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Jan 23, 2009 08:37 AM

Downtown L.A. Lunch and Dinner

I am going to be spending some town downtown this weekend with out of town guests. We are looking for inexpensive to mid-range ($10-20/person) for lunch and a nice dinner ($20-35/entree or more if spectacular) before the theater. I love Cafe Pinot, but haven't eaten many other places. Any recommendations?

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    1. re: Muhlyssa

      if you liked kris morningstar's food while at Blue Velvet, you should check out Casa, his new place that's also downtown.

      1. re: mollyomormon

        Getting pretty weak reviews so far, some kinks to workout before I venture in

        1. re: Muhlyssa

          Curious as to where you've seen weak reviews other than that one on eater la. also curious as to whether you've been to Blue Velvet since Morningstar left.

          1. re: mollyomormon

            On (people commenting on stories about Casa).

            Have been to BV since he left and it's as good as ever. I really like it there, even though I think the menu (esp. at lunch) is too small.

            1. re: Muhlyssa

              I've also been a fair amount for work events and think it's good, but I can't imagine ever going on my own dime because it's way too expensive for the quality of food I've had there. I paid at Casa and it would definitely go back, although the space at Blue Velvet is much, much prettier.

    2. Woodspoon-traditional Brazilian plates and appetizers cooked by a master chef from Brazil.The price is right.

      2 Replies
        1. re: Jwsel

          107 W 9th St
          Los Angeles, CA 90015

          X st-Main St. in downtown LA

      1. I'm a big fan of Pete's Cafe and bar, it appears to be an old bank building, huge ceilings, a great room, very nice at lunch, but transformed with candles and interesting light fixtures from more of a bistro into a place with a downright romantic vibe. The downstairs bathrooms are worth checking out as they are something out of Raymond Chandler (AND they have Molton Brown soap and lotion, high end bonus!) Friendly service, American comfort food. They have an amazing tomato basil soup, unbelievably decadent mac and cheese, the best veggie burger in town according to my veggie burger addict SO and fresh garden green salads all at a price point very much in your range, for example, the soup is, I believe about 5 bucks a bowl, the mac and cheese I think is 12, the aforementioned veggie burger with fries is around 11. It's a good place to have in your back pocket when you're in the area even if it doesn't suit for this occasion.

        Pete's Cafe & Bar
        400 S Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90013

        3 Replies
        1. re: PinotPlease

          I want to like Petes, I've been there for lunch several times, but the service has always been slow. Since the OP was looking for weekend dining, I don't think the slow service would be an issue for them. I also recommend Pit Fire Pizza for lunch

          or dim sum might be fun

          1. re: Muhlyssa

            I'm not the biggest fan of Pete's, but I've had good service when sitting at the bar.

          2. re: PinotPlease

            i just went to pete's earlier today for lunch and ordered the hellman burger w/bleu cheese fries. the burger was decent and beefy but it was a little overly dry (i ordered medium rare). the fries had a decent flavor but were super soggy b/c of the bleu cheese and tomatoes. i think i was expecting something along the lines of ballpark stadium garlic fries (super crispy, with bits of cheese on top instead of garlic) but these were so soggy that i just had to eat them with a fork.

          3. Water Grill for dinner
            How about Japanes for lunch???? Little Tokyo is close by and Sushi Gen is right up your alley if you order the lunch special sashimi. or Shabu Shabu in the Little Tokyo Plaza.

            1 Reply
            1. re: jkao1817

              I don't believe that Sushi Gen's lunch specials are available on the weekends. Not at the same prices as during the week anyways.

            2. The original comment has been removed