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Restaurant near Sports Arena/USC

big_mike Oct 20, 2007 06:57 PM

A friend from work and I are coming from OC to see Springsteen on October 30th at the Sports Arena (it's been a LONG time since I've had any reason to go there!).

Any suggestions for a place to eat/drink before the concert? I think we'd prefer Mexican or a brewpub/sports bar where we can get some good "guys" food. I've thought of M'Dears down on Western on the way there and then stopping by a bar once we're close. I've eaten there on the way to Staples and it's great.

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  1. DiveFan RE: big_mike Oct 21, 2007 05:53 PM

    I don't have any suggestions on the bar, but you can get great Mexican at Mercado La Paloma IF you go early enough (closes at 6:30pm). La Taquiza is a USC hangout known for mulitas and the usual suspects. Chanos is a Mexican option across the street.

    EDIT - found this relevant topic: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/385075

    3000 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90007

    Mercado La Paloma
    3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

    La Taquiza
    3009 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90007

    4 Replies
    1. re: DiveFan
      big_mike RE: DiveFan Oct 21, 2007 06:01 PM

      Great, thanks. I was also thinking of La Barca.

      1. re: DiveFan
        alliefair3 RE: DiveFan Oct 22, 2007 06:22 PM

        Try the 29th Street Cafe... or Margarita Jones.

        1. re: alliefair3
          ns1 RE: alliefair3 Oct 22, 2007 07:27 PM

          margarita jones is long gone

          29th st cafe is pretty wack now. it's no longer a cool sports bar, but tries to be an upscale cafe

          el cholo up on western? load up on margaritas and then go.

          1. re: ns1
            jbeecher RE: ns1 Oct 23, 2007 02:34 PM

            i second el cholo -- la barca is also awesome if you want to be closer to the arena. BUT if you go tuesday get there early or you will wait for an hour+....it's $2 margarita night and half of USC's undergrads flood the place.
            mercado is one of my favorites and has great food, but it has -0 atmosphere so is probably not what you're looking for pre-springsteen concert.

      2. s
        Soulja Boy RE: big_mike Oct 23, 2007 12:27 PM

        The food at Mercado de Palamo is amazing. There are several restaurants there, and I recommend Chichen Itza. However, I don't know if they serve drinks, and if they do, this is not the kind of place to put a few back.

        Downtown, but still only minutes from USC...

        Casey's Bar at 6th and Grand is a great place to get drinks. I have only eaten there once, and it was decent, although the food has mixed reviews on CH.

        Weiland Brewary, the one at 1st and Central is easier to park, has a great beer selection - including micro, classic bar food, and is the kind of place you take your 'boys.' It's popular before Dodgers' games. Again, I cannot vouch for the cuisine because every time I eat there I've had a few beers. I had a burger there once for lunch, sober, and it was excellent.

        1. b
          bluemonster RE: big_mike Oct 24, 2007 10:31 AM

          Big Mike,
          Could you give more info on M'Dears? I'm always interested to hear about good places close to USC but not in downtown.

          Another suggestion for your pre-concert dinner is Korean BBQ in the southern part of Koreatown. I like Dha Rae Oak on Western (right across from El Cholo), which has a funky, pub-like vibe. There's also the trendy Chosun Galbi on Olympic.

          2 Replies
          1. re: bluemonster
            big_mike RE: bluemonster Oct 24, 2007 09:30 PM

            Thanks Monster...M'dears' website is no more, so I was wondering if they're still in business, but I see they have listings in LA Weekly for jazz a few nights a week so they're still there. Here's a link I found to their menu:


            My son said it was the best fried chicken he's ever had, and I believe I had the pot roast. It was a little intimidating at first, but the waitresses couldn't have been nicer. They came over and talked to us at length about how we found them (the American Airlines Rewards Network at the time) and why we were in the area, etc. Just an outstanding find, but you may want to stay in the neighborhood during daylight hours.

            1. re: big_mike
              bluemonster RE: big_mike Oct 25, 2007 10:27 AM

              Thank you--the menu looks delish, especially the hearty breakfasts! I'm putting it on my list of places to try.

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