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Oct 30, 2007 04:12 PM

Grocery Store Open LATE Near Downtown?

Staying at the Westin downtown this weekend because I'm taking my HS students to USC for a debate competition. The problem is that Saturday is homecoming, which will be a disaster for a variety of reasons (I'm not looking forward to keeping my students out of the beer tents, dealing w/ puke in the halls of VKC, etc.).

The worst problem is, however, feeding the kids. We'll be on campus from 7:30 AM to 10:00 PM on Saturday and the kids will have to eat. Due to homecoming, I will not be able to leave the campus (or I'll never get another parking space) to pick up food. I have 13 people to feed, and I don't want to have to walk to the Denny's and haul that much food back (my arms will fall off).

So...I need to find someplace late Friday night where I can go buy 1)a couple of cheap cooler chests, 2)lots of ice, and 3)picnic food (sandwich makings, deli salads, etc.). I can't bring stuff from home because we're flying. Any suggestions?

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  1. Ralphs.

    Open 21 Hours! (5 am. to 2 a.m. daily)

    4 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Is that the new Super Ralph's with sandwich section, salad bar, sushi, etc. etc. ? If so it is perfect.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Thanks for word of the Ralphs. Should be just a few blocks from the hotel.

        1. re: lexdevil

          That Ralph's will be perfect. Plus they have lots of underground free validated parking, a miracle in downtown.

      2. Well I'm not sure how late is late I think there is a 24 hour Ralphs that's in Echo Park.

        Do you think you could work something out with the restaurant in the Westin, like with their coffee shop or something. Maybe they can make you the sandwiches along with some packets of mayo and stuff? I'm just assuming that's what they use when someone orders room service in the middle of the night. Maybe you can talk to the manager and work something out with them about the price since it's for some kids.

        The new Ralphs that opened up in Downtown in 9th street is open until midnight. That might work too. You should be able to find the cooler and picnic foods there. Then maybe you can get the ice before you leave from the hotel-isn't there an ice maker on the floor?

        1 Reply
        1. re: bigtums

          The new Ralphs (9th & Flower) in downtown is open beyond midnight on most nights now, meaning 21 hours per posts above, and especially on Friday and Saturday nights. And it is a Fresh Fare Ralphs, meaning a much better quality selection, even though cooler chests might be a stretch as to the merchandise available.

        2. On the west side of the USC campus, on Vermont, there are two possibilities. First, to fit your preconceptions, there is a Ralph's supermarket on the corner of Vermont and Adams (or is it 23rd?) Northwest corner of the USC campus area. I don't know their exact hours, but I'm sure they are open fairly late.

          Second, I advise making arrangements with the Togo's sandwich joint on Vermont just across from one of the main western entrances to campus. Togos serves good, generously filled sub sandwiches, they are several levels superior to Subway, and they are very reasonably priced. Their highlights are the hot pastrami (I think that is the #9) and the cold turkey and roast beef with cheese (#8). They have all of the usual toppings, such as lettuce, onion, pickles, tomato, and they also have quacamole and spicy pepperoncini. Choice of rolls, I like the onion. I'll bet you could get them to make a bunch of naked sandwiches and give you sides of the condiments for a price that would approach the supermarket option with a lot less hassle.

          p.s. -- Good luck. I did HS debate and extemp.

          3 Replies
          1. re: nosh

            Thanks! I've been to that Togo's. Trying to avoid carrying 13 sandwiches back to VKC, but I'll definitely use it if I can drive off w/out losing my parking space.

            Where did you compete in HS?

            1. re: lexdevil

              Do give that Togo's a call. It is a longshot, but being so close to campus and the dorms they may have a delivery option for an order that big. Furthermore, most college-hosted tournaments have volunteer helpers (think all of the timekeepers) who might be able to pick up for you or at least guard and save your parking space. (To answer, St. Louis area -- Missouri state champ many years ago!)

              1. re: nosh

                Sadly, based on my experience at past USC homecoming/debate tournament overlap weekends, I'm betting that the USC debate team members will be among the totally blitzed. That's why self help is the only help I'm willing to count on.

                I get the feeling that Missouri is a far more civilized state! Did you win in extemp or debate (policy or LD?)?

          2. I am not familiar with the campus (I went to UCLA!) but won't they have on-campus dining facilities, e.g., cafeteria, coffee shops, snack shops? That way, you could stay on campus. Even if that is available you would certainly benefit from a cooler with snacks, drinks, fruit, etc. I took debate in HS and I was terrible at it -- Good Luck and have fun!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Bite Me

              They have a Starbucks selling coffee shop on campus, but it will be completely wiped out by the homecoming crowds. All but one food place in the commons is closed on Saturdays, and the one that is open will close by 5:00 PM. Food is shockingly scarce on the USC campus on weekends. There is lots of fast food nearby, but it's all several blocks from where we'll be, and hauling food for 13 without a car is a PITA. I usually have crappy pizza delivered to campus, but the traffic on game days can turn this into a nightmare. Homecoming will make the situation even worse, as the campus will be chock a block with drunken revelers.

              Thanks for the good wishes!

            2. Wow what a scheduling conflict, why would they do it on homecoming day? Just have the kids mooch a few drinks off some tailgaters. haha no i kidddd. Carl's Jr should be open too.

              The downtown ralphs is a good idea. The USC ralphs is also open till 1 am. It opens early at 5:00 or 6:00 am So you could swing buy in the morning as well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: trojandude

                The debate team always hosts this event on the first weekend of November. Past conflicts with homecoming have been a nightmare--no parking, drunk kids, drunk adults walking into classrooms where debates are going on and peeing in the trashcans, marching band playing during debates, etc. Several years ago the team promised to stay off of homecoming, but they have a new director now and institutional memory is short.

                The USC website now lists the Carl's Jr. as closed on weekends. The only thing open is the Main Street convenience store, and it closes at 5:00.