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In downtown LA without transportation

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i will be in downtown LA for a few days without transportation and a pretty full schedule in March. I'm staying at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel on South Figueroa. However, I won't go all the way to LA without building in a little time for chowhounding.

Any interesting lunch places nearby? Any bars with character? Any old restaurants with old style California cuisine?

All suggestions welcome. Thanks!

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  1. Your question is too big--there are tons of possibilities. Look up these places for a start--Bottega Louie, Water Grill (pricy but topnotch seafood), Ciudad (pan-Latino, practically across the street from the Bonaventure), Nickel Diner. Little Tokyo is maybe a 15 minute walk from there, it has ramen, izakaya, sushi places. You're near a subway stop for the Metro Red Line, look for Red Line threads on this board. One favorite Red Line trip is Langer's deli, just one stop away on the Red Line. There's more than enough to keep you chowing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: redrover

      Langer's is definitely worth the trip. The best pastrami period. They do close at 4pm.

    2. "Bars with character", The Varnish (and Maaaany others!). "Old Restaurants w/ Old Style California Cuisine", Phillipe's and Clifton's... The Gorbals in the Alexandria Hotel is modern food in a classic (if not somewhat dicey) setting.

      1. I love downtown and you could stay there the whole time and eat well for days! There are tons of places, from cheaper places like Phillipe's to Drago Centro. A cab ride to Church and State, IMHO the best place in LA right now, is worth it (it is in the easter section of downtown). But you can also take the subway to Hollywood and venture up and down the Blvd. Musso and Frank's is an LA must for some of us, Loteria Grill is excellent, I am a big fan of Hungry Cat. There are some very good burgers. And word is the new French Place at the W Hollywood is terrific.

        1. Interesting Lunch places:
          Bottega Louie on 7th, Tiara Cafe on 9th, Nickel Diner on Main, Colori Kitchen on 8th, El Cholo on Western (taxi or drive) and Urth Caffe in the artist's district (short taxi ride).
          Bars with Character:
          The Edison (a must see in an alley off 2nd near Main) Seven Grand on 7th, Golden Gopher on 8th, Casey's on Grand, Broadway Bar on Broadway, Varnish on 6th and Main, the Association on 6th and Main, the Must Bar on 6th and Spring, The rooftop bar at the Standard Hotel, the Library Bar, Bar 107 on 4th near Main, the Galley Bar at the Biltmore Hotel, the Bar in the O Hotel on Flower and 9th, the Mountain Bar in Chinatown.

          Alll of these places are within walking distance of your hotel

          5 Replies
          1. re: RobertC

            For bars with character, I second the Edison and the rooftop bar at the Standard. Both are unique and excellent.

            1. re: aventinus

              dont forget 7 Grand. Great scotch focused bar.

              1. re: samtron608

                I second that too (if you like scotch).

                1. re: aventinus

                  Agreed with Robert, particularly about the bars. I do like Bottega Louie a lot. And The Edison is just great. Go just at sunset to the Standard Rooftop bar, it also is a must, but if you go late, sometimes there is a cover charge.

                  1. re: Tom P

                    For a Bar With Character where you can actually relax and get some good food at reasonable prices, I recommend the Redwood on 2nd St. just off Hill. Old LA Times hangout - they still have the red phone, but it's no longer connected to the City Desk - that's been refurbished while not only preserving its character but enhancing it. Live music some nights, I've heard, but pretty calm most of the time. Fine burgers, fish'n'chips etcetera.

          2. I love the rooftop bar at the Standard. Yeah, it is too trendy, but it is great to be nestled among the taller buildings as they light up for the night. Get there early for a good spot.

            1. Try LA New York Pizza on 6th between Grand and Olive - New York style and Sicilian style by the slice. Across the street from the Water Grill.