My Favorite Meals, Under $20, in these Recessionary Times
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
Eastside Deli, Downtown Los Angeles
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
The Oinkster, Eagle Rock
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
Sanamluang Cafe, Hollywood
pad kee mao
Nate n Al's, Beverly Hills
Triple Decker pastrami
Zankou chicken, Westwood
Let's Be Frank, Culver City
grass fed beef dogs
What's a few of yours?
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
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!
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.
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
Panino's, Woodland Hills
salami & brie sandwich
guilty pleasure: Carney's, Studio City
chili cheeseburger & fries
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
bacon wrapped dogs
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
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
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
...and so on...
...and the list continues