6 hours in L.A.
Me, my brother and a friend are going to have about 6 hrs to kill in LA on our way to vacation in Australia. We are going to be at LAX, but have access to a car so transportation is not an issue. None of us have spent much time in LA or tried any of the staple foods. I've been put in charge of finding somewhere to eat, and was hoping some of you hounds would have some recommendations. I personally have never been to LA so I don't even know where to start. We want something fun, and not to expensive (under $20). Doesnt neccisarily have to be a long sitdown meal. We are pretty adventurous eaters and generally like ethnic foods. We are from Michigan and would love to try something different that we get here. We will be there on a Monday afternoon/early evening if that makes a difference.
One thing I've heard a lot of good things about is "Asian (Korean?) barbecue", but I know nothing about it.
Any ideas would be appreciated, thanks!
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You can skim through this thread for Korean BBQ recs in Koreatown. Plan on an hour's arduous ride through traffic from LAX to Koreatown during the evening rush hour, though. Even with a six hour layover, you might feel rushed getting back to the airport. Also - $20 per person for Korean BBQ is optimistic unless you have a bigger group and can spread the cost out per person, and skip the beers.
In other ethnic cuisines closer to the airport: I think La Huasteca in Lynwood might be a good option. It's straight down the 105 freeway, and you can get some great meals there for your price range. Their deal is authentic regional cooking from the central highlands of Mexico. Even their Spanish language menu is geared toward educating Spanish speakers from elsewhere with the food history from this area. Since the last time I went, they hired a new chef, Rocio, who owned her own restaurant famous for her moles, so the focus may have expanded to cover other areas of Mexico. Located in a very Latino shopping center, you'll feel transported to another world. It definitely ain't Michigan.
3150 E Imperial Hwy, Lynwood, CA 90262
Six hours can go pretty fast when you are trying to navigate an unfamiliar town. There are two restaurants about 10 easy minutes from the airport that might be worth your time. They are also across the street from each other so you could try both. Mariscos Chente is a very well regarded Pacific Mexican seafood joint. There's also an excellent sushi place across the street called Sakura - not anything too fancy but VERY good fish and if you don't get there very early expect to wait. You may spend a little more than $20pp but IMO it is the best value sushi in LA.
Korean bbq is a great thing but getting from LAX to K-town could be stressful and confusing. LA traffic (particularly the westside) is not for the uninitiated. Sadly there really aren't any legit Korean options on that side of town. If you stay close to the airport you could also consider getting in a little sightseeing time in Venice or Santa Monica.
4532 S Centinela Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90066
There are decent representations of Korean BBQ on the Westside, a lot closer to LAX than Koreatown given the 6 hours you have. Because of unforeseen delays you might not even get 6.
Tofu Ya has two establishments in West LA just up the 405 freeway, probably the best Korean on this side of town.
11267 National Blvd at Sawtelle, Los Angeles, 310-477-6075
2021 Sawtelle Blvd north of Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, 310-473-2627
Bibimbap, (Korean rice dishes), soup and prepared BBQ dishes.
The AYCE will likely fit your $20 limit, but it will be worth it.
When you have more time in the future, get to Koreatown and enjoy the best of Park BBQ.