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Mar 13, 2001 06:50 PM

Good food near Metro lines?

  • r

Does anyone have any suggestions for good food near any of the Metro Rail lines? I actually like taking the Metro around town, and during rush hour it saves a heap of time. Unfortunately I only know of three stations with decent restaurants nearby - the one in Downtown that is near Ciudad, the one that is a block from Langer's Deli, and the one near the Aquarium in Long Beach that has lots of options. (Make that four, since the Douglas Street station in El Segundo has good places nearby, but that's where I get on the train...) Any leads would be appreciated, especially for places that are vegetarian-friendly.

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  1. Traxx @ Union Station at the end of the line in downtown Los Angeles is quite good and the beautiful setting in an historic building cannot be beat. Indoor and outdoor dining.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ronald Young

      The Union Station stop offers many good eating choices.
      Phillipes at Ord and Alameda is famous for "french-dip" sandwiches. NBC dim sum on Spring and Ord, or any number of Chinese restaurants with lunch specials. Little Tokyo restaurants a little further south, Olvera St. tacos and taquitos, etc.

      1. re: Karen Wolff

        El Paseo on Olvera Street is excellent. Good bar, great authentic food (homemade tortillas!) - good place to have a party too. My grandparents met at El Paseo 55 years ago and we celebrated their 50th with a huge anniversary party there. If I were taking the Metro into Union Station, this is one place I frequent.


    2. At Hollywood/Highland Musso & Frank's is just a few blocks east. Cafe des Artistes and many others. Hollywood is coming up.

      1. Musso and Franks is near the Hollywood Station - One of the best places in LA (although there are some definite land mines on the menu.) Great Caesar Salad, (most of the salads are good, actually, and the crumbled blue cheese vinaigrette is to die for) very good grilled meats (the pork chops in particular are wonderful, very thick and juicy) the 'flannel cakes' are very famous - they are almost crepe thin pancakes, and the tomato stuffed with Chicken salad is also a great dish. The Thursday special is homemade Chicken Pot Pie. And of course, the best martini in LA.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Tom P

          Two recommendations for Musso and Frank's... It looks like I have to go there again. I haven't dined there for at least fifteen years, an eyeblink to M&F's given that the place is older than Ronald Reagan and Methuselah put together. It was OK but overpriced back then, but things can change even among the venerable institutions.

          .Which seems to be the kind of establishment that is close to Metro Rail; if they were people Phillipe's, Langer's, and Musso & Frank's would all be eligible for social security and would be quoted in the local newspapers any time a lazy journalist was looking for a geezer for an "LA's Glorious Past" article. Not to mention a genuine antique like La Golondrina on Olvera Street, which as far as I know is the only place on that thoroughfare with edible food. I don't go to Olvera Street to eat often. The last time I was there there was a pervasive odor of rancid cooking oil from one of the tacquerias, and I didn't want to dine anywhere in the area.

          1. re: Richard Foss

            I ate at Musso a few months ago. The place was packed and everybody was having a great time.
            The food, however, was unexceptional and I was shocked at how high the prices were.
            Plan on dinner costing you at least 25% more than you think it should.

            1. re: Richard Foss

              On Olvera Street, the only conceivable place to eat is La Luz del Dia, the place closest to the plaza, which serves Mexican food very close to the Mexican food served in Los Angeles when it was actually a part of Mexico: stewed chicharrones, nopales salad, hand-patted tortillas.

              Although one perhaps should also consider the taquitos at Cielito Lindo, the shack next to the old horse trough at the other end of Olvera Street, which are fried in a battered steel pan that looks as if it's been there since the stand opened in 1938, then taken out when golden and crisp and stacked like Lincoln Logs.

              1. re: Pepper

                A year ago I would have agreed with you. Last time I was at Olvera St. I had lunch at La Golandrina. I ordered Conchinita Pibil and my brother in law ordered Guisado con Nopales. My food was great but he kept raving about his food. He is from Mexican restaurant deprived Maryland so I thought he was easily impressed. We traded plates and I was overwhelmed. His food was fantastic. I think one would be hard pressed to find Mexican food better than this anywhere.

                1. re: Larry

                  My wife and another couple somehow beat the crowd and wound up in La Golondrina on La Noche Buena (Christmas Eve) without a reservation. The food was surprisingly good. Excellent sauces.

                  Other good Mexican eating experience lately was Monte Alban in West L. A. Oaxaca style, natch, with the ubiquitous endorsement of Edwrd James Olmos on the wall.

          2. h

            If you are a fan of the Jaochim Splichal (Patina) empire, Cafe Pinot (700 W. 5th St. 213-239-6500) is about 2-3 blocks from the Pershing Square metro stop. Had a really lovely lunch there the other day.

            If you have a Palm pilot/PDA with Vindigo on it, you can enter the location of where you are. Vindigo will pull up all the restaurants from Zagat guide near your location, complete with address/phone, reviews, and directions on how to get to the restaurant.

            I just did that for the Pershing Square metro exit, and Cicada, Bernard's Bistro (in the Biltmore), Water Grill, Checkers, Nick and Stef's Steakhouse were all within 1/4 mile of Pershing Square on Hill and 5th St.

            4 Replies
            1. re: highendpalate

              I have never heard of Vindigo before, but then again I have only had my Visor for a short time. It sounds like something I need. Have you found it to be comprehensive and error-free? Is it updated often, and if so, how? Does it list only high-end establishemnts, or also smaller ethnic places? Sorry to bombard you with questions, but it sounds interesting.

              1. re: Richard Foss

                Vindigo is regularly updated from the web, every time you hotsync your PDA. There is a feature where you can submit updated information to Vindigo, e.g. restaurant closure or reviews. Unfortunately the Vindigo restaurant listing is linked to Zagat, which tends to list only mainstream restaurants. The offbeat ethnic restaurants are generally missed by zagat.

                Please check out, which downloads NY Times, the Economist, other reading material of interest onto your PDA. I really enjoy reading NYT, etc... on the go when I'm standing around, waiting for a few minutes.

                1. re: highendpalate

                  Vindigo also has other reviews of restaurants depending on the city. In NY they use the NY Times. Go to and set up yor account, then go to preferences and they probably will have 2 choices for food reviews. I use it all the time in NYC, it's pretty darn good. It doesn't have evry little ethnic joine or places in out of the way areas but it's a great help.

                  1. re: Ivan Stoler

                    Thanks for the recommendations for Vindigo - It sounds like something I need to investigate. This Handspring Visor seems to be moving from an interesting toy to something I can't do without.

                    Memo to self: buy stock in a company making AAA batteries. If everybody with these gadgets is going through them as fast as I do, this is a growth market...

            2. Just a few blocks south of H/Vine station (on Leland 1 blk s. of Sunset) is Off Vine. A converted, cozy Craftsman-like cottage, they serve excellent, interesting American comfort food with sparkle.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Mr Grub

                A strong second! A Hollywood gem.

                1. re: JonW

                  I dissent. I agree that the atmosphere is cozy, but the food is mediocre.

                  1. re: Tom Armitage

                    I agree; I don't remember the food being anything special at Off Vine. Any recommendations for the Farm (?) on Highland?