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Mar 2, 2012 11:46 AM

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:
Spice table
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.
Baco Mercat
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!

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  1. Thoughts? Rent A Car.

    Otherwise, eat downtown and be prepared to walk. NB: Foundry not worth a bus transfer.

    5 Replies
    1. re: TonyC

      Wish I could rent a car, but my company won't go for it and I can't afford it on my own dime -- especially when you add the cost of parking at a hotel.

      1. re: Disneyfreak

        Accept the fact that you will only be able to dine in DTLA and limit your choices there - lots of good options these days.

        Take the DASH bus around DTLA during the week - 25c

        You do not want to ride the (metro) bus around LA.

        1. re: ns1

          DASH fare was raised to 50c on 7/1/2011

          1. re: ns1

            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

            Fat Spoon
            Lazy Ox
            Drago Centro (especially the bar/happy hour menu)
            Bistro LQ at Starry Kitchen
            Blue Cow Kitchen


        2. re: TonyC

          I agree with Tony, not the Foundry. Animal, would happy bus it to (and chose over Son of a Gun). The Foundry... nope.

        3. 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:

          Park's BBQ

          Langer's (def. skip out on a convention center lunch to hit this)
          Anything in Little Tokyo
          Philippe's (more of a cultural institution)
          Olvera Street
          Plus the downtown places you've already listed

          Towards Hollywood:
          Wood & Vine
          Hungry Cat

          1 Reply
          1. re: andytseng


            -> DO go to spice table for lunch and get the pork belly banh mi.

          2. 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!.

            1. Picca might get up there in price depending on what you order. I'd go to Mo Chica over Picca, much easier to stay within your budget, get a table and still experience zarate's style.

              1. I have to agree with those saying to stick around downtown- especially over lunch, and the suggestions already mentioned are great ones. thing is, you never know what traffic will be like, and being stuck on a bus may be stressful.