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Downtown (Near 7th/Fig) Lunch Deals

Here's the task: Need lunch deals in downtown L.A. near 7th/Fig. Anything under $10 would be awesome. Recs under $15 (including tip) doable also. Walking distance is wonderful, but anything reasonably accessible by public transportation okay too.

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  1. Well, there's Pizza Next Door right on 8th (about 1/2 block east of Fig next to Roy's). Lots of pizzas by the slices (all between $2-3). http://www.pizzanextdoor.com/

    Then there's off course the food court in the 7th St. Marketplace.

    On 6th St. is the Sandwich Shop, which is pretty basic sandwich fare, but they do have a very good Curry Chicken Salad sandwich on naan bread. http://www.sandwichshopla.com/

    Finally, should consider O Bar (inside the O Hotel next to the Macy's plaza). http://www.ohotelgroup.com/

    1. If you're tight on time, one hop on the Red Line gets you to Pershing Square then walk north to Grand Central Market. St. Vincent Court is on 7th just east of Hill. Both have many inexpensive options to try.
      Original Pantry at 9th and Fig gets little love here; it's close but usually crowded for 'normal' lunch hours; likewise the old school Yorkshire Grill at 610 W 6th St.
      Showbiz Ribs is a new BBQ place at 520 W 6th St, haven't tried it yet.
      Gill's (Indian) has been at 838 S Grand, but Google shows them at 949 S Figueroa, good idea to call them first :-).

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

      St. Vincent Court
      314 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

      1. don't forget nazo's for ridiculously bomb sandwiches.

        1. There's an IHOP at 8th and Flower and a Corner Bakery at 8th & Figueroa. At the 7+Fig Marketplace there should be lots of cheap food.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mlgb

            I would hardly call anything in that post chowhound worthy, however...

            1. re: ns1

              I'll take IHOP or Corner Bakery over the Pantry anytime.

          2. If you want to take the metro into Union Station, you can try Cielito Lindo for their taquitos (honestly not that big of a fan, but people seem to be into it), Philippe's, and Spring Street Smokehouse (Much better than Showbiz Ribs, imo).

            Close to Langer's is Mama's Hot Tamales off the MacArthur Park exit on the Red Line.

            1. I'm at 7th and Fig. for four years now. Here's what you got, that isn't a chain fast-food place:

              There's Italian at about $10-15 per at Bella Cuccina at Fig and Olympic, and at Pasta Primavera, on 7th about 4 blocks east.

              The food courts at 7th and Fig, and at the Macy's Plaza ain't much to write home about, though Trimana makes an OK turkeyburger. 7th and Fig may be a ghost-town within six months if they don't replace the Macys.

              There's an acceptable burrito to be had at Tacos Guerrero at 8th and Broadway (SW corner). It's $4. Including tax. Horchata will set you back $1.25. They don't even HAVE a tip jar, that I can find. It's cash only. ( If you sound and look really gringo, like me ("no beans, lettuce, please!" in my 4th grade spanish) expect the folks there to look at you with some amusement. They've always been nice to me, but they clearly are amused by "that tall guy in the suit and hat who wants no beans or rice in his burrito...")

              There's Gill's AYCE Indian buffet (definitely on GRAND!!!!) for about $10, which, as Bourdain would say, also doesn't suck.

              The places in St. Vincents' Alley, which, as noted, are pretty good, can be brought in under your price-point if you're willing to split some stuff, and many things are pretty big, and therefore splittable.

              I've never walked over the freeway to either the Thai place on 7th in the motel, or the buffet in the "historic Mayfair Hotel". Anyone done so?

              r gould-saltman

              feelin' like everyone's a dollar short and a day late.....

              1 Reply
              1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                We used to go to the Mayfair when I worked in the City of LA Garland building and it is nothing special. Wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

                That said, I haven't been there in at least 3 years, so who knows, maybe it's way different.

                They still doing the Wednesday Farmer's Market near 5th/Flower? I always liked the Hawaiian huli huli chicken I got there, plus they had bacon wrapped hot dogs, tamales, empanadas, thai bbq, mexican, and was accessible easily by the Dash.

              2. underground morton's steakhouse, sit at bar or bar tables, order the lunch special sirloin burger (comes with fries) and a water and be happy. It's pretty much huge, cooked to order, nice tomato, whatever, fries. You'll be close to 15 bucks with tip but you won't be hungry for a while.

                1. Can I add to this request? I need lunch places in the same area that I can get to from Staples Center/Convention Center and back within 30-45 minutes. I'm going to can be spending a week downtown and would like to have some quick options within a few blocks.

                  Is Famima still located on Figueroa, south of 8th? It was there a few months ago.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Jwsel

                    Yep, one of downtown's MANY Famimas is still there....

                  2. I've worked at 5th and Fig and 7th and Fig for several years. The suggestions made are all sound, although I avoid the food court. Mama's is excellent and the subway will take you there and to Langer's as well. At Langer's, I'd advise against the no. 19, although it gets praise here. I'd stick to plain hand-cut pastrami, with new dills. Perhaps it's all those murkey meals from my SC days, but the Pantry suggestion gets my vote (at least for walking distance). Their short ribs are fatty but satisfying if you can return to the office and snooze. I almost always opt for fried or poached eggs with sourdough toast well done, and well done potatoes. As I have noted here before, their ham steak promises more in looks than its taste can deliver (I find it watery; flaccid and without the depth of flavor I expect from a ham steak that looks as appealing at their's does). Their bacon is generous and, if you're lucky, it won't be too fatty. Not applewood smoked, though. Usually west on 7th from Fig on the north side of the street there are a couple of taco trucks with darn good food. Happy hunting.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: TomSwift

                      Worked at Fifth and Fig years ago, and also Olympic & Hope, The Pantry is always where we went for breakfast after pulling an all nighter, or for the pot roast, gravy, mashed potatoes, canned green beans, relish tray and sourdough at lunch.

                      Used to get a great cheap lunch at the Down Under bar, under the motel at Fig and Olympic. We'd eat at the coffee shop above it at street level too.

                      Used to cross the bridge from Union Bank to the Bonaventure to have breakfast at the Bagel Nosh (which for all I know is long gone), they had a great man on the grill who would make an awesome omelet with EVERYTHING in it.

                      All the rest of the good old places are long gone.

                      1. re: TomSwift

                        Pantry ham is not watery or flacid, it's the best ham & eggs in town.

                      2. My personal favs in the area are:

                        Maria's Itailian Express (615 S. Flower St.), the pastas are reasonable for lunch.

                        If I start walking early enough (or take the DASH), I like Mendocino Farms for the occasional splurge on a sandwich.

                        Lemonade underneath the City National Building, has a great assortment of salads.

                        Also, Ralphs Fresh Fare can cure a soup craving or the hot service deli has some tasty deals.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: dietgrace

                          Much though I want to like Maria's the amount of space they have, where they have it, plus a bar, plus late hours, pushes their price-point well above Primavera and Bella Cuccina, without making the food as good. You REALLY have to pick lunch carefully to get out of there for less than $15, and $10 isn't really doable...

                          r gould-saltman

                        2. Anything new since this thread was active?? Just started working here a few days a week, and had the worst sushi of my life in the Macy's Plaza food court (salmon roll). Consistency approaching flan. Absolutely tasteless. Wow.

                          That hot dog cart out front is starting to look better and better.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: cant talk...eating

                            Ralphs Fresh Fare is worth checking out.

                            And I stand by my Corner Bakery recommendation.

                            1. re: cant talk...eating

                              Yes, I'm replying to my own post. So probably old news, but now there are farmer's markets downtown on 3 consecutive days, Wed. - Fri. I wandered over to Pershing Square on Wed. on my quest, and found a half-dozen stalls set up. The carne asada tacos were fine, aguas frescas a fleecing $3/cup, but hey, the bonus is you can watch the homeless fishing through the trashcans as you eat. Also present was a kebab/gyros stall, said aguas fresca stand, a Thai-Mexican fusion bbq, a crepe stand, and maybe something else. Longest line was for fire-roasted peanuts.

                              If you can look past the human tragedy, it's a lot of fun.

                            2. Mendocino Farms
                              Cabbage Patch

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: sushigirlie

                                Second all your recs!

                                On 6th btw Grand and Olive, where Cabbage Patch is located there is also the Sandwich Shop and Bruno's Cafe. On 6th btw Hill and B'way, there is Sultan's Kitchen, for Lebanese. Sometimes, I make the trek up to Starry Kitchen. Relative newcomers that I haven't tried yet are Isaan (Thai) on 5th and Grand (next to La Salsa) and Two Bits Market (sandwiches) on 5th and Spring.

                                311 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

                                Bruno Coffee
                                502 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90014

                                Mendocino Farms
                                444 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                Starry Kitchen
                                350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                1. re: sushigirlie

                                  I heartily second Mendocino Farms and Lemonade (haven't tried the other two). There's also Sugarfish (which isn't a deal in terms of quantity, but is in terms of quality) and Wood Spoon a little further afield. Also, I haven't been yet, but there's this new Piazza at Zucca that is getting some good buzz.

                                  Zucca Ristorante [CLOSED]
                                  801 South Figueroa, Los Angeles, CA 90017

                                  Wood Spoon
                                  107 W 9th St, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                                  Mendocino Farms
                                  300 S Grand Ave Ste Lp40, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                  1. re: aching

                                    Didn't see this thread's revival when I posted my "Inquiring Minds" post.

                                    The economy's still killin' (I think Trimana's now gone from downtown...) BUT

                                    The Jewelry Alley is still a hodgepodge of good and meh places.

                                    Pasta Primavera and Bella Cucina are now joined by "Olive", on Olive right next to the Oviatt, for inexpensive Italian.

                                    The 7th-Fig food court is officially history for the moment, and the Macy's Plaza one is looking sadder, daily.

                                    For those who like their Mexican food cooked using recipes from Minnesota, we're getting a Chipotle. W. Puck Express is gone.

                                    Aching: If you can get more than a salad at anything associated with Zucca for less than $10, I'll be astonished.

                                    Pasta Primavera [CLOSED]
                                    611 W 7th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

                                    Bella Cucina
                                    27430 The Old Rd, Valencia, CA 91355

                                    1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                                      According to Eater, "The Calamari Fritti with Arrabiata, and Tacchino Panini with smoked turkey, cranberries and romaine sound like safe lunch bets, especially with both priced under $10." But again, I haven't been there myself.

                                      1825 Redondo Ave, Signal Hill, CA 90755

                                2. More likely than not it's a hike up Fig to the Union Bank Plaza for George's Greek or La Salsa, or into the Bonaventure for Olive Branch.

                                  Mendocino Farms is good .

                                  Olive Branch
                                  404 S Figueroa St Ste 418B, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                  1. Mendocino Farms

                                    Mendocino Farms
                                    300 S Grand Ave Ste Lp40, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                    1. Okay, after working here for almost 3 years, here's an updated list:

                                      WITHIN $10 TO $15:
                                      Octopus on 7th: decent Japanese food combos, stick with the combos as sashimi and sushi not the best grade

                                      Ralphs Market: good salad bar, good lunch combo, good sandwiches

                                      Pam's Deli: Macy's plaza, go for the bimbimbap

                                      Maria's Italian Express: so-so pasta, small portions

                                      Georges Greek Grill: (across from Bonadventure, next to Border Grill) very good Greek food

                                      Bonadventure Food Court: Korean place is good as is Captain Fish

                                      Fernando's: good, cheap Mexican food by the car wash across from LA Live and Staples Center

                                      Lawry's Carvery: LA Live

                                      Yardhouse: LA Live, lunch specials

                                      Kachi's Sandwich by the freeway on Wilshire: great salads, sandwiches and quiche

                                      Mandarin West: decent Chinese food in Bonadventure hotel (not super authentic) but decent lunch specials

                                      Food court under where Paul Hastings and Weiland Underground is at: Lemonade, great Indian place and cheap and yummy Italian place

                                      Green Hut Cafe on 7th: healthy sandwiches and salads

                                      Mendocino Farms: great sandwiches next to U.S. Bank tower, across from Patina

                                      EXPENSIVE: $15 +
                                      Roy's Restaurant: Japanese/Hawaiian fusion

                                      Sugarfish: yummy sushi, best sushi in the area without going to J-town

                                      Border Grill
                                      1445 4th St., Santa Monica, CA 90401

                                      Mandarin West
                                      404 S Figueroa St Ste 605, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                      Lawry's Carvery
                                      3333 Bristol St Ste 2601, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                                      Georges Greek Cafes
                                      735 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

                                      Pam's Deli
                                      700 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

                                      Staples Center
                                      1111 S Figueroa St Ste 3100, Los Angeles, CA 90015

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: WHills

                                        No love for the Yorkshire Grill?

                                        Yorkshire Grill
                                        610 West 6th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017

                                        1. re: WHills

                                          Note that two of the places mentioned at the sidebar to the right are now CLOSED: Zucca Ristorante & Pasta Primavera.

                                          Also, the Indian Place at City National Bank Plaza's underground is called Saffron.

                                          505 S Flower St, Los Angeles, CA 90071

                                          1. re: yinyangdi

                                            Per last week's Downtown News, Primavera's remodeling. Zucca's definitely gone, and a new place should be in the space within this year, though unlikely to hit this price point, just like Zucca.