don't care for the panini place on that block, but maybe it's worth a try.
Backdoor Boba on Dunsmuir just south of Wilshire has a few interesting Asian dishes, salads, etc.
If you're craving Japanese, Sake House Miro at La Brea and 8th has lunch specials, sushi, and good bibimbap. There's also a shabu shabu place near there.
Good luck, and try not to resort to Callender's!
The taco place is called El Toro, and beware that the tacos are about $4 EACH. They are really really tasty and amazing, but still, they're $4 EACH. And that's just the taco, no sides or anything. Just to let you know so you don't get surprised. Did I mention they're $4 per taco? :) They have a nice tortilla soup there though, far more reasonably priced at I believe $5.