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Lunch ideas within walking distance of Paramount Studios on Melrose Ave.

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Taking two teenagers for a tour at Paramount Studios next week and we need lunch recommendations within walking distance on Melrose Ave after we finish the tour. From the limited research I've done, I've come up with a few restaurants - are any of them highly recommended?

Mario's Peruvian
Lucy's El Adobe Cafe
Guadalupe's Place
Pueblo Viejo

We're open to all kinds of food - not too expensive. Mexican, Vietnamese, Middle Eastern, Persian, whatever is good. Not interested in pizza, burgers, fast food or Italian unless it is a "not to miss" type of place.

Thanks for all your help - I can always count on the CH'ers to chime in with their thoughts!

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Lucy's El Adobe Cafe
5536 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

Mario's Peruvian
15720 Imperial Hwy, La Mirada, CA 90638

Pueblo Viejo
5722 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

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  1. Maybe check out http://www.larchmontlarder.com/ for affordable and interesting eats. Why walking distance? Won't you have a car?

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    The Larchmont Larder
    Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, CA

    7 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Thank you for the recommendation. Yes, we will have a car - but it is $7 to park in the parking lot across from Paramount. Thought we we could find someplace to walk to rather than driving & having to pay to park again.

      1. re: CurryLover

        There is a fair amount of metered and free parking in LA--so, for instance, if you go somewhere like Mario's, it has a free parking lot out front, and if that is full, there is street parking there (but make sure you move your car before rush hour!). Larchmont has a bunch of public parking lots that are metered or attended, but they aren't all that expensive either. So, in terms of getting more out of the day,if you take your car with you when you leave Paramount and you will save a little time, and have a lot more flexibility about where you eat. For instance, from Paramount, you aren't that far from Thai town, and can get a wonderful thai lunch at a number of restaurants within a 10 minute drive--and many of these re in mini-malls with parking.
        There is, however, an Italian restaurant just east of Paramount on Melrose that I think has been well-reviewed. Otehrs might remember the name.

        1. re: coffeebrownies

          Italian on Melrose. You almost have to pick your way down the street not to run in to one of them. Marino's is close and there is Osteria La Buca and Oteria Mamma and then Mozza at the intersection of Melrose and Highland.

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          La Buca
          5210 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

        2. re: CurryLover

          CurryLover-
          Was just there this week for a taping of Dr. Phil. We parked across the street next to the Head Start School. FREE! There was the restriction of no parking on Tues from 8-10 for street cleaning but, we arrived at 9:55A. Had no problem. I would highly suggest you park on the streets then, drive to Larchmont. Drive down Larchmont to Beverly. On the corner there's a KooKa Roo. Across the street a Noahs bagels and, down further a bunch more places.

          1. re: Kitchen Queen

            Thanks for passing along the free parking info. I looked up KooKooRoo - a chicken bistro. We don't have anything like that in Ohio - is that something "not to be missed" in LA?? I'm basically looking for something quintessential for the area. Not likely that we will ever return to the area again so want to make lunch memorable, especially for two teenagers.

            1. re: CurryLover

              Koo Koo Roo describes itself as a "chicken bistro"? Can't even fathom what that would be, but can tell you it is simply a fast food chicken/turkey restaurant/chain that is good, but there's nothing uniquely LA about it.

              Lucy's is something you won't find in Ohio. And it has a great deal of Hollywood history.

        3. re: Servorg

          I work in this area and eat at the area restaurants regularly. I concur that Larchmont Larder is one of the best bets, and is easily walkable. Tere's is the best tasting Mexican choice. There are other good choices further south on Larchmont, but don't waste your time on Koo Koo Roo. It is merely OK food, but it is surrounded by much better choices.

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          The Larchmont Larder
          Los Angeles, CA, Los Angeles, CA

        4. Oblath's (since 1923) or Nickodell's?

          3 Replies
          1. re: sel

            Weren't these two restaurants from long, long ago? And aren't they completely gone from this earth (if not from the memories of those who recall them)? Or have I somehow overlooked their resurection?

            1. re: Servorg

              See this site: http://www.latimemachines.com/new_pag... the revived Nickodell's closed for good according to this site in 1993 and Oblath's died and was never reborn a long time ago...

              1. re: Servorg

                Oh how I miss Nickodells and the regular rummies.

          2. If you go to Mario's, get the Lomo Saltado. If you want Mexican, go to Tere's not Lucy's. Tere's is excellent with standouts being their guacamole and the pork chile verde burrito. Osteria Mamma is walkable for Italian. If you want to go to Larchmont, the Dash runs roughly every 15 minutes from 11 - 2 in front of the Bronson gate and drops you off on the corner of Beverly and Larchmont. Larchmont Wine and Cheese has excellent sandwiches.

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            Osteria Mamma
            5730 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

            4 Replies
            1. re: Adamlick

              I'm definitely interested in Marios, KooKooRoo, Prado, La Fonda Antioquena, & Tere's. We don't have places like those in NE Ohio so those would be unique for us.

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              La Fonda Antioquena
              5125 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90038

              1. re: CurryLover

                Definately skip bland and boring corporate Koo Koo Roo!

                1. re: sel

                  Most of the Koo Koo Roo's went belly up sometime ago. A few are left, one of them in Larchmont Village. But they are definitely not something worth going out of one's way for.

              2. re: Adamlick

                I strongly second the Tere's recommendation. And stay away from Lucy's if you want good food!

              3. La Fonda Antioqueña is a really good Colombian place and a pretty easy walk. I like their food a lot, and the portions are enormous.

                http://lafondaantioquena.com/

                2 Replies
                1. re: noahbites

                  That sounds great - we don't really have Columbian food in NE Ohio so I am putting this on my list.

                  1. re: CurryLover

                    Yeah, it's a nice casual place. If I remember correctly, they have some pretty interesting juices too.

                2. Is lucy's el adobe the greatest food - no. But it's an LA institution whose walls are covered with where are they now? headshots. Stick to crispy tacos, chicken enchiladas and note how wierdly good the salad dressing is on their little iceberg side salad. A personal guilty pleasure!

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: sfgirl22

                    I concur with Lucy's. It's not terrible, a lot of atmosphere, and -- as sfgirl122 said, a real institution. Jerry Brown and Linda Ronstadt used to hang there when they were dating, and it's been around forever. And it's pretty much right across the street from Paramount, People on Chowhound tend to dismiss people's desire to eat in a certain area, and send 'em all over creation. Which may be OK for a local, but your logic makes perfect sense for someone passing through.

                    Koo Koo Roo is a yuppie Col. Sanders. But if you don't mind driving, Larchmont is only a few blocks west of Paramount, and there are all kinds of places to eat there; you can pretty much drive down the street (the commercial section is just a couple of blocks long) and find something that looks interesting. And is it a nice little area, a virtual small town just on the outskirts of Hollywood. Parking can be iffy.

                    1. re: Muskrat

                      For Hollywood history and your original request for something within walking distance of Paramount - definitely Lucy's. Larchmont is a fun street to walk, though - something rare in LA. Can't believe anyone on this board would recommend Kookooroo. If you want to do the full tour, drive up to Hollywood Blvd and lunch at Musso's . . . .

                      1. re: Selter Head

                        My teenagers will probably prefer Lucy's or Tere's, the Columbian place or the Farmer's Market. I don't think we'd be interested in Musso's - I looked that up - too fancy for us - we are going to be casually dressed. It is going to be a good toss up b/c we don't have great Mexican or any kind of Columbian in Ohio plus it is too cold for Farmer's Markets this time of the year in Ohio so that might be a nice change. And, Lucy's in seems equal to what the Union Oyster House or Durgin Park in Boston are (We are Boston transplants to Ohio) Neither Union Oyster House or Durgin Park have "great" food but they are an institution to Boston for tourists. I'm trying to balance the tourist part & the chow-worthy part. The intention is something memorable but not overly touristy but good food as well as something we can't get in Ohio.

                  2. Why don't you head over to the Original Farmers Market at Fairfax and Third? It is both a tourist attraction and a local institution that has been around for 75 years. There is validated 2 hour free parking in 2 lots (although it might be crowded during the holidays). The Farmers Market is basically a lot of food stalls--some of which are so-so and a few of which (including Loteria, Singapore's Banana Leaf, Moishe's, Bob's Doughnuts) are really good and well-reviewed here. Everyone can choose their own food (great for teenagers), and although the food comes on trays, it tends to be served on real plates and the tables are bussed for you. My family eats there a couple of times a week, and it is the first place that my sons, who are now in college, want to go to when they come home.

                    If it continues to rain, you will have to sit in the covered seating areas, but conversely, it will be be less crowded. The Farmers Market is connected to The Grove, which is a wildly popular outdoor mall.

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                    Singapore's Banana Leaf
                    6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                    Moishe's Restaurant
                    6333 W 3rd St Ste 336, Los Angeles, CA 90036

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: coffeebrownies

                      The Mexican place is really good too - and, I can't believe I'm saying this, for tourists, they film one of those tv gossip shows there (Mario Lopez)...

                      1. re: coffeebrownies

                        Good ideas - thank you - I hope it stops raining by Thursday as we're coming from Ohio & trying to escape the snow! I am going to leave it up to my teenagers what they want to do for lunch. At least I have a LIST of options which all you wonderful chowhounders have contributed to.

                        1. re: CurryLover

                          Also--everything in Los Angeles is far more casual than you will find in Boston or the midwest. There are probably no restaurants in LA that you couldn't show up for lunch in wearing jeans. Still, Musso and Frank's is probably lost on teenagers unless they are really into film history. Farmer's Market is outside-ish--but has a lot of heaters.

                          1. re: CurryLover

                            All weather reports are for sunny Friday and Saturday - definitely go to the Farmer's market - the Korean BBQ there has terrific short ribs if you want something that's different but unintimidating. Have a great holiday.

                            1. re: sfgirl22

                              We ended up going to Mario's Peruvian for lunch and we LOVED it! It was the first time we'd had Peruvian food. We got there at noon & got the last table. There were people waiting to get in after us & it was a Thursday. I didn't realize it was zagat rated either. We were very happy with our food. We got three dishes to share, including the Lomo Saltado Thank you to everyone for their suggestions - all were considered.

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                              Mario's Peruvian
                              15720 Imperial Hwy, La Mirada, CA 90638