recommendations for good, quick eats downtown?
i'm planning on going to see a friend cross the finish line this sunday at the l.a. marathon. i'll be with a bunch of people. any recommendations for where to eat while waiting? walking distance is definitely preferred. the finish line is at 5th & flowers in front of the central library. any suggestions from fellow chowhounds would be appreciated.
A tall order. Most of the usual suspects in the immediate area -- Ciudad, Cafe Pinot, Engine Co. 28 and the hotel restaurants (altho you may try the Bonaventure Brewing Co right there at 5th & Flower) -- will undoubtedly be overrun (if you'll pardon the expression) with 16,000 runners & their friends & families. Some may even be closed, as will all of the good, quick weekday lunch spots. You might take the Bunker Hill escalator (across from the library entrance on 5th) to McCormick & Schmick's at the top of the stairs. Failing that, walk up Hope St to the Wells Fargo Center, where lies a CPK and a couple of decent ethnic fast food joints. Good luck.
re: Bob Barnett
My first thought was Grand Central Market, also. It is open on Sunday and is on Hill St. between 3rd and 4th. There's a stall that serves delicious soft tacos and other good antojitos, located in the center of the market, with a name of something like "roast to go?. Another stall, at the Hill St. entrance, blends fresh fruit drinks to order.
The Pantry at 9th & Figueroa St. is always popular; its doors never close.
re: Ronald Young
things were indeed packed downtown for the marathon...so i ended up stopping at philippe's original for a great french dip sandwich (beef) thanx for all the suggestions though. i figured philippe's would be far enough away to not be too crowded from foot traffic, but close enough to get it to go, and eat it on the way to the finish line (driving, not running, thank you).
While The Pantry 9th and Figueroa) is my favorite downtown morning spot (great grilled sourdough toast!), I suspect the lines on March 4 will rival the marathon, and getting a large party seated may be a tall order.
Someone recently recommended this place but I don't know their hours for March 4: Bella Cucina, 949 S Figueroa St (213/623-0014). Fabulous pizzas and home-made pastas, with the accent on northern and rural Italian cuisine.
Another idea is Clifton's Cafeteria, 648 Broadway at 7th Street. Might be far enough removed from the Marathon crowd to not be packed and definitely an experience not to be missed. Decent diner-style food, large selection, cafeteria service (as the name suggests), very reasonable prices, plenty of seating in a room decorated like a forest complete with trees, bears and a running brook! It's worth the 15 minute walk (five short blocks east and two short blocks south from 5th and Flower). And don't forget to look at the classic art deco and beaux artes buildings, and the mosaic work all along Broadway. Ugh! Can you tell I like going to this place? PS: if it's your birthday tell them and they'll give you a piece of cake to celebrate!
Finally, I recall that normally there is a festival associated with the marathon, and, thanks to the miracle of the Internet I have copied the info below for your use. They also mention the food court at Seventh Market Place which has basic food court fare. The urls follows for additional information.
Have fun and don't forget your umbrella!
http://www.cc-smp.com/smpdirectory.htm (Seventh Market Place directory
THE GAS CO. FINISH LINE FESTIVAL
The Gas Co. Finish Line Festival will be located on Flower Street at 3rd Street in Downtown Los Angeles. Please arrange to meet family and friends by the posted alphabetical signs denoting the first letter of your last name. Downed or dropped runner information will be available in the Family Reunion area. There will be Medical and Massage services available in the Family Reunion Area. There will be booths, refreshments and entertainment also in the Finish Line Festival Area.
For families and friends the Seventh Street Market Place located at Citicorp Plaza in Downtown L.A. provides a great place to view the Marathon. The entire race will be broadcast live on the Giant Video Wall in the Seventh Market Place Food Court.