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Feb 21, 2009 06:59 PM

Where to eat around the Convention Center?

Hi 'Hounds,

I will be stuck at the LA Convention Center next week for about 3/4 days. Is there anything decent to eat around there at lunch time, preferably within walking distance or maybe within, say 5 or 6 bus stops? Pupusas, tacos, sit-down places, whatever, as long as it can take me out of that place and is, you know, edible.
Also if someone knows where I can get a decent espresso around there, preferably not Starbucks/Peets/Coffee Bean... Danesi would be awesome.

Thanks in advance for all your suggestions!

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  1. There's a Starbucks in the Convention Center. Nothing like a Danesi close to the Convention Center as far as I know.

    1/2 mile away is El Parian for some great Mexican food.

    El Parian
    1528 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90015

    2 Replies
    1. re: monku

      El Parian, now that's awesome!
      I'd love to avoid Starbucks though.

      1. re: bad nono

        I second El Parian...King Taco is also on Pico just a few blocks west of El Parian

    2. The Original Pantry is nearby. Just take the DASH north for a few blocks. I went there when I was in college...and it was just great!

      Original Pantry Cafe
      877 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

      3 Replies
      1. re: attran99

        The Pantry is what it LA institution. 80+ years. Some people are going to diss the place, but its survived for some reason.
        Great for breakfast too.
        Many convention exhibitors will eat there too. It's a 3 block walk from the Convention Center.

        Check out their daily lunch special offerings, maybe something will appeal to you.
        Warning: Don't order the steaks.

        1. re: monku

          Thank you! I was wondering if I could also indulge a guilty pleasure and either walk to Clifton's (1.1 mile, doable but I don't know yet how much time I will have) or hop on a bus there.

          1. re: bad nono

            To get to Clifton's take the "F" DASH bus (25 cents) across the street from the Convention Center on Figueroa at Pico Blvd. North to 7th Street.
            Get off at 7th Street and walk 6 blocks east to Broadway and you'll be at Clifton's.
            There's also the "C" DASH bus 2 blocks east from Figueroa on Hope Street that goes up to 7th Street. Then walk 4 blocks east to Broadway. (It doesn't run as frequently as the "F" Dash which is every 5 minutes)

            When you get on the DASH ask the driver for a free transfer and where to get the "E" DASH (at 7th Street) to Broadway. Then you won't have to walk over to Broadway. I just looked on a DASH map.


            Clifton's Cafeteria
            648 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014

      2. La Taquiza
        3009 S Figueroa St
        Los Angeles, CA 90007
        (213) 741-9795
        This is basically 30th & Figueroa, I think the convention center is 12 & Figueroa....I'm not sure if that meets your bus stop requirements, but well worth the trip.

        1. Get yourself to Pico on the west side of the Convention Center -- there should be tons of buses. Head west. At about Hoover, you will get to El Parian. It will look closed. It will actually be open. Get the carne asada, or if adventurous, the goat. Some think it is the best taqueria in SoCal (my favorite is the Carnitas Michaocan up on No. Broadway above Chinatown).

          The next major intersection west is Vermont, and two short blocks further at Berendo on the north (right) side is Dino's, which looks like a burger stand. Very good burgers, huge pastrami sandwiches, a good carne asada plate. But 80 or 90% of the people are ordering one thing, and so should you -- the crazy chicken special. A small half-bird, marinated in a garlicky, vinegary turmeric sauce, then fire-grilled and charred. Served over a huge mound of thin fries, with a cup of cole slaw and tortillas, for about $5. Two lines -- one just inside and one outside the door, identical, hard to tell which will be faster because the person in front of you will invariably order six boxes to take out. One of if not the best lunch deals in L.A.

          One stop further at Normandie is C & K Imports, better known as Papa Cristo's, across from the huge Greek Orthodox church. Yet another good place for lunch -- roast chicken, lamb chops, greek salad, spanikopitas and other pastries. A casual little cafe to eat in. A full lunch combo plate will run about $10.

          Sorry, I'm not a fan of La Taquiza unless I'm stuck around USC. Small portions, overpriced, not in the same league as El Parian, El Taurino (further up on Hoover), or even one of the King Tacos on Pico.

          1. Just to clarify matters everybody: I live in Los Angeles, but I've never been at the Convention Center.I was going to thank you guys for being so sweet to describe how places look like and what bus to take just for me who lives in LA (and therefore should know about some of the places you're mentioning!).
            And then it hit me: hey, this thread can be profitable in eternity to everybody stuck at the Convention Center for 5 days or so!
            Thank you so much again, I really appreciate your help and kindness!

            So far I think I'll go to El Parian, Clifton's and the Pantry because I really like old-fashioned places, maybe Dino's. I've been to Papa Christos many times, so it's not a necessity I go.
            Anyway thanks a lot, I'm going to make a mapped printout of this thread and distribute it to out-of-towners at the convention.

            1 Reply
            1. re: bad nono

              There is a Persian Kabob place walking distance to the CC. I think on Flower closer to 9th it has a waterfall inside, I cant place the exact spot right now but its very good. Been there for lunch a few time but its been a year or two. Very tasty? Anyone know the coodinates??