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Affordable weekend group dining downtown

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I'm coordinating a training event for some colleagues coming from NY next weekend. Our group of around 15 will pretty much be on lockdown all day Saturday and Sunday in downtown around Grand Ave & 3rd St and I'd love to feed everyone better than just fast food on our modest budget.

Any good lunch options nearby for takeout, delivery, or dine-in for around $10pp that would be open on the weekends? Downtown seems to be a ghost town when it's not during the work week.

Also any good dinner recommendations downtown around $25pp or offering an affordable pre-fixe would be great. Next weekend coincides with the dineLA Restaurant Week but these are usually closer to $35+.

Thanks much!

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  1. Any suggestions?

    3 Replies
    1. re: TracyS

      Might try sandwiches from Philippes http://www.philippes.com/

      Or maybe even the Eastside Market Deli for sandwiches and subs. http://www.esmdeli.com/

      For dinner, I'd suggest a place like Chichen Itza for Mexican. http://www.chichenitzarestaurant.com/

      All three places will require a car to get to (although I believe Eastside Market delivers and/or caters, so call ahead).

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Thanks ipsedixit! I hadn't heard of Eastside Market Deli before, but it looks like a winner from all the reviews. It sounds like the hot sandwiches are the way to go, but I wonder how well these turn out on the sandwich platters. Anyone have any experience with their delivery?

        1. re: TracyS

          This past Saturday I had lunch at Eastside Deli. My husband had a hot sandwich (#7 their specialty) and I had a cold sandwich. Both were phenomenal! I think the cold would be better for delivery. But the hot might work too. I highly recommend this place for sandwiches. They have catering information on their website: http://www.esmdeli.com/

    2. There's got to be at least one local who can dash out for about a half hour and pick up. If so, give folks a choice between the crazy chicken combo, carne asada plate, or pastrami sandwich at Dino's, located on the N/W corner of Pico at Berendo, a couple of blocks west of Vermont. The chicken special is a marinated half-bird, fire grilled, with a vinegary/garlicky/turmeric sauce that is delicious. Served over a bed of fries with cole slaw and tortillas for about $5.

      Or send the driver due north on Broadway, through Chinatown, until he reaches the N/W corner of No. Broadway and 19th, near where the 5 intersects. There is the best, by far, branch of Carnitas Michaocan, open 24/7. The carne asada is good, the carnitas better, and the al pastor is the bomb, cut from a rotisserie spit. Their salsa roja is the best in town -- thin, brick-red, spicy, hot, smoky, complex -- get as many little thimbles as they'll give you and buy a couple of 4oz containers as well. Burritos run less than $5, they also have quesadillas they'll fill with meat and special nachos with all sorts of stuff on top.

      If you need a walk for lunch from the meeting rooms, the Grand Central Market isn't far. Huge carnitas tacos from Ana Maria's or Roast 2 Go, and there is a seafood stand for soup and shrimp that was discussed in a recent thread.

      For sandwiches, Eastside Deli will travel much better and be far more satisfying than the scrawny little dips at Phillippe's, which will become cold, wet sponges as they travel. For a group dinner, I'd choose Yang Chow -- you could have a wonderful feast on two round tables with lazy susans for well under $20 per person. They could also supply good takeout, though I'd strongly suggest dining in.

      1. Not sure what to suggest as far as lunch, but as for dinner, you could try one of the many Korean BBQ restaurants down along 8th Street for something fun, different, and relatively inexpensive. I've eaten at Soot Bull Jeep, Manna, and Dong II Jang with large groups from work in the past and each has always been equally delicious and accomodating. You should call ahead though since space is somewhat limited and SBJ, in particular, seems like a very popular choice.

        4 Replies
        1. re: vajrasun

          I don't think you can even start thinking of weekend Korean BBQ for dinner on a weekend for less than $30/per person, and that would be before any beers.

          1. re: nosh

            We've eaten at Manna for about $15 pp.

          2. re: vajrasun

            I think this is an excellent idea. Koreatown is just a couple of minutes away from downtown and is a great choice when you have a large group and want to spend less than $20/pp (alcohol not included). There are a lot of AYCE (all you can eat) korean bbq places. You just want to make sure no one is a vegetarian.

            Some places I recommend are:
            1) Mu Dung San
            2) Tahoe
            3) LA Family Restaurant
            4) Manna

            1. re: vajrasun

              I thought about this too, but alas we have a few vegetarians so AYCE Korean BBQ doesn't seem the way to go. Perhaps I'll take advantage of all the good eats in Little Tokyo for dinner though.

            2. The CPK in the Wells Fargo center might be open on weekends.