LA for the week...suggestions?
From Canada for the week, looking for some good, affordable eats. We're staying near the staples center and will be renting the car closer to the end of our stay. So far the only place we've pegged is Ciudad from positive reviews. That's more on the higher end, and we're looking for quality local places (esp tacos! saw a giant thread on that).
Any suggestions would be welcome! Thanks
Let me help you with tacos: Start at the Grand Central Market, north of you downtown off Broadway and Hill between 4th and 3rd. There are a bunch of stands there with many specializing in carnitas huge tacos for very cheap. Try Roast2Go and Ana Maria's, and there are a couple others as well. The DASH vans are your friends, with about a half-dozen routes around the downtown area and vicinity for only 25 cents per ride -- ask at your hotel for pickup and maps. They only operate to the late afternoon.
Just west on Pico about a mile or so gets you to Hoover, where you get to El Parian. Note, you will think at first it is closed, it isn't. Many think it is the best carne asada tacos in town, and others think their goat (birria) is even better. Just north from Pico on Hoover is El Taurino, another notable spot. And just a bit east on Washington and also near the other two are branches of perhaps the best local chain, King Taco, which does a good carne asada, some think a better al pastor, and a very reputable hot sauce, both red and green.
North of downtown, on North Broadway at 19th, above Chinatown but below Lincoln Heights, is the best location of Carnitas Michaocan. I love it because it has the best salsa roja in town, a brickred thin smoky complex hot amazing sauce that makes everything better. Open 24/7, good carne asada, better al pastor from a rotisserie spit (but no pineapple) -- get burritos there, the tacos are tiny and their burritos are better and a better value.
Some will send you to La Taquiza, on Figueroa south of downtown next to USC. I'm not a fan -- like USC, it is overpriced and a bit elitist. The only reason I mention it is that I've heard that they recently started serving the new L.A. favorite, a Korean taco popularized by the Kogi Taco trucks, though they aren't associated.
While you are in the area, definitely also try the crazy chicken special at Dino's, on Pico at Berendo, a bit west of downtown two blocks west of Vermont. Also be sure to hit Langer's Deli, next to McArthur Park west of downtown, for perhaps the best pastrami on rye in the country -- corner of Seventh and Alvarado.
These are good recs. I like La Taquiza for their Al Pastor burritos and their agua fresca (this stuff is like crack for me), not really their tacos. They also have mulitas which you don't find too many places.
Some of my favorite taco spots: El Chato (taco truck) & Olympic & La Brea after 8pm, Chema's Tacos (Whittier Blvd, just before Hadley), Taco Zone (Montana & Alvarado, Echo Park).