Lunch help downtown: Jury duty on W. Temple
- Quinn Jun 24, 2004 01:53 AM
I need lunch help. I'm reporting for jury duty at the 210 W. Temple criminal justice center. Any walkable lunch recs? Open to all suggestions.
Go south one block to 1st Street then east about two block where you'll find the Korean Barbeque that is very good, a lot of different Japanese restaurants and a little further, Senor Fish on the corner of 1st & Alameda. From 1st and Spring Street go north about 3 blocks to Olvera Street where there is La Luz del Dia, a cafeteria style restaurant that has great carnitas with tortillas a mano. There is also La Golondrina in Olvera which is a little upscale and serves good fish dishes. There is also the cafe at the Cathederal of Our Lady of the Angels which is a block to the west of the criminal courts building. I've never eaten there but I heard it was good. And, of course, the Grand Central Market which has a lot of good eats, especially Ana Maria's for gorditas.
The carnitas burrito (more like a burro) at Ana Maria's is, in my opinion, one of the culinary wonders of Los Angeles. You walk up to this (always mobbed) little stand the in GCM, and ask for a carnitas burrito with everything on it. The guy behind the counter warms up a large flour tortilla, and then plasters it with a big dollop of creamy refried beans, followed by, like three cups of carnitas, salsa verde, chopped onions and fresh cilantro. At this point, there's what looks like about a quart and a half of carnitas and other goodies piled on a tortilla that is visibly too small to contain such a mass of food; somehow, they always manage to get it rolled up. Cut in half, with a squeeze of fresh lime juice -- it's just fantastic. Easily enough for two good sized meals, for a grand total of $4. (To tell the truth, I sometimes feel guilty that they're not charging enough so I walk away without waiting for change for my $5.)
You know, I've never tried the flautas even though I have lunch there once a week. I usually just get a torta (which, like the burrito, also involves about 5 lbs. of meat along with a spread of beans, lettuce, tomato, onion, salsa, cilantro, sour cream and several slices of avocado...bigger than the biggest deli sandwich you can imagine, and only four bucks) or a burrito.
You're very close to Chinatown, so the possibilities are vast. You'll probably get 1-1/2 hours for lunch so you could walk to the cafeteria in the DWP headquarters building across the street (west) from the Music Center or to the cafeteria in the Hall of Administration. The DWP is superior. Avoid the cafeteria in the civil courthouse.
A couple of places that's a few blocks away, in Little Tokyo:
- Daikokuya Ramen (1st St., between San Pedro and Central)
- Shabu Shabu House (in Japanese Village Plaza Mall)
(get there early, before 11:20, to line up.. the place opens at 11:30 to avoid a wait)
By all means go to Chinatown. I love a little hole in the wall called O.K. Seafood. It's on the ground floor of the same building as Ocean Seafood.
Lunch specials start at $3.95. Do try the somewhat pricier scrambled egg shrimp. It's outstanding!
Great timing, thank you! I start jury duty on Monday and was just wondering about exploring new food options in the area. I am still relatively new here and have never had a meal in this part of LA. Looking forward to it.
Also, Check out the Mandarin Deli... Wonderful steamed dumplings and beef Soup and Scallion pancake! Really cheap too... There is a location in China Town and in Little Tokyo... not sure which is the closest...
I second the rec for Luz De Dia on Alvera St... Amazing Tacos... Order a few of the hand made tortillas on the side to eat your rice and beans with too!
Both of these were favorites during my 4-month jury duty at the beginning of this year.
Mandarin Deli is inexpensive and delicious. The dumplings with noodles in broth is $4.95 (if I remember correctly).
Luz de Dia or Golondrina at Olvera Street is also good. I like the shrimp ceviche at Golondrina.
Here are a couple others:
BBQ King - Sunset/Cesar Chavez at Figueroa - Fair barbecue, and the only barbecue downtown.
Tokyo Cafe - Judge John Aiso between Temple and First - They have a good shu mai / pork combo, and it's cheap.
Hibachi - Korean barbecue in Japanese Village. Yummy. I got the bulgogi plate. Since I was a single diner, they cook it in the back. But you get all the banchan and fixin's.
Redwood Tavern - 2nd Street between Broadway and Hill - Old-style tavern with a big bar and naugehyde booths. Typical hamburger, club sandwich place. Very low key. The bar looks like a good place for after-work or after-jury relaxing.
Patinette Cafe - On Grand, downstairs at the entry to MOCA - Part of the Patina empire. This one's a patio affair with good soups, salads and more hearty stuff. With your Jury ID, you can go into MOCA next door for free before or after lunch.
Kendall's Brasserie - Also on Grand, just in front of the Music Center - One more Patina restaurant, but much more upscale than Patinette. This place is expensive, but good. And since you already have free parking, you're way ahead of everyone else.
Yorkshire Grill - 6th street west of Grand - It's a walk, but you have an hour and a half, so you can do it. It's a good deli, with pastrami, corned beef, etc. Even peanut butter and jelly.
During my jury duty I wrote more detailed posts on most if not all of these. So if you search, you can get more info.
Hot tip: B Dash bus. Pick it up on Temple right in front of court house. Takes you directly to Olvera St (Grub fav -- La Luz) or Chinatown (Pho Hoa, for instance)...or transfer to another Dash (pick up brochure on bus) to go almost anywhere (except, surprisingly, GCM) in & around downtown. All for princely $.25.