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Jan 28, 2002 07:47 PM

Looking for a place for dinner near USC

  • r

As I have to go straight from work (downtown LA) to USC, at least one night a week, I am looking for a non-fast food place to eat dinner at. I don't know the area at all, but have noticed a lot of fast food and chains, but am looking for a little more. I have exactly one hour to eat dinner & get to class, but would like some tasty, but not expensive food (less than $10) somewhere in the vicinity, if that's a possibility. Type is not important, just taste. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

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  1. I highly recommend La Taquiza. It is in the strip mall on the corner of 30th and Fig. Really great mexican food. Their specialty is the "mulita" which is a sort of sandwich made with two homemade corn tortillas, chease, meat of your choice, avacado. The also have great tacos al pastor, a variety of fish tacos, burritos, and salads. Dinner and a soft drink would probably be $7-$8.

    3 Replies
    1. re: David L

      Sure do agree about La Taquiza. We come all the way from the San Gabriel Valley for the mulita. Ask for the pork. A plus in my book is the fact that you order at the counter, they make the item before your eyes, and then you take it to your table. Very clean place with no atmosphere. Small parking lot. The Dairy Queen which shares the parking is always good for dessert.

      1. re: Victoria

        Hmmmm, softserve vanilla ice cream instead of boring old sour cream to cool off that spicy food...

        1. re: Victoria

          Thanks for the great tip! I did not attend USC, but have season tickets for football and basketball. Always looking for places to eat around there.

          The mulitas were exactly as promised! I had one pork and one beef, washed down with apple soda. This will be a new ritual.

          Update - no Dairy Queen to be found.

      2. If you have never been, you might consider a visit to El Cholo Cafe -- the original Mexican restaurant that launched thousands of copies around California and beyond.


        1121 South Western Avenue
        Los Angeles, CA 90006

        1 Reply
        1. a
          Allison Linehan

          A great Mexican restaurant that is a favorite with USC students, local law enforcement and neighborhood families is LA BARCA. It is family run and very friendly. The outside bland stucco doesn't prepare for the lovely, fairly spacious dark wood interior. I usually head to it from downtown at least once a month before I head to class at 'SC.

          When I go I usually get the burrito dinner which is of monstrous portions filled with chunks of the meat of your choice or fajitas. I have also had great tacos, fajitas, enchiladas suiza, carne asada, and carnitas. Very popular after work due to its great Happy Hour with some scrumptious $1.95 margaritas until 8PM. Reasonably priced with entrees with rice and beans averageing $5-8. You can also get the food to go!

          Parking on Vermont and in the neighborhood is sketchy but they have lot in the back where you enter off of W 25th Street where a nice man watches over your car.

          I put a link to the menu below!

          LA BARCA
          2414 S Vermont Ave
          Los Angeles, CA
          Phone: (323) 735-6567


          3 Replies
          1. re: Allison Linehan
            michael (mea culpa)

            La Barca (the ship) is a fair to good spot sometimes affectionately called "La Barfa." Lots of cops eat here which is generally a good sign as to portion size and value. Occasionally, members of the Harpys gang have been known to eat here as well which can make for an interesting byplay with the officers. Just enjoy the food and you'll be fine. Lots of SC students do hang here.

            1. re: michael (mea culpa)

              I really like La Barca, but I've found that females prefer the food over males. Why, I don't know, but I love it and my boyfriend hates it.

            2. re: Allison Linehan

              Normally I wouldn't comment on this but I have to in this case... "The outside bland stucco doesn't prepare for the lovely, fairly spacious dark wood interior."

              La Barca isn't that lovely or spacious, I feel. I went to USC and have eaten their a number of times. I was even back that way again a month or so ago for a quick bite. It's tight and crowded in there and the room truly needs new decorating and lighting. I've seen lovely before -- that ain't it.

              Don't get me wrong, it's a fun dive over by 'SC, but it's kinda "sketchy" like the neighborhood. If you are looking for Mexican I'd more likely suggest the restaurant (can't remember the name) just east/across the street from Exposition Park and the old IMAX theater. They have great drinks. And it's a bit nicer.

              There's not much in that area that's that great by any means. Trust me. I was there a lot. I'd suggest heading into downtown to a couple of the nicer spots unless the setting isn't an issue and you just want to grab a quick bite. :)

            3. Just wanted to say thanks for the tips. I will be checking these places out, and whatever else is recommended, through the course of the semester. I appreciate all your thoughts.