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Nice affordable lunch downtown?

b
bnew May 8, 2009 08:57 AM

Hello,

A friend of mine is visiting from out of town and I'm meeting her for lunch. I don't want her to know how miserable my downtown office life is (skyways, stores selling dusty umbrellas, the unrelenting sun). Can someone recommend a nice affordable lunch spot downtown that makes LA seem reasonably cosmopolitan?

  1. j
    Jwsel May 10, 2009 08:36 AM

    I'm not exactly sure where you are, but Pete's Cafe has a very New York feel to it. I don't know what you consider affordable, but it seems like a reasonably priced lunch spot.

    I also know that people will blast me for it, but The Farm at LA Live was pretty good when I ate there in March.

    Roy's is probably on the more expensive side, but it is always reliable. The space is great and it definitely doesn't strike me as drab or miserable.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Jwsel
      s
      silverlakebodhisattva May 10, 2009 09:09 AM

      CBS and Full House, and even Empress Pavilion, in Chinatown are as good as most of the Chinese restaurants in most major cities in the US, (though they are out-gunned by the restaurants in the SGV, possibly the largest assortment of really good Chinese restaurants in the hemisphere!) .
      The Little Tokyo suggestions are mostly good (I believe "that Italian place" is Capperi, though I don't know that I would have included it...); for izakaya, I think Izayoi is the more "cosmopolitan".

    2. Kitchen Queen May 10, 2009 01:01 AM

      What is really close to Union Station that's good - besides Phillipe's and Traxx- I will actually be at the California Endowment @ 1000 N. Alameda on Mon and Tues THX KQ

      2 Replies
      1. re: Kitchen Queen
        JAB May 10, 2009 01:25 PM

        You can walk to Homegirl Cafe from there.

        1. re: Kitchen Queen
          c
          chuck May 10, 2009 08:46 PM

          If you like BBQ there is Spring Street Smokehouse on the southern edge of Chinatown.

        2. Bob Brooks May 8, 2009 04:17 PM

          J.R. Bistro is very good for non dim sum Chinese. Very inexpensive. Try the scrambled egg shrimp. Superb. It's on the ground floor of the same building as Ocean Seafood.

          1. t
            toonoble May 8, 2009 01:46 PM

            I would also check out Tiara Cafe. Good food, affordable, cool vide, nice space. It almost makes you feel like your eating at some cafe in NY.

            1. aching May 8, 2009 12:13 PM

              "Cosmopolitan" and "affordable" are very subjective terms, but in addition to the other suggestions (Bottega Louie being the best of them, IMHO, for what you seem to be seeking), I would add Wood Spoon and Blossom for very casual and inexpensive, and Drago Centro and Cafe Pinot for fancier and more expensive.

              I live in Downtown and love it - it's sad to me that you're miserable! I think there's so much good stuff to be had here!

              1 Reply
              1. re: aching
                n
                namstermonster May 8, 2009 12:23 PM

                aching- plz do share your secrets!! i work in downtown and am always thinking how it's so lacking in the food area... which is why when bottega was a godsend for me since i work 3 blocks down and it's pretty much one of the very few decent places (IMO of course) downtown considering i don't even like alot of the food there!! doU have any suggestions for another lost soul?? perhaps u have some fav places that i haven't tried yet?? :)

              2. n
                namstermonster May 8, 2009 12:10 PM

                bottega louie and drago centro (bottega is more affordable, drago has better food overall). the atmosphere and vibe of these locations def fit your "cosmopolitan" profile.

                1. j
                  JPomer May 8, 2009 11:03 AM

                  You should do some exploring. Downtown might seem even more than 'reasonably cosmpolitan'.
                  Some suggestions
                  Nickel Diner is a good start
                  Church and State
                  Any of those Little Tokyo Suggestions
                  The Grand Central Market
                  Traxx
                  Ciudad
                  Bottega Louie (actually not sure if it's open for lunch)
                  Wurstkuche
                  Cole's
                  Phillipe's

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JPomer
                    o
                    ozhead May 8, 2009 11:17 AM

                    Bottega Louie is open for lunch.

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