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Apr 29, 2010 07:37 AM

Lunch on the way back from the Watts Towers

Visiting the Watts Towers (my birthday request!) and then driving back to mid-Wilshire. It looks like we will be taking the 110. Any good Chowhound jaunts near the Watts Towers or enroute back to mid-Wishire that will complete the morning adventure? This is one of my few opportunities to force my poor son into eating unhealthy food -- so the only requirement is that it is slightly outside of the scope of where we would eat in mid-Wilshire (and probably nothing that is intentionally alive as we eat it).

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  1. If you continue south on Central Ave. to E. Imperial Highway, turn left to the southwest corner of Slater St. and Imperial Hwy, you'll find Hawkins House of Burgers, which is one of L.A.'s truly great, old, funky burger stands.

    North on Figueroa to the southwest corner of 30th and Fig, you get to La Taquiza, which is one of the better tacquerias around town.

    On weekends, the Alameda Swapmeet, at 45th and Alameda has great Mexican food, bands and a really fun scene - as well as a pretty good market and lots of interesting stuff.

    Mom's BBQ, which is just west of Vermont on the south side of Imperial Hwy, is very good.

    If you go over to the southeast corner of Martin Luther King and Crenshaw, there is a branch of M&M Soul Food that I think is very good.

    Anyhow, there's a few. I love the Watts Towers - one of my favorite places anywhere. Have a great birthday.

    Hawkins House of Burgers
    11603 Slater St, Los Angeles, CA 90059

    La Taquiza
    3009 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90007

    1. I haven't been, but on my to-do list is Old Fashion Flavor BBQ at 105th and Western. 10510 S. Western Ave.

      Closed Mondays.

      Also an older link regarding eats around Watts.

      1. Go to Plaza Mexico in Lynwood, just a short ways from the Towers. All kinds of good and great Mexican restaurants. Guelaguetza, Huastaca, Birrieria Jalisco, Barbacoa Actopan, Mariscos El Rey, etc.

        Plaza Mexico
        3100 E Imperial Hwy, Lynwood, CA 90262

        1. Mo Chica for outstanding Peruvian food is at 37th and Grand Avenue. In the same complex is also Chichen Itza.

          Chichen Itza
          3655 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90007

          1. Hello, coffeebrownies

            You have received some excellent suggestions, particularly those offered by estone888 and streetgourmetla. Hawkins makes some really mean burgers and their chili is awesome. Plaza Mexico is a great spot for food, drinks or just hanging out.

            If you have a penchant for soul food, I recommend that you try Bertha’s Soul Food Cafe. Located on Century Blvd about 4 miles west of the Towers, Bertha’s serves up outstanding fried chicken, oxtails, ham hocks, short ribs, catfish, snapper, collard greens, black-eyed peas, yams, etc. They also make a delicious peach cobbler and a scrumptious sock-it-to-me cake among other delightful desserts. Yeah, they have red velvet cake too.

            Same location and family ownership in the ‘hood for over 45 years. In fact, I was one of their very first customers. I used to ride there on my bike, a ’65 Schwinn Sting-Ray. I now make the occasional 75 mile (r/t) drive when I need my chitterlings fix. Theirs are the best I have ever had in a restaurant. You see, I must confess to truly being an offal lover. (^_~)

            Bertha’s Soul Food Café
            1714 W. Century Boulevard
            Los Angeles, CA 90047
            (323) 777-3373


            Plaza Mexico
            3100 E Imperial Hwy, Lynwood, CA 90262

            5 Replies
            1. re: degustateur

              Wow--that is a pretty stirring recommendation! I imagine that the Schwinn Stingray transportation offset the cobbler or the red velvet cake. I guess, birthday lunch and all, I should ask which dessert is best?

              1. re: coffeebrownies

                Hello again, coffebrownies

                Back in ’65, I lived a relatively short distance away. I’ve long since moved to the ‘burbs and occasionally burn 100 mile bike treks on my ’08 S-Works Roubaix SL … but not to the ‘hood!

                As for the desserts, they’re all good; but I have a strong affection for the peach cobbler. Some may find it too sweet – I like it that way, like my mom used to make it. The banana pudding is great too. Don’t set your sights on any one in particular, however. They are never all available at the same time.

                1. re: degustateur

                  Well, it was a great day, all around--although I have to admit that even though I worked out for 2 and a half hours in advance of Bertha's--it was so filling that I didn't eat for the rest of the day. The $7.50 fried chicken special, with 2 sides, cornbread and mashed potatoes and gravy must be the best deal in Los Angeles (and I brought home enough leftover chicken for dinner tonight). The cobbler was a little sweet and indistinct for us--we should have had one of the cakes. I think the best part of the meal might have been the little corn bread muffins, which were right out of the oven. Thanks for the rec!

                  1. re: coffeebrownies

                    Hi Again & Happy (Belated) Birthday, coffeebrownies!

                    I am so glad that you enjoyed Bertha’s. Their fried chicken is solid indeed. I did caution you about the cobbler. You should have ordered some cake to take home for a post-celebration. After our exchange this week, I came very close to driving down there for lunch on Saturday and to pick-up some chitterlings. I ended up at Marche Moderne for the last day of their L’Espagne menu in celebration of their third year anniversary. It was absolutely wonderful! I love Spanish tapas and I had my fill.

                    I do hope that your day was as good as mine was. Thank you for your follow-up report. I wish you many many more Happy Birthdays.

                    Marche Moderne
                    3333 Bristol St 3001, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

                    1. re: degustateur

                      Aww , thanks,. (Although I couldn't eat one bite of follow up cake--I went to a party at Palate in Glendale later that night and just looked at the food!) I also recommend, as a non-food adventure that every Angeleno should check out the Watts towers at least once. Thanks again for the tip and birthday wishes!