LA why do you vex me so?
Lots of great food choices in a sprawling city that is a driving city - and I won't have a car. (Ok, that's not the city's fault.) The subway seems limited. Buses -- I will have to see if I can figure them out.
I've been reading this board and putting together a list of dining possibilities. I am staying near the convention center -- on my company's dime and on a limited per diem of $60 a day.
Here are my interests so far:
Foundry on Melrose (have to take 2 buses)
Picca – might be too far though
Rivera – for special menu
Church and State – not too crazy far away
Son of a Gun - I might go to the Original Farmer's Market and the Grove one day and I don't think this is far away from there.
Aburiya Toranoko - although they don't put prices on their website and that always concerns me.
I have 5 dinners to plan. My 1 lunch will probably be the Farmer's Market day and my other lunches will be at the convention center.
What are your thoughts? Thanks for the help!
I take the Metro rail to downtown for work (no car!) so I have experience bouncing around all over LA lunch spots using public transportation. Get a $6 day pass if you plan on taking Metro rail/buses. The DASH is non-Metro, but is only 50c a ride and comes pretty often. Google Maps is your friend - use the public transportation option for route/time info (they even added DASH routes a couple months ago!).
With the Metro Red line, you can get off at Vermont/Sunset which is easy walking to Mother Dough, Umami Burger, Ricky's Fish Tacos, and then there's also a great Thai food if you get off at the next stop (Hollywood/Western).
That said, I think there's a bunch of awesome food in DTLA that you can easily get to, and it would be totally worth it to just stay and explore DTLA.
It's quite a recent phenomena but you really won't be sacrificing quality by sticking with Downtown. Just prepare to do a bit of walking and avail yourself of the Dash. The Water Grill just remodeled (finally) but the food has always been noteworthy. Newish places I've enjoyed very much are The Lazy Ox, Ytza, Spice Table, The Gorbals. The Nickel Diner if you're not up for pastrami at Langer's would be fun for lunch. Plus you're close to Grand Central Market, Chinatown, Little Tokyo and even though it looks touristy, there are a couple of decent restaurants on Olvera St. And the Umamicatessen is just opening and sounds interesting. Other hounds will have other great downtown recs. Enjoy!.
subway is actually not bad. See if your company will go for a day pass on the metro - $5. Here's what you can hit that's not super far from a station:
Langer's (def. skip out on a convention center lunch to hit this)
Anything in Little Tokyo
Philippe's (more of a cultural institution)
Plus the downtown places you've already listed
Wood & Vine
I ride the Metro Bus all the time and on the weekends to go eat. It's a great way to get a view of your city...
The best bet is to use Google Transit and see if it's worth the time and while (For example, a bus ride to the Farmer's market area is a little under an hour, but a straight shot down beverly)
That being said, Walking around DTLA (We just did it last night) isn't as daunting as one would think (We just did it last night) and there is the Red Line Metro Center nearby the staples center( Just get a tap card from the machines). Your list looks good, here are some other options I would give you in and near DTLA is
Drago Centro (especially the bar/happy hour menu)
Bistro LQ at Starry Kitchen
Blue Cow Kitchen