At Wilshire & Western
Recently moved offices and am in unfamiliar territory. There are plenty of places around to pick and choose, but can anyone tell me where are the not-to-miss places?
Any type of non-chain good grub is what I'm looking for. I'm getting tired of the Louise's Trattoria pastas and deli sandwiches that my non-adventurous coworkers keep ordering!
When I get the chance to take a leisurely lunch, I'll report back on the new places I've tried. Recently went to Atlas, a "supper club" which, during lunch, serves decent salads and little else noteworthy. All ambience, not much else: I expect it'd be great at night for food and dancing with the soaring artwork, tall ceilings and mirrored walls.
Wilshire B.B.Q House at Wilshire & Wiltern. It's a few bucks more than the usual hole-in-the-wall lunch places. The room is beautiful, but they also have a private out-door patio with a waterfall that is lovely and suprising in that area. Oh, yeah, and the Korean Bar-B-Q is amazing -- I had the skirt steak, my friend had the other cut of steak, and I don't know which I liked more. You could make a meal out of all the extras, cold cucumber soup, some sort of egg-souffle, kimchi, smoked white fish, etc. All for $10 a piece at lunch. Dinner starts around $15 and goes up. My first time there, I'm definitely going back.
By gosh, did you say Wilshire and Western?
You are arguably in the food center of the universe.
Try the Denny's next to Atlas, er, just kidding.
1. Pollos a la Brasa, on the traffic island one block down on 8th and Western. Fire roasted Peruvian chicken
2. Guelaguetza, 8th and Normandie. Oaxacan.
3. Taylor's Steakhouse, 8th and Normandie
4. Soot Bull Jeep. 8th and Vermont. Korean BBQ. Several thousand other Korean restaurants within 1 mile.
You asked for just the can't miss. I think that covers it, but there's a lot out there. I'm jealous of you. Great food hood, and all new to you.
Cube's list is a good one. I'd add the following:
Cassell's, 3266 W. Sixth St. Arguably the best hamburger in Los Angeles. It's my personal favorite. The hamburger patty is made from freshly ground prime beef. You build your own burger from a selection of accompaniments ensconced in stainless steel bins, including a terrific housemade mayonnaise. Don't miss the potato salad. It's full of zing and very tasty. Pie N' Burger in Pasadena also makes a mite-y-fine burger, but in a different, less meat-dominant, style.
Your good luck is to be surrounded by a countless number of good Korean restaurants. To get some preliminary information on the Korean restaurant scene in Los Angeles, use the search feature on Chowhound's main board, and type in +"los angeles" +korean. You'll have lots of posts to read. From there, just explore on your own (this is the fun part), and be sure to post the results of your explorations on Chowhound. To get you started, I'll make a couple of suggestions, from opposite ends of the "fancy" to "plain" spectrum.
Yongsusan, 950 S. Vermont Ave. This is at the "fancy" end of the spectrum. The restaurant features North Korean dynasty food that is a pure delight to the senses. It offers a very reasonably priced lunch special. But to fully exploit the experience, go in the evening and have one of the price-fixed multi-course meals. The restaurant's decor features silk covered walls and Korean antiques.
Ma Dang Gook Soo, 869 S. Western Ave. This is a small, plain Korean noodle house tucked away in a mini-mall. It features Gook Soo, handmade, hand cut wheaten noodles, identified on the English menu merely as "handmade noodles." There are other kinds of noodles too, and a scattering of non-noodle dishes. The prices are ridiculously cheap and the food is very tasty. It's a Chowhound kind of place.