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Good eats near USC

sgthomps Sep 30, 2008 08:15 PM

Does anyone know of anything good to eat near USC? "Ethnic" foods preferred.

  1. a
    attran99 Oct 1, 2008 04:42 PM

    I went to school there...and quite honestly, it was a culinary wasteland. All you have are chains...and the horrible neighborhood dives that manage to stay in business because some students are limited on transportation and, thus, are captive.
    I do hear that Red Mango has opened a location on campus by the Engineering school.
    If you're looking for ethnic, you're better off in Chinatown, Little Tokyo, or Olvera Street. Just hop on the DASH. If you're in the mood for Korean...find a friend with a car and hit up Koreatown. Search the board for CH faves in each of the neighborhoods.
    If you've got a car...even better...the sky's the limit. As students, we used to get 50% off at El Cholo on Western...not totally authentic, but it was good and cheap. Canter's on Fairfax is an old institution...love their deli! Some may argue with me, but I still love Philippe's (by Union Station) for French dip sandwiches (beef and lamb...double dipped).
    Sorry, the "links" are not working for me.

    6 Replies
    1. re: attran99
      Mr Taster Oct 1, 2008 05:00 PM

      Wasteland? Well, mostly.

      But what about Chichen Itza for Yucatecan food? It's just under the freeway and around the corner, 0.3 miles away, in that little marketplace-- Mercado La Paloma.

      Mexican food with Portugese, Dutch and Korean influence. Edam cheese stuffed with raisin, almond and ground pork. Yum!

      Chichen Itza
      3655 S Grand Ave #C6
      Los Angeles, CA 90007
      tel 213.741.1075
      fax 213.741.1046

      Mr Taster

      1. re: Mr Taster
        kevin Oct 2, 2008 02:36 PM

        Chichen is good, I second that. Along with the tiny stand next door to Chichen that serves up great fresh shrimp cocktails and delicious sauteed fish (if I'm not mistaken the joint didn't serve mariscos in the past, but now does).

        In general, this is a great little market.

        But is it only a third of a mile away? That's even walking distance to me.

        1. re: Mr Taster
          cant talk...eating Oct 3, 2008 05:01 PM

          Mr Taster (or anyone) - ever been to that Persian place at the Mercado? Doubles as a cake store. The items look good and really authentic, but I always gravitate to the other offerings in the place when I'm there.

          1. re: Mr Taster
            DiveFan Oct 3, 2008 11:38 PM

            Persian place? Is it new? I don't see anything likely on the web site.

            Tell us more :-).

            Mercado La Paloma
            3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

            Seree's Coffee Shop
            2800 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

            1. re: DiveFan
              cant talk...eating Oct 4, 2008 04:33 PM

              It's totally stealth - "La Maison de Creme". French-y looking cakes and such, but a full menu of kabobs, plus fesenjon, zereshk polo, etc., etc. Someone's gotta try this place. Don't know when I'll be back there again....

              Website (can't link w/ my browser): www.lamaisondecreme.com

            2. re: Mr Taster
              DiveFan Oct 5, 2008 01:17 AM

              WOW! Great find!
              I'm all over Persian food. Unfortunately the area demographic may not be.
              Katkoupai, where are you :-) ? Dang it, CH, we need queued anonymous messaging.

              La Maison De Creme
              3655 S Grand Ave C9, Los Angeles, CA 90007

          2. n
            nosh Oct 1, 2008 04:51 PM

            There are good cheap eats just northwest of campus along Pico. Hit Dino's on the N/W corner of Pico at Berendo, a block or two west of Vermont, for burgers, pastrami, carne asada, and especially the crazy chicken special -- a half-bird marinated in a yummy yellow-orange garlicky turmeric sauce and flame-grilled, served over a huge mound of fries with cole slaw and tortillas for about $5. A few blocks further west at Normandie is C & K Papa Cristo's for inexpensive Greek food. Some claim that El Parian, which always looks closed but isn't, has the best carne asada in town, Pico near Hoover. Note: See my post above about the $1.99 Wednesday specials at Togo's, limited time only -- I'm pretty sure there still is one in the strip mall on Vermont across the street from a main west campus entrance.

            1. e
              elirarey Oct 1, 2008 06:23 PM

              There is a great find that opened recently -- I am so mad that it wasn't around when I was going to school there.

              Called the 23rd St. Cafe, it's on the corner of 23rd St and Portland. If you are heading east on Adams, it is the second left after Hoover. It looks like some weird deli, but in fact it has some of the BEST INDIAN FOOD I've tasted in LA. Cheap, delicious, generous portions -- order in and sit outside, the food is cooked to order and served on large metal platters. Enjoy, and tell others!

              2 Replies
              1. re: elirarey
                SilverlakePhil Oct 2, 2008 07:27 AM

                "Called the 23rd St. Cafe, it's on the corner of 23rd St and Portland. If you are heading east on Adams, it is the second left after Hoover. It looks like some weird deli, but in fact it has some of the BEST INDIAN FOOD I've tasted in LA. Cheap, delicious, generous portions -- order in and sit outside, the food is cooked to order and served on large metal platters. Enjoy, and tell others!"

                Isn't there another Indian Restuarant on Vermont next to an Indian Market? It used to be all Vegetarian, but I think they now have meat dishes. I've only eaten there a couple times, but I forgot the name.

                1. re: SilverlakePhil
                  ns1 Oct 2, 2008 08:15 AM

                  I believe it's called Manna, and when (my fraternity) had an event there, the food was "less than stellar"

              2. a
                azibo Oct 1, 2008 08:35 PM

                Four words: La Taquiza, Red Mango.

                1. j
                  jimmyodonnell Oct 1, 2008 09:35 PM

                  El Taurino on Hoover just below Olympic has great street-style mexican, carne asade is the forte here and the al pastor is good too. King Taco has a similar menu (same owners) and has shorter lines at Pico & Alvarado.

                  1. n
                    ns1 Oct 2, 2008 08:15 AM

                    Good is relative, so go to Chano's and get yourself a mixup burger with egg or carne asada nachos no beans and an XL orange bang.

                    Might be better after alcohol.

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: ns1
                      SilverlakePhil Oct 2, 2008 12:03 PM

                      metromix.com latest issue has an article on local USC/Exposition Park area Eats:


                      1. re: SilverlakePhil
                        ns1 Oct 2, 2008 12:11 PM

                        viztango way better than pasta roma

                        a good list.

                        1. re: SilverlakePhil
                          JAB Oct 2, 2008 05:47 PM

                          I'm surprised that Kenny's / Seree's Coffee Shop wasn't mentioned.

                          1. re: JAB
                            ns1 Oct 2, 2008 10:14 PM

                            kenny's been out of business for a while no?

                            1. re: ns1
                              JAB Oct 3, 2008 04:38 PM

                              Absolutely not. Kenny opened up a 2nd place on Grand and named it after his wife Seree. Meanwhile, his wife ran Kenny's behind Felix Chevrolet until they wouldn't renew their lease. Now, Kenny runs the kitchen and Seree runs the front of the house at their location on Grand.

                              2800 S. Grand

                      2. DiveFan Oct 2, 2008 03:45 PM

                        Just in case someone has missed one of the usual suspects, here's a two year search of this popular topic: http://chowhound.chow.com/search?search[query]=title%3A%22usc+%22&search[class_names]=Topic&Search.x=30&Search.y=8&search[from]=2+years+ago&search[to]=now&search[sort_mode]=descending&search[boardgroup_id]=1&search[board_id]=2

                        Transportation limited - huh? I can understand 'parking' limited. Someone buy me a student bus pass :-) - I'm working on my masters degree in Chowology.
                        When time is a factor, the LADOT DASH Route F will extend your reach: http://www.ladottransit.com/dash/routes/downtown/downtown.html
                        If you have more time....
                        Take the 81 bus (Figueroa) north - downtown and Highland Park options are well documented.
                        Take the 204 bus (Vermont) north to Hollywood, many more options.
                        Hint - search the Place database for 'ca vermont' or 'ca figueroa'.
                        South of MLK is mostly undocumented Chow territory.

                        I'll second any place in Mercado La Paloma http://www.chow.com/places/4993 - Taqueria Vista Hermosa and Oaxacalifornia are also worth a visit.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: DiveFan
                          pharmnerd Oct 4, 2008 02:54 AM

                          Second the places in the Mercado La Paloma. Vista Hermosa has very decent al pastor. Try the cochinita pibil at Chichen Itza.

                        2. t
                          trojandude Oct 2, 2008 06:19 PM

                          All the walking distance eateries have been hit pretty well... Chichen, Taquiza, Viztango, etc.

                          I'll add that Caveman Kitchen on Vermont the first corner south of the 10 is a pretty tasty burger and rotisserie chicken joint. Polo Norte is a good jamba juice substitue in the same strip mall.

                          Some more quick drive destinations:
                          Langer's for the best pastrami in town. Just drive up Hoover->Alvarado till you hit MacArthur park.
                          Phillips BBQ - Real. Delicious. BBQ. The quickest stop is probably Adams/Crenshaw

                          1. chef2chef Oct 3, 2008 05:22 PM

                            Good topic and guys for pointing out all the good place to check out. I like the hole in the walls. Thx

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