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HELP ME!!!! Where to eat LUNCH around WILSHIRE and HAUSER BLVD?

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Hi Chowhounders,

I am starting a new job at Wilshire and Hauser. Where can I go for a decent, inexpensive lunch?

I've eaten at the Baja Fresh near there, and it is terrible! (The branch on Sunset in Hollywood is much better.)

I did not see many options nearby when I last looked. I think I saw a pizza joint and some organic place. Any good?

Any decent food carts around?

Help me, Chowhounders!!

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  1. If you can hop in the car, I really love Sky's Tacos which is on Pico near Hauser. They're known for their shrimp tacos, but I like the spicy steak tacos and the fresh lemonade.

    There is coffee place, Black Dog (I think it's called that) that is walking distance. I had a nice cuban coffee there, not sure about the food. My husband used to work in the Variety building and that was a major complaint of his, not only were the choices marginal, they were crowded too. What about an overpriced but tasty soup and sandwich at the mini Patina place at LACMA?

    5 Replies
    1. re: Debra


      Thanks for your responses. I'll check out Black Dog and Patina.

      They need to really add some Chowhounder spots in that neighborhood...there's so much going on there.

      Or maybe it will force me to bring my lunch and save $$$.


      1. re: Perplexed

        I'm a huge fan of Black Dog, you can customize something there if the choices seem limited. The white chedder sandwich is great.

        And they take some old standards and add a cool twist, like mango chutney on the egg salad.

        They even make BLT!

        You could also go high end by going over to La Brea. And don't forget the whole ordering in thing, there are some places like Zen Grill or Kung Pao bistro that deliver to this area.

      2. re: Debra

        I feel your pain, I've worked there for 10 years. At Black Dog, I like the fresh mozzarella sandwich and the beef salad. Their soups and sandwiches in general are pretty good. O Cafe to Go is even worse than when it was Briazz, but the chicken chili isn't bad.
        Johnnie's Pizza is bad and overpriced. Do not eat at Callender's, it's awful. I can't eat at Koo Koo Roo either, although I don't mind Baja Fresh once in a while. There's a little place -- can't remember the name right now -- in back of the tall white building on the south side of Wilshire. They have a good arugula chicken salad and ok grilled sandwiches. If you are craving Japanese, they do lunch at Sake House Miro on La Brea and 8th St.
        If you can drive somewhere, there's Farmer's Market, Rita Flora, Luna Park, Mani, Cafe Latte, Fiddler's Cafe, etc.
        Good luck!

        Link: http://eatingla.blogspot.com

        1. re: Chowpatty

          Thanks a million, Chowpatty!

          1. re: Chowpatty

            Oh yeah, if you like hot dogs, the cart on Wilshire near Masselin is pretty good, and they're very nice. Avoid the roach coach that parks right there, however.

        2. Have you tried Chulada Grill at Hauser and San Vicente? It's not very far and is tasty Mexican fare. I used to live relatively close and always loved their tacos. They had great, but very greasy, chorizo. I didn't have many of their Oaxahacan specials, but the ones I had were always pretty good. I love their spicy pico de gallo and still miss it now that I live outside the neighborhood. They also deliver.

          Link: http://www.chuladagrill.com/index.htm

          1. If you feel like a little bit of a walk (less than a mile), there's a mini-mall at Wilshire and Crescent Heights (south side of the street) that has Cafe Latte (nice, sit-down place with good salads, sandwiches, great coffee & breakfasts--BF and I are there every weekend), California Sushi & Teriyaki (despite its cheesy name and appearance, decent sushi and a great avocado salad), Tawanna Thai (perfectly adequate Thai), and Trimana (average salads, sandwiches, etc. for take-out), Subway, and Wahoo's. Just one block west of there is Rocco's pizza, which has gotten some good reviews (and my business about once a week). Hope that helps!

            2 Replies
            1. re: floorpie742

              Trimana's the bog-standard corporate deli -- there's one in the Disney Channel building, there's one behind Il Moro, there's one in the B of A tower (or there was, haven't worked downtown in years).

              It's not bad, it's quick despite the depressing lines, and it's generally cheapish... it's the Au Bon Pain of Los Angeles. They deliver, too, but it ain't quick, and they charge a few dollars for it.

              I still can't pronounce it -- is it "try-man-uh"? "tree-mahn-ah"? "try-mania?" How do you pronounce the umlaut atop the M? :-P

              1. re: Das Ubergeek

                I always thought it was Try-mah (as in Ma [and Pa])-nah (same as mah).

                However it's pronounced, it's still crap.

                I knew about the a few other Trimanas -- in what was once the Arco Tower (across from the Wells Fargo Center), one of the Century City buildings on Century Park East, and in Encino (in the big white building at Densmore) -- but the website says that there are 36 of them in LA.

            2. Thanks for all your responses. I'm slowly discovering this neighborhood...

              1. Haha I used to intern in that area --- Calendar's lunch special isn't bad (as is Johnny's for pizza) -- Luna Park on Wilshire and La Brea is pretty good, another option would be Susina's for their paninis / salads (and definitely a sweet after).

                1. A little farther south on Venice (right near Hauser) is Hoagies and Wings for buffalo wings and steak sandwiches. They deliver to your location and the prices are good. 8 wings are $5.99 and $7.99 with drink and your choice of fries, garlic bread or salad. You can skim the menu here: http://www.hoagiesandwings.com/

                  Also, if you haven't explored Little Ethiopia on Fairfax, south of Olympic, try some of the Ethiopian restaurants. I've only tried Nyala and Rosalind's (Nyala was better), but I think if you search the threads, most hounds recommend Messob or Mercato. (Meals By Genet is dinner only, I believe.)

                  1. Black Dog is the best local option. There is also a cafateria and an Italian place inside the courtyard of LACMA.

                    If you are driving to lunch you might want to try Posh on Pico or Versailles. And I agree with Susina mentioned above - Beverly at Detroit.

                    Don't rule out delivery. Places like Zen Grill, Kung Pao Bistro or East India Grill.

                    1. FWIW, I like Koo Koo Roo. I also like Johnie's Pizzeria, which is in the same shopping center. The Marie Callenders there has changed into one of the new Marie Callenders Grills that serves a different menu. I haven't tried it yet.

                      Rocco's Pizza a few blocks west is very good.

                      I would avoid the Sizzler over there. I know some of you would avoid any Sizzler but in case you're tempted, I find this one to be one of the worst.

                      Also good on Fairfax just south of Wilshire is Tom Bergin's, which is an Irish bar which had pretty good food the last time I ate there, which was at least five years ago.

                      1. Try Back Door Boba on Dunsmuir just south of Wilshire. You enter on the alley. It's tiny, funky and has some decent food. They also have some tables outside if you get claustrophobic inside. It's about 3 blocks east of Hauser.

                        1. I'm in the same pickle. I work in the same location and have yet to find anything in walking distance. The deli at Ralph's isn't bad. And occasionally I treat myself to Wahoo's. But the selection in the immediate area, for those of us who have to be back in the office and ready to go in an hour or less, is just plain sad. FYI....I have tried Black Dog and was severely disappointed. I paid $8 for a crappy sandwich ....a small one, no sides, and a bottle of diet coke. I hate that wasted-meal feeling.

                          1. Sugar Jones: Is Back Door Boba on Dunsmuir Middle Eastern? Cause I would sure like a decent gyro...YES!

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: Liquid Sky

                              it's not middle eastern. it's a coffee bar with food. the immediate neighborhood isn't really known for ethnic food unfortunately. Still, it's decent and close.

                              1. re: Liquid Sky

                                It isn't but if you drive out to the Farmer's market at the grove, the middle eastern place there (Moishe's I think,) has pretty decent gyros.

                                I used to work in the area too. On Fairfax, just a little north of Wilshire, there is a cafe called Mani's that has some good sandwiches and salads. There's a Whole Foods right next to the Farmer's Market, too, which saved me when I had to work there, because most everything in the area is terrible.

                              2. Oh yeaah. I've passed by Mani's, and it's always got a lot of people there.

                                Thank you.

                                1. There's actually a little panini place on the south side of Wilshire. Forgot the name, but it is a block or so east of Hollywood Video. Great sandwiches and affordable. I think they are still there.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: kproq323

                                    i think it's called Panini Grill. it's near the corner of Detroit on Wilshire. i've eaten there a few times and found it to be just ok. the sandwiches sound yummy, but just aren't as flavorful as i would like. however, in a neighborhood that has way too few indoor/outdoor cafe type places, i guess Panini Grill is an option. i live in this neighborhood and i'm always moaning about the lack of good, cheap cafes that i can walk to and sit outside with my dog. right next to Panini Grill is an African restaurant. can't remember the name, but they're open for lunch. i have no idea whether it's good or not though.

                                  2. The African place is called Ngoma. It's pretty good, better than most of the other places mentioned in this thread and I think they have some lunch specials. Panini Grill smells funny to me, the smell turned me off and I haven't been back.

                                    And Posh on Pico, which someone else mentioned, is closed while they look for a new spot to relocate.

                                    The sushi place on Wilshire the north side of the street just west of Fairfax is pretty good. It gets pretty packed at lunch.