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Downtown LA - NYC Chowhounder with NO CAR

layatp Feb 20, 2010 07:25 PM

Hi everyone,
I'll be staying at the Omni in downtown LA with no car (most likely - unless there are no foodie options in the area). I've done some research and hear that the resto in the hotel is good. Are there any chow-worthy places within walking distance or should I give in and rent a car for a day to explore some of LA's other dining areas? I'm only in LA for 2 days.

Thank you!

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  1. a
    aventinus RE: layatp Feb 20, 2010 07:30 PM

    There is no need for a car. There is a ton of good restaurants within walking distance.

    4 Replies
    1. re: aventinus
      layatp RE: aventinus Feb 20, 2010 07:35 PM

      Good to know! Any recommendations?

      1. re: layatp
        aventinus RE: layatp Feb 20, 2010 07:47 PM

        Depends on how far you like to walk. For upscale dining, Water Grill, Patina, and Nick and Stef's are nearby. Water Grill might be my favorite restaurant in Los Angeles. The other two are good too, especially Patina.

        It would probably take about 20 minutes to walk to Little Tokyo. If you walk it, walk down second street. My favorite restaurant there is Sushi Gen. A little closer and cheaper is Hama. There are also good mochi and sweet shops that you can find there by walking around.

        If you're looking for cheaper, simpler places for lunch, good options are Mendocino Farms (California-style sandwiches) and Casa (good burritos).

        For less than $10 in a taxi, you can go most places downtown, but I'm not sure that's necessary. You're also reasonably close to the subway, but I don't think it's worth your while.

        1. re: aventinus
          d_doubleyew RE: aventinus Feb 21, 2010 06:47 PM

          It's takes two minutes and costs just $1.25 on the red line subway from Pershing Square Station to Civic Center Station (adjacent to Little Tokyo), or you could red line it to Union Station and then transfer to the gold line to Little Tokyo.


          1. re: d_doubleyew
            aventinus RE: d_doubleyew Feb 21, 2010 07:12 PM

            Makes sense. I forget there's a subway sometimes.

    2. ipsedixit RE: layatp Feb 20, 2010 07:37 PM

      Ask your hotel concierge for a map of the DASH. It'll take you all around downtown and the surrounding environs, e.g. Chinatown, South Park, Fashion District, Little Tokyo, Banking District, etc.

      You'll have no shortage of chow-worthy options even without the use of a car; in fact, I would say it would be significantly more of a hassle to get around in downtown with a car because parking, as they say, can be like a bitch on a vodka hangover.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit
        OCAnn RE: ipsedixit Feb 20, 2010 08:53 PM

        Some of the restaurants listed here are within walking area:
        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/673604 | RESULTS: Ultimate Los Angeles Restaurants 2009: The Top 25 [Post #1 of 2]

        1. re: ipsedixit
          monku RE: ipsedixit Feb 21, 2010 09:48 PM

          Note that DASH runs only till 6:30pm or 7:00pm on downtown routes.

        2. k
          KTLA RE: layatp Feb 21, 2010 05:54 PM

          Here's a recent link to downtown LA restaurants: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/689017

          1. m
            mc michael RE: layatp Feb 21, 2010 06:34 PM

            Is the Omni on olive now? Used to be the Intercontinental? If so, I think that's where Noe is. Worth a try.

            1. j
              Jack Flash RE: layatp Feb 21, 2010 09:40 PM

              Drago Centro and Chaya Downtown. They're right next to each other, on Flower @ 5th. Definitely walking distance; both are excellent restaurants. Even if you're traveling solo (not clear if you are), you'd still be comfortable at both places.

              1. s
                silverlakebodhisattva RE: layatp Feb 22, 2010 07:22 AM

                If you haven't already filled in two days' worth, don't forget the car-less options now available from the new E.LA Gold Line extension; see


                1. w
                  woojink RE: layatp Feb 22, 2010 08:48 AM

                  For GREAT sandwich lunches, you can take the Red Line to Union Station and have a French Dip at Phillipe's, and also you can take the Red Line the other direction to the Macarthur Park stop (two stops away? maybe 3? VERY CLOSE) to go to the holy shrine of all things pastrami at Langer's Pastrami on 7th and Alvarado. Langer's is only open during the day until 4:30pm. And yes, it is life changing pastrami.

                  Also, you can take the Dash or a VERY short/cheap cab ride to San Pedro between 2nd and 3rd and go to the Lazy Ox Canteen. Terrific, small plates cuisine... TOP notch chef Josef Centeno's new spot. As an FYI, just reviewed in the LA Times and got raves. Been there myself and the place is really terrific.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: woojink
                    d_doubleyew RE: woojink Feb 24, 2010 09:21 PM

                    Lazy Ox is subway accessible -- just take red line to Union Station, switch to gold line and get off at the Little Tokyo/Arts District stop.

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