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Relatively cheap/interesting in DTLA?

MC Slim JB Sep 15, 2008 02:47 PM

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.


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  1. MC Slim JB RE: MC Slim JB Sep 16, 2008 04:35 PM

    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
      ns1 RE: MC Slim JB Sep 16, 2008 04:56 PM

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

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

      Golden Golpher

      1. re: ns1
        lotta_cox RE: ns1 Sep 16, 2008 05:49 PM

        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
          ipsedixit RE: lotta_cox Sep 17, 2008 09:04 AM

          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
            ns1 RE: ipsedixit Sep 17, 2008 09:08 AM

            few blocks is relative ;)

            1. re: ipsedixit
              lotta_cox RE: ipsedixit Sep 18, 2008 05:39 AM

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

      2. s
        slacker RE: MC Slim JB Sep 16, 2008 05:14 PM

        Prix fixe at Roy's.

        Seven Grand for drinks.

        1 Reply
        1. re: slacker
          chorse RE: slacker Sep 16, 2008 06:01 PM

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

        2. MC Slim JB RE: MC Slim JB Sep 17, 2008 12:22 PM

          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
            ns1 RE: MC Slim JB Sep 17, 2008 12:57 PM

            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
              slacker RE: MC Slim JB Sep 17, 2008 01:31 PM

              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
                ns1 RE: slacker Sep 17, 2008 01:41 PM

                Also right by edison is pitfire pizza and china bistro

              2. re: MC Slim JB
                lotta_cox RE: MC Slim JB Sep 18, 2008 05:41 AM

                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
                  ns1 RE: lotta_cox Sep 18, 2008 08:47 AM

                  jesus, that's a LONG 1.43 miles lol

              3. OCAnn RE: MC Slim JB Sep 17, 2008 03:29 PM

                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. yinyangdi RE: MC Slim JB Sep 17, 2008 04:08 PM

                  Warung Café
                  118 W 4th Street, LA 90013
                  (213) 626-0662

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

                  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

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

                  Daikokuya (Ramen and Rice Bowls
                  )327 E 1st St
                  (213) 626-1680
                  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
                    lotta_cox RE: yinyangdi Sep 19, 2008 03:45 PM

                    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. monku RE: MC Slim JB Sep 17, 2008 04:29 PM

                    Engine Company 28...casual American fare. You can eat at the bar if you want.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: monku
                      suzyshi RE: monku Sep 18, 2008 09:11 AM

                      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. a
                      aventinus RE: MC Slim JB Sep 19, 2008 07:56 PM

                      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. m
                        Mr Grub RE: MC Slim JB Sep 20, 2008 09:16 AM

                        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. MC Slim JB RE: MC Slim JB Sep 23, 2008 07:21 AM

                          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!

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