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Relatively cheap/interesting in DTLA?

Something tells me that Jonathan Gold doesn't spend a lot of time reviewing restaurants in the vicinity of the Westin Bonaventure, so I'm hoping L.A. hounds can help me find something that's within a few blocks of the World Trade Center that's not utterly uninteresting. I have no car and am somewhat time-constrained around meals, so nothing involving a long taxi or Metro trip.

Any cuisine at and any level of formality, from a good taco truck to a decent pho joint to a casual American place, as long as I can keep dinner to $40 or less (not counting drinks, tax, and tip). My current short list includes El Parian, Langer's, Wood Spoon, Chichen Itza; Ciudad if I'm very time-constrained/desperate.

Thanks!

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  1. Crickets, eh? Sort of confirms my fears of Downtown.

    Okay, how about bars with high-craft old-school cocktails, something along the lines of Pegu Club, Flatiron Lounge, and Death & Co. in Manhattan? I mean the kind of place where they know how to make a Seelbach without looking it up. Anybody?

    5 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Colori Kitchen, cool local italian spot, very inexpensive, BYOW

      Redwood Bar and Grill on 2nd
      Edison Bar on 2nd

      Golden Golpher

      1. re: ns1

        Colori Kitchen, hands down deliciousness. Do a search of this board for my recent review. Wonderfull, hearty Italian. BYOB, no corkage. LOVED.

        1. re: lotta_cox

          Good suggestions by both ns1 and lotta cox, but none of those joints are really within walking distance of a "few blocks" of the Westin Bonaventure per the OP's request.

          There just isn't much around the Westin Bonaventure if traveling by foot.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              colori kitchen is 9 short blocks from the westin bonaventure. i'd walk it. it's not a bad neighborhood.

      2. Prix fixe at Roy's.

        Seven Grand for drinks.

        1 Reply
        1. re: slacker

          I second 7 grand on drinks. Blossom is nearby. It is a pretty cool Vietnamese place.

        2. These suggestions are great (though I've been to the Roy's in Palm Springs.)

          If we broaden the inquiry to, say, within a 30 minute walk of the Westin (~1.5mi), does that open up other interesting dining options?

          I do like the look of The Edison, will try to swing by for a pop there.

          5 Replies
          1. re: MC Slim JB

            Honestly, no lol

            All the good ethnic food is located pretty damn far away from DTLA. This is especially true if you're trying to find a NON chain restaurant in your budget(ie not morton's, roy's, etc)

            If it was during the day I'd say hop on the dash, but at night your options are pretty limited.

            1. re: MC Slim JB

              If you want to pop in to the Edison, it'll have to be early, say before 7:30, but better earlier. After that, there is no popping in. There will be a line to wait in.

              1. re: slacker

                Also right by edison is pitfire pizza and china bistro

              2. re: MC Slim JB

                oh, heck yes. 1.43 miles away is honda plaza which opens you up to Little Tokyo. Hit Haru Ulala for Izakaya, kokkekoko for robata, or Tapas and Wine Bar C for asian/continental fusion small plates & Sushi Gen (neither are not that inexpensive).

                1. re: lotta_cox

                  jesus, that's a LONG 1.43 miles lol

              3. How about the Grand Central Market? That's about 1/2 mi from where you are. Here's a couple threads that might help:

                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/410885 -- Suggestions for Grand Central Market?
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/459523 -- Chinatown / Olvera Street / Grand Central Market / Little Tokyo

                -----
                Grand Central Market
                317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90013

                1. Warung Café
                  118 W 4th Street, LA 90013
                  (213) 626-0662
                  http://www.warungcafela.com/

                  M-W 5PM-10PM
                  Thur-Sat 5PM – 12AM
                  Sun: closed
                  Lunch: M-F 11:30AM-3PM

                  Izayoi
                  132 S Central Ave
                  (213) 613-9554
                  Mon-Sat 11:30am-2:30pm; and 5:30pm-10:30pm

                  TOT / Teishokuya of Tokyo
                  345 E 2nd St, 90012
                  (213) 680-0344
                  Mon-Sun 11:30AM – 11:00 PM
                  www.littletokyorestaurant.com

                  Joy Mart Restaurant
                  137 Japanese Village Plaza 90012
                  (213) 680-9868
                  Mon-Sun 11:30AM – 10:30 PM
                  www.littletokyorestaurant.com

                  Daikokuya (Ramen and Rice Bowls
                  )327 E 1st St
                  (213) 626-1680
                  www.daikoku-ten.com
                  Mon-Thu 11:00 a.m.-12:00 a.m.
                  Fri-Sat 11:00 a.m.-1:00 a.m.
                  Sun 9:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m

                  Suehiro Café (Japanese comfort/diner food
                  )337 E 1st St, 90012
                  (213) 626-9132
                  Mon-Thu 11:00 a.m.-1:00 a.m.
                  Fri-Sun 11:00 a.m.-3:00 a.m.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: yinyangdi

                    went to izayoi last night for teh first time. i highly suggest it and cannot wait to go back. 1.43 miles away from the bonaventure, if one measures their miles by distance.

                  2. Engine Company 28...casual American fare. You can eat at the bar if you want.
                    http://www.engineco.com/

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: monku

                      How about the Wood Spoon on 9th around Broadway (I think). It's one of my favorite spots downtown. Very casual but great food. Chicken Pot Pie is heavenly (this for a person who doesn't usually like pot pie)

                    2. downtown has very cool bars and lounges, e.g., the edison, but cheap/interesting food? out of all the places people have mentioned, most of which i've been to, i'd choose colori or izayoi, having never been to them.

                      generally the bars in downtown LA make good cocktails, and we have several very interesting bars near the westin bonaventure, other than the edison: gallery bar at the biltmore hotel (beautiful old building), rooftop bar at the standard hotel (some of the best views in LA), 7 grand, etc. but none of these places is on par with, say, deep ellum in boston for cocktail seriousness.

                      1. For really cheap & delicious, walk across Harbor Fwy to the taco stand in the parking lot on the SW corner of 2nd & Beaudry. Splendid tacos while dining alfresco on tables discarded by Fort Gangland Middle School.

                        1. I want to thank the L.A. Hounds who responded; these tips are going in my database for future reference.

                          While I mostly got stuck eating convention-center meals, I did get to Colori for lunch and it was terrific. Quite unprepossessing from the outside (terrible signage), but a lovely $10 lunch special of salad (nice, simply-dressed greens with a few tomatoes), a generous bowl of penne arrabiata (al dente, with a mild dried-ground-chili kick) and a big honking lemonade. Very fine complimentary bread and garlicky white bean spread. Friendly, efficient service on a busy lunch hour. Exactly the kind of Chow tip I love: a delicious value at a place I never would have found on my own.

                          Also for convenience purposes rather than expected value, I hit Roy's for the prix fixe dinner late one night. Not bad (decent ahi sashimi, middling so-called Mongolian sirloin barbecue, more like a bistro hanger steak, okay strawberry shortcake), but nothing I'd go back for. It served the purpose, though, a quick place to catch up with an old friend. We had a nightcap at the Westin Bonaventure's 35th-floor Bona Vista bar; that thing rotates so fast that my pal and I both found it kind of nauseating, though the view is undeniably pretty.

                          The little Korean food-court place on the fourth level of the Westin also did the job for a fast meal: nothing to rave about, but respectable; we don't get those kind of outlets in our food courts back home. (This was my Plan B after I sat at the bar at Ciudad, got ignored for 10 minutes when the place was nearly empty, noted that a plate of carnitas was $26, and decided to flee.)

                          Thanks again, all: I hope I can return the favor on the Boston board someday!