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My Favorite Meals, Under $20, in these Recessionary Times

kevin Nov 7, 2008 11:41 PM

Fab's Dogs, Reseda
Chili Coney Dog, tater tots

Pita Pocket, Northridge
Shwarma pocket, with hot sauce.

Mom's BBQ, Van Nuys
BBQ ribs or catfish, or gumbo, coconut cake, or yellow cake with chocolate frosting.

Auntie Em's, Eagle Rock
red velvet cupcakes.

Langer's Deli, Macarthur Park area
pastrami sandwich

Eastside Deli, Downtown Los Angeles
meatball subs

Italia Deli, Granada Hills
Eggplant parmigian heroes.

Pina's Bistro, Tustin
meatball subs, eggplant parm subs, tiramisu, rum walnut cake, cannoli

Pie n Burger, Pasadena
cheeseburger, strawberry pie, peach pie, butterscotch pie

Apple Pan, Westwood
cheeseburger, pecan pie, coconut cream pie, chocolate cream pie, pumpkin pie.

Europane Bakery, Pasadena
pumpkin squares, cupcakes, blueberry brown butter tart

Casa Bianca Pizza PIe, Eagle Rock
pizza, tiramisu

The Oinkster, Eagle Rock
pastrami sandwich

Din Tai Fung, Arcadia
dumplings, sauteed vegetables

Bolini's Pizzeria, Monterey Park

Attari Sandwiches, Westwood
cutlet sandwiches, sausage sandwiches

Joe's Pizza, Santa Monica

Fish Grill, various locations
grilled fish

Sanamluang Cafe, Hollywood
pad kee mao

Nate n Al's, Beverly Hills
Triple Decker pastrami

Zankou chicken, Westwood
rotisserie chicken

Reddi-Chick, Brentwood
rotisserie chicken

Let's Be Frank, Culver City
grass fed beef dogs

What's a few of yours?

  1. SmokeyDoke Jun 26, 2009 03:52 PM

    Gyu-Kaku Happy Hour in Huntington Beach
    $1 Japanese draft, $3 meats, 50% off appetizers. Can feed two for $20, if you show restraint, which is hard to do at Gyu-Kaku.

    Porto's Bakery
    Media de noche Sandwich, Iced latte, cheese puffs

    Ruen Pair in Thai Town - Spicy Clams with fried basil or Pad See Ew. Everything on here is cheap and it's good.

    Krua Thai - Pad Thai or Pad See Ew and Thai Iced Tea or Shaved Ice with fruit.

    Boho in Hollywood - Entire food menu is 50% off on Tues. Fried Oyster Po' Boys. Rice pudding.

    Ruen Pair Restaurant
    5257 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027

    Porto's Bakery
    315 N Brand Blvd, Glendale, CA 91203

    Krua Thai Cuisine
    935 S Glendora Ave, West Covina, CA 91790

    6372 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90028

    Gyu-Kaku Restaurant
    7862 Warner Avenue, Suite 109, Huntington Beach, CA 92647

    1. m
      mangetoutoc Jun 26, 2009 02:12 AM

      There are getting to be more of them, the longer we live in Hollywood.

      $20 or under for diner for two:
      Stephano's Two Guys From Italy - tied for the best pizza I've had since leaving NJ (the other is Pizza Pete on Balboa)
      Skooby's - the fries, the f'n fries
      Al Wazir - Astoundingly good for the ridiculously low prices and the absolute best pickled turnips (I'm a pickle freak)
      Canter's - The mish-mosh soup rocks, don't care what anyone else says.
      In OC: Lucia's Taqería, Nha Hang $1.99 (that amazing crispy chicken!), Banh Mi Che Cali, Pho 79, Pizza Pete's

      Easily under $20 each:
      Lucky Devils - great burgers cooked to order and Stone on tap, cheap? WIN!
      Mao's Kitchen - love their beef/yam with sesame and they have (again with the NJ stuff) the best old-school east coast egg rolls I've found on this side of the continent
      In OC: Bukhara, Ichiban (an emotional favorite)

      1. Lady Marmalade Jun 25, 2009 06:25 PM

        Malo Monday $1 Taco Night rules.

        Any sandwich from Bay Cities Deli in Santa Monica.

        1. westsidegal Jan 12, 2009 02:36 PM

          now we need to add practically everything on the menu at mariscos chente.

          the two items that i've tried so far-- i've swooned over both--are
          camarone de la pimienta
          camarone de la diabla

          1. p
            Peluchito Dec 1, 2008 08:50 PM

            My favorite spots Are;

            Caveman Kitchen- Rotisserie Chicken, Fresh Burgers, and Saltados. Eclectic but good, Inexpensive. Nothing over $10. Thats Recession proof. Check out www.eatcaveman.com

            Dino's Chicken- eat for $5.50 greek style chicken with fries and cole slaw

            La Taquiza-quality mexican food at great prices, really fresh food

            1. tooth Nov 28, 2008 08:27 PM

              Huaraches at huaraches azteca
              the park burger at the park
              dino's chicken
              Papa cristos tsipoura
              haejangchon all you can eat awesome kbbq
              orochon ramen
              good bad chinese food at zen mei bistro
              al wazir in hollywood
              tigeorges chicken
              sandwiches from tangs donuts
              mamas peruvian in glendale

              i'm salivating so i must stop

              1 Reply
              1. re: tooth
                kevin Nov 28, 2008 10:36 PM

                wow, what kind of sandwiches from tang's? that's the joint next door to saito's sushi and garage pizza, right?

              2. o
                Ogawak Nov 24, 2008 02:26 PM

                Love this post, Kevin:

                The Godmother at Bay Cities
                Carnitas tacos at the Isla Bonita truck at Rose and 4th in Venice
                Chow Fun at Won Kok, Chinatown
                Vermicelli (Bun) with pork at Vietnam Restaurant, San Gabriel
                Eggplant Parmigiana sandwich at Vito's, WeHo
                All meat pizza at Vito's, WeHo
                Drunken noodles at Ayara Thai, Westchester (Thai Town such a hassle)
                Kobe Bistro Burger or pastrami at Tops, Pasadena
                Phillipe's lamb sandwich, Downtown
                Kurobuta tonkatsu (pork cutlet) for lunch at Torafuku, West LA
                Shio ramen with pork at Santouka, Torrance
                Katsu Curry at Tamatebako, Torrance
                Pulled pork sandwich at Baby Blues, Venice
                Shioyaki (broiled) mackeral with udon at Kotohira, Gardena
                Brooklyn Bagel Bakery bagels, Rampart
                Cream puffs at Chantilly's, Lomita
                Hawaiian fried chicken at Back Home Lahaina, Manhattan Beach
                Hamburger and lemon lush pie at Jongewaard's, Long Beach
                Shave Ice with Lappert's ice cream at Tutu's, Simi Valley
                chicken wings and waffles at Pann's, Inglewood
                Glacier Ice Cream (white peach or key lime), Manhattan Beach
                Chateaubriand at Favori, Santa Ana
                Diddy Reese ice cream sandwich, Westwood

                Most of these are under $10.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Ogawak
                  kevin Nov 24, 2008 03:44 PM

                  chateaubriand really? i thought that is an old-world, continental french dish, at least $25 or $30 per person, please explain. also, is favori the vietnamese french joint that also serves up a famous fried catfish?

                  i've now heard multiple notices for Vito's egpplant parm, i'll have to make a beeline there.

                  and chantilly's sounds great, although i never seem to be in lomita, nearby, but not close enough.

                  another visit to baby blues is in order, although with the shrimp and ribs and banana pudding i'll be way over the the Recessionary Budget.

                  1. re: kevin
                    bulavinaka Nov 24, 2008 05:45 PM

                    Make the effort to try Chantilly. You can easily do lunch or dinner for <$20 at Kotosh at Kamiyama (stick with the more traditional Peruvian dishes - sushi will eat up the $20 per ), which is kaddy corner from Chantilly. Afterwards, walk over to Chantilly for some pastries and coffee (first order a five-box of cream puffs to go), and you'll retreat back home full, smiling, and satisfied. Rinse and repeat...

                    1. re: bulavinaka
                      kevin Nov 24, 2008 10:44 PM

                      Yes, I shall, hopefully, so little time so much to eat.

                    2. re: kevin
                      Ogawak Nov 25, 2008 05:56 AM

                      Yeah, Favori is a real price-buster, but don't let the prices fool you. The food is excellent. I think the chateaubriand was $14.00, if you can believe that. It is a great French bistro for recessionary times.

                      And famous for their catfish as well. Bring a friend. I never seem to bring anyone who wants to try it. But I like their Vietnamese dishes equally, esp their vermicelli and their 5 courses of beef.

                      I have dreams of Vito's eggplant parm. But eat it there; It doesn't travel, it's so delicate.

                      1. re: Ogawak
                        kevin Nov 25, 2008 04:52 PM

                        Eggplant parm is definitely in the works at Vito's, and one of these days I'll have to get out to favori, but then again when i'm in that area of santa ana, westminster/garden grove is so close that i'll be tempted to skip for a banh mi and a cafe sua da.

                  2. s
                    Scott the Poet Nov 19, 2008 04:53 PM

                    Don't forget about Farmers Market (3rd & Fairfax):

                    Moishe's chicken
                    Gumbo Pot
                    Banana Leaf
                    that Brazilian Place
                    the bars have daily beer specials
                    etc., etc.

                    1. wilafur Nov 19, 2008 10:47 AM

                      boat noodle or duck noodle at ord noodle in thai town. dirt cheap, fast and goooood!

                      1. streetgourmetla Nov 12, 2008 08:19 PM

                        La Perla Del Pacifico in the La Fiesta Mall on Sherman way is always a bargain with huge portions of incredible and unique Colombian Pacific seafood, but this Sunday they are doing a 2 for 1 special on their encocado de pescado, select shrimp dishes, and arroz con camaron.I was there tonight and they were handing out flyers.The cure for your recession blues.

                        1. m
                          mdpilam Nov 11, 2008 11:27 PM

                          Cheeseburger from Philly West, on Westwood - finally got around to trying it, and it is very good.

                          Torta de tinga from El Super Taco - their tortas trump the tacos (and burritos)

                          Al Pastor burrito from La Taquiza - probably one of (if not) the best burritos I've had in LA (though I'm still partial to my Mission burritos from the Bay)

                          Tacos from El Chato taco truck - Olympic & La Brea (after 8pm not on Sundays, though last time I was by there they weren't either, so...)

                          Langers Pastrami no 19, all you need

                          stick with the pulled pork sandwich at Porkys - everything else (except Golden Bird) is avg, and somewhat overpriced.

                          And, I don't live near it, but The India Restaurant has THE BEST indian buffet Ive found

                          Also, has anyone tried the Cuban sandwich from Versailles? I liked the Garlic chicken...

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: mdpilam
                            ZoeZ Nov 12, 2008 11:16 AM

                            Last time we ate the buffet lunch at The India in Artesia, I counted 23 items on the buffet with salad and three desserts. Filled with locals too that attested to the quality of this place. Chowpup said he wanted to move in next door so he could eat there every day.

                            1. re: ZoeZ
                              sel Nov 12, 2008 11:38 AM

                              I've only been to the lunch buffet at The India Restaurant a couple of times but, as I've posted before, if you exclude the veg. places, it's the best Indian buffet around. They had wonderful Lamb Shanks one of the times that I went there.

                              India Restaurant
                              17824 Pioneer Blvd, Artesia, CA 90701

                          2. a
                            anothernotch Nov 11, 2008 04:08 PM

                            Lots of good suggestions to be found here. I'd add the following to the list:

                            1) Tony's Mexican Grill in Sherman Oaks

                            2) Versailles - many locations. I know that reviews are mixed, but for the price the garlic chicken is a tough deal to match.

                            3) Jaipur - West LA, really nice lunch buffet.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: anothernotch
                              Eat_Nopal Nov 11, 2008 04:40 PM

                              2) The Garlic Chicken at Birriera La Barca is far superior than the version at Versaille (and only $9 a plate)

                              3) In the vicinity All India is vastly superior to Jaipur... no comparison. The leftover grilled chicken braised in yogurt sauce is stunningly good.

                              1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                Briggs Nov 11, 2008 10:20 PM

                                "The Garlic Chicken at Birriera La Barca"
                                Where's it located? Google shows a few results: El Monte, City of Industry or Chicago.

                                1. re: Briggs
                                  Eat_Nopal Nov 11, 2008 11:50 PM

                                  South El Monte

                              2. re: anothernotch
                                kevin Nov 11, 2008 08:33 PM

                                Jaipur, if mean the joint catty corner from the Westside Pavillion shopping center, does serve up some good eats at the buffet during lunch and the price is right. I have never tried it for dinner though.

                                As for Versailles, I'm not a fan but I do do it has its fair share of fanciers.

                              3. j
                                Jase Nov 10, 2008 08:14 PM

                                To save even more money, places within walking distance of us in Mar Vista.

                                Ramen in Santouka inside Mitsuwa

                                Chilaquiles for me, patty melt for my wife at Pepy's diner in the bowling alley

                                Lechon asada or garlic chicken at Rincon Criollo on Sepulveda. Wash it down with a mamey shake.

                                Any of the lunch specials at Thai Boom on Venice

                                Tara's for Himalayan on Venice

                                Ayala's on Venice for some pupusas

                                All three of the above around veteran and venice, west of Overland, north side of the street.

                                Second Taqueria Sanchez. I like the al pastor, but stay far away from their tortas

                                Menudo at El Abajeno

                                Cemitas Milanesa at the truck outside of Top Valu

                                Sazon on Wash blvd and Centinela, any of the white board specials.

                                Clayuda from the truck on Venice and Inglewood, there after 8 p.m. Avoid the truck that's a couple blocks west on the same side of the street across from Good Hurt.

                                Those are our regular rotations for inexpensive good meals.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Jase
                                  CostcoWater Nov 10, 2008 08:35 PM

                                  No love for KBBQ?

                                  $15.99 and let the fun begin!

                                  1. re: CostcoWater
                                    CostcoWater Nov 10, 2008 08:39 PM

                                    My favorite spot in Ktown atm

                                    Gui Mok

                                    Awesome pork belly, if you love bacon, you gotta try out this out

                                2. l
                                  la tache burger Nov 10, 2008 02:35 PM

                                  List based on very recently eaten, good, under 20:

                                  M Cafe - Bento Box -- lunch today, heaven, as is almost everything there

                                  The Stand - kosher dog (choose your toppings, I like the southern slaw dog) regular dogs are so-so, kosher are excellent

                                  In N' Out -- #1 rules, of course, with raw onions, had it last night, did not disappoint

                                  Bravo Pizzeria -- slice with sausage and pepperoni, not bad at all

                                  Whole Foods on Rose -- brown rice bowl with dark meat chx, good

                                  Peet's Coffee (La Brea Bakery?) -- dried fruit and nut scone, good

                                  Bergamot Cafe -- breakfast wrap, good

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: la tache burger
                                    bulavinaka Nov 10, 2008 03:57 PM

                                    Just came back from M Cafe in Downtown CC for lunch. I considered it a recon mission for possible visits with my vegan sister, but I actually liked it quite a bit. I had the Kabocha croquettes with tofu tartar sauce, brown rice with a sort of furikake on top, and a small dab of red cabbage cole slaw, while the Misses had the Tuscano panini with a side of squash, red beans and chestnuts braised in maple syrup. Even with my healthy appetite, I just finished my meal, while only half of the panini could be finished by my better half.

                                    Most lunch menu items can be had for around $6-$12, everything looks very fresh (lots of turnover from brisk customer traffic), and everything we had was very well prepared and seasoned just right. Regardless of whether your a vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, or even meatarian, I think you'll find at least a few things you'll ponder over for a good meal.

                                    1. re: la tache burger
                                      nosh Nov 10, 2008 03:58 PM

                                      Those interested in hot dogs at The Stand should know that on Mon eves, plain dogs are a buck and loaded dogs are $2.50. Hurry!!

                                    2. l
                                      luhkee Nov 10, 2008 12:56 PM

                                      Couple deals I just found.
                                      Tender Greens in Culver City-Sunday night pot roast dinner for $10

                                      Cafe 50s in Santa Monica and in Venice-Wednesday nights if you wear old school matching pajamas you eat free with beverage purchase.

                                      Edison downtown has $.35 martinis on Thursdays and free grilled cheese and tomato soup.

                                      Many Indian buffets abound...

                                      1. f
                                        fbofh Nov 10, 2008 12:22 PM

                                        Santouka in West LA

                                        101 Noodle Express in Alhambra
                                        Real Shandong dumplings

                                        J&J in San Gabriel

                                        Nature Pagoda in San Gabriel
                                        Clay pot rice dishes.

                                        Monte Alban in West LA

                                        Samosa House in Culver City

                                        La Vie in Rosemead

                                        Gloria's in West LA

                                        1. Maxmillion Nov 10, 2008 12:01 PM

                                          STUDIO CITY, East SFV -- for $20 or less --

                                          Poki Bowl at DAICHAN, Ventura Blvd, at Eureka -- $14 (incl tax) for a big heap of rice (I choose brown), raw fish (I choose salmon) kombu & wakame seaweed, sliced green onion and shredded lettuce all lightly dressed with sesame oil dressing. WOW! Add a miso soup or a few pieces of tempura and should still be under $20. Tea, no alcohol... You will feel so sated and healthy after this beautifully balanced meal.

                                          Laurel Burger and one beer or wine at LAUREL TAVERN on Ventura Blvd.

                                          Sushi to go from SUSHI DAN SASABUNE, off Laurel Canyon, at Riverside

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: Maxmillion
                                            kevin Nov 10, 2008 12:04 PM

                                            daichan, is the joint three storefronts down from nozawa in the same mini mall right?

                                            1. re: kevin
                                              Maxmillion Nov 10, 2008 12:42 PM

                                              yep -- cute and quirky place, fantastic and varied menu, inexpensive options, nice people and excellent service -- only downside ------no cold sake!

                                              Daichan Japanese Soul Food Restaurant
                                              11288 Ventura Blvd #F, Studio City, just E of Tujunga at Eureka. (818) 980 8450
                                              Open: Mon-Fri: 11:30am– 3pm, 5.30– 9pm
                                              Sat: 12pm– 3pm, 5.30–9pm. Closed Sundays.

                                              1. re: Maxmillion
                                                kevin Nov 10, 2008 04:01 PM

                                                hey, i'm sure nozawa wouldn't mind if you stopped in an ordered a cold sake to b e delivered to daichan.

                                                1. re: kevin
                                                  Maxmillion Nov 22, 2008 10:12 AM

                                                  yeah, right!!

                                                  1. re: kevin
                                                    luhkee Nov 22, 2008 11:28 AM

                                                    At first I laughed as well, but oddly enough for the rep I just might think they would.

                                            2. a
                                              assassin Nov 10, 2008 11:13 AM

                                              For me, the best deal in town is Beverly Soon Tofu. Healthy and hearty delicious meal with lots of great complimentary side dishes well under $20. I dig the atmosphere too. Great Koreatown spot.

                                              1. j
                                                JBC Nov 10, 2008 10:09 AM

                                                All you can eat Mussels & Fries $14.95:


                                                1. Phood Nov 9, 2008 08:30 PM

                                                  Many good (stationary) taco trucks, mentioned in other threads, are hereby incorporated by reference.

                                                  1. BeenThereAteThat Nov 9, 2008 08:15 PM

                                                    "Pie n Burger, Pasadena
                                                    cheeseburger, strawberry pie, peach pie, butterscotch pie

                                                    Apple Pan, Westwood
                                                    cheeseburger, pecan pie, coconut cream pie, chocolate cream pie, pumpkin pie."

                                                    Add a drink, fries and tip and both of these will take the whole Jackson.

                                                    1. f
                                                      FDawson Nov 9, 2008 12:18 PM

                                                      Chabelita - on Western north of the 10 freeway about 2 blocks, right near the fire station on the left side of the road if you're going north. Tasty carne asada tacos.

                                                      1. westsidegal Nov 9, 2008 11:06 AM

                                                        taqueria sanchez on centinela.
                                                        i believe EVERY meal they serve costs less than $10.

                                                        8 Replies
                                                        1. re: westsidegal
                                                          bulavinaka Nov 9, 2008 12:03 PM

                                                          The al pastor "tostada" is a meal for two - I think it's seven bucks...

                                                          1. re: bulavinaka
                                                            westsidegal Nov 9, 2008 04:28 PM

                                                            i also love their shrimp tostadas, all their tacos, and their mojarra frita (whole fried fish)

                                                            1. re: westsidegal
                                                              bulavinaka Nov 9, 2008 06:55 PM

                                                              In other words, for the most part, it's all good...

                                                              1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                nosh Nov 9, 2008 08:29 PM

                                                                My usual at Taqueria Sanchez is a shrimp taco ($1.75 last time I was there), an al pastor, and a carnitas taco ($1.35 each). Served with chips, some of the dark hot salsa from the bar -- a good, satisfying lunch for less than $5 plus a drink. Tried their crispy taco for a crunchy, cool change. Often get burritos to take home. Seen some of the regulars eating a red soup with lots of vegies and other stuff in it that looks tasty. Yes, everything I've had there is good, the staff is friendly, the place is very clean, and there is easy parking in the back. And definitely as inexpensive as any taqueria on the westside.

                                                                1. re: nosh
                                                                  Eat_Nopal Nov 11, 2008 12:16 AM

                                                                  Yeah my Taqueria Sanchez usual was the Shrimp Soup (Guajillo Broth, chunks of Chayote, Potatoe, Carrots etc.,. Shrimp & Garnishes), Nopales Gordita, a plate of Refried Beans... & cup of City of Los Angeles special vintage tap water... delicious, soul satisfying, stick to your ribs, nutritional packed meal < $10

                                                                2. re: bulavinaka
                                                                  westsidegal Nov 19, 2008 09:55 AM

                                                                  re: taqueria sanchez
                                                                  people should be warned that they close early (like around 7pm on weekdays and , i believe, even earlier on weekends.

                                                                  1. re: westsidegal
                                                                    Eat_Nopal Nov 19, 2008 10:34 AM

                                                                    Yeah... its pretty much a lunch place.

                                                                    1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                      bulavinaka Nov 19, 2008 02:35 PM

                                                                      I think the Centinela location closes at 8PM on fridays and saturdays.

                                                          2. gourmandadventurer Nov 9, 2008 10:54 AM

                                                            Newsroom, West LA
                                                            It's on Robertson and they have a fab happy hour. Some great dishes like chicken caesar are half off.

                                                            Tommy Burger
                                                            Everywhere...still does the trick.

                                                            Costco, everywhere
                                                            An everything pizza for $10?!

                                                            Galangal Thai, West LA
                                                            On Santa Monica, great food with bargain lunch prices

                                                            6 Replies
                                                            1. re: gourmandadventurer
                                                              nosh Nov 9, 2008 11:30 AM

                                                              Tommy's is NOT the same everywhere. There is the original on Rampart west of downtown, and I'm confident that the one on Pico and Lincoln in Santa Monica is the same ownership. They have very similar chili and the garnishes are the same (big chopped onion, thick-sliced tomato, etc.). The one in Santa Monica has become a favorite of mine because they have fries that are thicker than the usual fastfood chain fries, and when I order them welldone they will take the time to actually fry them extra crispy. But if you go around town, a lot of these are imposter stands, like the "Tomy's" on Pico at Sawtelle. There is another copycat on Venice west of Robertson. I'm not saying that these can't be good, but they are NOT associated with the original Tommy's. If you see a "big" in the name or only one "m" or some other discrepancy, you can take your chances but you are not patronizing the original Tommy's.

                                                              1. re: nosh
                                                                kevin Nov 9, 2008 12:19 PM

                                                                The original Tommy's has a cursive logo, so watch out for that. Yes, Beverly and Rampart is the original. And the one at Pico and Lincoln is also included in the chainlet. There is also one on Sunset Blvd, east of Western.

                                                                1. re: kevin
                                                                  susans Nov 23, 2008 06:01 PM

                                                                  There is one on the corner of Roscoe and Haskell. Been there more than 30 years.

                                                                  1. re: susans
                                                                    Eat_Nopal Nov 23, 2008 11:13 PM

                                                                    The point is... they all suck! Long live Dino's & the Greek Meat Distribution Mafia!

                                                                2. re: nosh
                                                                  FDawson Nov 9, 2008 12:22 PM

                                                                  Original Tommy's on the corner of Beveryl and Rampart....awesome. Killer breakfast sandwiches!. I think their breakfast sandwich is possibly better than their burger. I had a girlfriend that lived near the Original Tommy's in Long Beach on the corner of Anaheim and Ximeno. When I found out they made breakfast sandwiches....it was all over baby.

                                                                  1. re: FDawson
                                                                    phant0omx Nov 24, 2008 02:24 PM

                                                                    I do not agree. While it's good, even though i like sausage, i'd prefer one of their meat patties under that fried egg and chili.

                                                              2. martyR Nov 9, 2008 05:42 AM

                                                                Noodle House on Garvey in Monterrey Park - Shrimp and pumpkin dumplings, pork and leek buns
                                                                Phillipe's - Lamb dip with potato salad
                                                                JnJ Burgers and BBQ, Adams, just east of Fairfax - pork rib dinner
                                                                Hawkin's House o Burgers, Altadena - bacon cheeseburger and fries
                                                                Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles - Big Mama's Special
                                                                Tacos Baja Ensenada - Whittier Blvd, ELA - 5 tacos pescado
                                                                Sea Harbor Rosemead - dim sum

                                                                8 Replies
                                                                1. re: martyR
                                                                  misseatalot Nov 9, 2008 06:32 AM

                                                                  Ethnic is your best bet for the cheapest meals:

                                                                  1) Golden Deli in Alhambra
                                                                  2) Indo Kitchen in Alhambra
                                                                  3) Palms in Hollywood for Thai
                                                                  4) Liliana's in East L.A. for tacos adobada and tamales
                                                                  5) Sinbala in Arcadia (can make two meals out of one)
                                                                  6) Country Bistro in the Diamond Plaza in Diamond Bar (can make 3 meals out of one meal)
                                                                  7) King Taco
                                                                  8) Daisy Mint in Pasadena
                                                                  9) Porto's sandwiches - cheap and good

                                                                  1. re: misseatalot
                                                                    tenxtone76 Nov 19, 2008 01:52 AM

                                                                    I second King Taco, Porto's, Palms, and Sinbala.
                                                                    Instead of Golden Deli, Vietnam House is a little better.

                                                                    1. re: tenxtone76
                                                                      Eat_Nopal Nov 19, 2008 09:23 AM

                                                                      King Taco is probably the worst value of L.A's basic taquerias... and the food (with exception of their Pollos Rostizados at select locations) is very pedestrian at best.

                                                                      1. re: Eat_Nopal
                                                                        JAB Nov 19, 2008 02:40 PM

                                                                        I agree concerning value but, disagree when it comes to their Al Pastor which is better than pedestrian.

                                                                        1. re: JAB
                                                                          misseatalot Nov 20, 2008 02:16 PM

                                                                          Ditto on the Al Pastor. King Taco is one of the better deal joints in Old Towne Pas. Dinner and a date for under $15.

                                                                  2. re: martyR
                                                                    nosh Nov 9, 2008 10:39 AM

                                                                    martyR, I'll agree that the lamb (and pork) dip at Phillipe's is much superior to their beef, which tends to be dry. But except for coffee, Phillipe's has no place on a thread about value dining, at least not anymore. One dip sandwich, a small side scoop of potato salad, a lemonade, and at least a token as a tip and you are at $10, and I'm still not nearly satisfied even at lunch. Their dips have become downright chintzy -- like appetizer portions. Gotta agree with kevin's original list -- for a true value sub in that area, Eastside Deli is the place to go. kevin suggested the meatball, and if that is a bit bland spice it up with some sausage. Their hot roast beef or pastrami is drippy great too.

                                                                    And please add Sorrento's deli in Culver City to my list. My goodness, big individually made sub sandwiches, no skimping on the meat, for prices similar to bargain bahn mi.

                                                                    1. re: nosh
                                                                      bulavinaka Nov 9, 2008 11:01 AM

                                                                      I personally prefer Sorrento's cold subs. I've found that their meatballs seem overly simmered and their sausages can be tough. But their Italian-style cold cuts make for a great sandwich.

                                                                      1. re: nosh
                                                                        lucygoosey Nov 10, 2008 01:37 PM

                                                                        i have to 2nd sorrentos. they give alot for a little and are super nice. let you sample while you wait for your meal. i've eaten suasage and meatballs while waiting for a sub to be made and when i tried to pay for them was told my enjoyment was the payment. xoxo to sorrentos

                                                                    2. Emme Nov 8, 2008 11:42 PM

                                                                      Monte Alban

                                                                      Mario's Peruvian - second this

                                                                      Greenleaf Chop Shop - what can I say, I like to design my own salad and the fresh ingreidents including chopped hard boiled egg whites

                                                                      Beverliz Cafe - omelettes, gyros

                                                                      Eat Well - buddha bowl w/ egg whites

                                                                      Ed's Coffee Shop (on Robertson) - omelettes

                                                                      Gilbert's El Indio

                                                                      Il Forno - power lunch specials

                                                                      Babalu - grilled veg salad

                                                                      3rd stop

                                                                      Bread and Porridge - breakfast fare esp omelettes

                                                                      Carnival in Sherman Oaks

                                                                      Pita Kitchen in Sherman Oaks


                                                                      California Fresh - that eggplant salad

                                                                      Eduardo's - chicken and salsa


                                                                      Puro Sabor

                                                                      Simon's Cafe

                                                                      ...and so on...

                                                                      ...and the list continues

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Emme
                                                                        kevin Nov 9, 2008 12:20 PM

                                                                        where's the beverliz cafe for gyros.

                                                                        and also gilbert's il indio.

                                                                        1. re: kevin
                                                                          Emme Nov 9, 2008 01:51 PM

                                                                          beverliz cafe is on s. beverly dr. just south of gregory on the east side of the street

                                                                          gilbert's is at 2526 pico blvd in samo

                                                                      2. h
                                                                        heckonwheels Nov 8, 2008 08:05 PM

                                                                        SGV edition...

                                                                        Rudy's, Monrovia
                                                                        Full (and good) rib-eye steak dinner for around $13. (rice, beans, and salad instead of potatoes) plus a ton of Mexican dishes under $10. $2.50 gets you a margarita and an all-you-can eat appetizer bar during happy hour Monday - Thursday

                                                                        Jakes, Azusa
                                                                        bacon wrapped dogs

                                                                        Aruffo's, Claremont
                                                                        Many Italian entres under $20

                                                                        Petrillo's, San Gabriel & Glendora
                                                                        Pizza & delicious bread

                                                                        The Hat, many locations including Alhambra, Temple City, & Glendora
                                                                        Pastrami, burgers, & tons of fries

                                                                        In 'n Out, All over but especially Baldwin Park headquarters location
                                                                        Double-Double with money left over to buy a souvenir in their store

                                                                        Warehouse Pizza, La Verne

                                                                        Back Abbey, Claremont
                                                                        The Abbey Burger

                                                                        Lucky Baldwins, Sierra Madre
                                                                        Mussels & beer

                                                                        Guacamoles, El Monte
                                                                        Good, sit-down mariscos & tacos

                                                                        1. b
                                                                          brandygirl Nov 8, 2008 02:27 PM

                                                                          Sevan Chicken, Chatsworth
                                                                          1/4 chicken lunch special with rice and hummus

                                                                          Los Tres Hermanos, North Hills
                                                                          soft chicken tacos, crispy chicken tacos, or taquitos. Plus guacamole.

                                                                          Melody's or Las Fuentes, Reseda?
                                                                          crispy tacos, salpicon tostada, chicken and rice

                                                                          Mulberry St. Pizza, Encino
                                                                          slice of cheese or sausage & mushroom pizza, slice of cake

                                                                          Sandwich Express, Reseda
                                                                          Bhan Mi

                                                                          Panino's, Woodland Hills
                                                                          salami & brie sandwich

                                                                          guilty pleasure: Carney's, Studio City
                                                                          chili cheeseburger & fries

                                                                          6 Replies
                                                                          1. re: brandygirl
                                                                            RicRios Nov 8, 2008 04:40 PM

                                                                            Downtown! Downtown!! Downtown!!! ( that is, Downtown LA of course )
                                                                            Tons of hole-in-the-walls.
                                                                            Typical breakfast ( huevos rancheros / mexicanos / con chorizo &etc ) $4.00
                                                                            Typical lonche ( too long to list... ) $ 6.00

                                                                            1. re: brandygirl
                                                                              kevin Nov 8, 2008 05:38 PM

                                                                              I forgot Carney's. But I'll replace yours with three chili dogs and an extra large (not wimpy large) size coke to wash it all down.

                                                                              1. re: kevin
                                                                                brandygirl Nov 8, 2008 09:05 PM

                                                                                I used to get Carney's chili cheese dogs--they were the best! But on my last two visits, the skin was so tough I couldn't chew it. Have you been recently? Should I give the dogs another shot?

                                                                                I also forgot one of my favorite places:
                                                                                My Hero, Northridge, for Roast Beef & Cheese sub sandwich.

                                                                                1. re: brandygirl
                                                                                  kevin Nov 8, 2008 10:34 PM

                                                                                  Give it one more try. You are right though, I think once in a while the casings are just too much and/or the dogs weren't steamed properly so it's just not juicy either.

                                                                                  In my list, I also mentioned Fab's Dogs. The hot dogs over there are superb. And they have coney chili dogs. But these are way different than Carney's. For some reason, these feel like more of a gourmet dog, with a chili that you might actually want to eat with a spoon rather than the cornstarchy though still quite good Chili at Carney's and other places such as Tommy's.

                                                                                  there's another issue to think about too. Do you go to the Studio City Carney's or the Sunset Strip Carney's. I did have an off dog once at least at the S.C. location but not at the Sunset location.

                                                                                  1. re: kevin
                                                                                    brandygirl Nov 10, 2008 10:14 PM

                                                                                    Interesting. I've been going to the Studio City Carney's, and it never occured to me the quality might be different. Since you say the problem is a once-in-a-while issue, I will give it another try. Their chili dogs are so good it's worth risking a dud once in a while.

                                                                                    I have been to Fab's. Their hot dogs are fabulous, but I don't care much for their chili. If I go to Fab's, it's just a plain dog w/mustard for me.

                                                                                    1. re: brandygirl
                                                                                      kevin Nov 11, 2008 07:26 AM

                                                                                      Interesting, I like the chili at Fab's but it is completely different from the notion of chili employed at Carney's, and if you only like the Carney's style, than I guess Fab's wouldn't work. Maybe because Fab's is more like heavily spiced ground beef, almost like a sloppy joe sauce (for lack of a better term) than a full-on chili.

                                                                            2. n
                                                                              nosh Nov 8, 2008 12:17 PM

                                                                              I'll play:

                                                                              Porky's BBQ, on Manchester just west of the Forum
                                                                              pulled pork sandwich with side (mac'n'cheese), $6.99 last I saw.
                                                                              note: 2-for-one on dinner specials (meat with two sides) on Tuesdays

                                                                              Hu's Szechwan, on National in Rancho Park
                                                                              lunch combo -- kung pao chicken or twice cooked pork w/ soup & salad ($6.95)

                                                                              Hungry Pocket, Pico across from Santa Monica College
                                                                              lamb shwarma pita ($5) or falafel pita ($3.50) with hot sauce

                                                                              Big Mike's, I go the the location on Main in El Segundo
                                                                              12-inch philly cheesesteak with onions and both kinds of peppers, rings, drink
                                                                              eat half sandwich, onion rings, and coke there, bring other half home -- just over $10

                                                                              Zankou Chicken, Westwood
                                                                              whole rotisserie chicken, pita, and garlic paste -- $9.99
                                                                              (share with a friend or eat half there, take home half -- a halfbird is $6.99)

                                                                              Dino's, Pico and Berendo (two blocks west of Vermont)
                                                                              crazy chicken special -- half-bird grilled, fries, slaw, tortillas (about $5)

                                                                              Carnitas Michaocan, No. Broadway at 19th, above Chinatown
                                                                              al pastor burrito (no beans) requested sliced from the rotisserie (about $5)
                                                                              plus one to bring home and a 4 oz cup of their superlative hot salsa roja

                                                                              Diddy Riese, Broxton in Westwood Village
                                                                              3 choc chip cookies w/o nuts, $1 (any time I see a parking spot or walk by)
                                                                              they are pretty soft when fresh -- better and crispier after the fridge

                                                                              Philly West, Westwood Blvd. south of Santa Monica Blvd.
                                                                              half-pound cheeseburger, drippy juicy, flame-grilled ($6 and change)

                                                                              Bay Cities Deli, Lincoln Blvd. in Santa Monica
                                                                              large Godmother, meatball sub, turkey and cheese ($7 or so)
                                                                              (big hint -- a couple of their extraordinary ficelle rolls, 30 or 40 cents each)

                                                                              Daily Grill, I go to the Brentwood branch on San Vicente
                                                                              happy hour, 4-7 weekdays -- pot pie, sliders, other bar food ($3.95 or $2.95)

                                                                              Lamonica's Pizza, Gayley in Westwood Village
                                                                              2-topping pizzas now close to $20, but 2 for 1 on Mondays

                                                                              kevin, you big spender -- all of mine under $10 or good for a meal and a snack!

                                                                              4 Replies
                                                                              1. re: nosh
                                                                                westsidegal Nov 8, 2008 01:06 PM

                                                                                i'll second your hungry pocket recommendation and raise you any of the lunch specials at shamshiri grill and the combination plate at samosa house which is served all day.

                                                                                1. re: westsidegal
                                                                                  nosh Nov 8, 2008 02:05 PM

                                                                                  Can only call, not raise you back, westsidegal. Shamshiri's lunch specials are just under $10 (last time I ordered one) and gotta admit, with the generous serving of beef koobideh or chicken shawarma, the huge mound of rice, the vegies, bread, and refreshing shirazi salad, it is one of those rare meals I usually can't finish. And along with Lamonica's, they are the only place I listed that will deliver to my door.

                                                                                2. re: nosh
                                                                                  FDawson Nov 9, 2008 12:15 PM

                                                                                  I"ll second your Diddy Riese but I prefer the scoop of ice cream in the middle of two cookies. Used to be $1.00. I'd also vote for Versaille in Culver City or any of their 4 or 5 other locations...Famous Pollo Versaille ($9.95) with sweet plantains, rice and beans.

                                                                                  1. re: nosh
                                                                                    Norm Man Nov 10, 2008 11:49 AM

                                                                                    The Half Chicken Plate at Dino's Burgers is one of my favorite meals at any price!

                                                                                  2. tenxtone76 Nov 8, 2008 02:09 AM

                                                                                    Daniels's Tacos, Sun Valley
                                                                                    good after 9 pm, when they have free fried onions w/ anything you get

                                                                                    La Taquiza, LA
                                                                                    mulitas, chicken salad

                                                                                    Los Jarritos, Pomona
                                                                                    enchiladas w/ green sauce, and rice and beans (best rice and beans!)

                                                                                    Mario's Peruvian, LA (?), Melrose and Rossmore/Vine
                                                                                    I usually get seafood saltado; some days it's made better than others

                                                                                    Cafe Brasil near Palms neighborhood, on Venice
                                                                                    lunch special is a steal

                                                                                    2 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: tenxtone76
                                                                                      LadyintheKitchen Jan 12, 2009 02:24 PM

                                                                                      Mario's Peruvian Food is soooooooooooooo good. You will get full in an instance with their big portions and inexpensive prices.

                                                                                      1. re: tenxtone76
                                                                                        laliz Jun 26, 2009 01:07 PM

                                                                                        another rec for Los Jarritos

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