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Mar 11, 2012 10:16 AM

Dinner Suggestions? Staying Downtown LA?

My friend is staying a weekend at the Biltmore Hotel-downtown Los Angeles.

I'm from the Valley and not knowledgeable on good eats downtown.

Would love some suggestions for:

-any Asian food (Love Chinese/Thai)
-Italian (from Pizza to a good Veal Parm)
-or just anything that's great you can suggest?

Average priced meals is what we're after for a few dinners.

Thank you,


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  1. Check out the new Umamicatessen on Broadway. 4 restaurants in one.
    846 South Broadway
    Los Angeles, CA 90015

      1. For Thai, I like Soi7
        Mexican, head to Rivera or Mas Malo
        Burgers, Umamicatessen
        Breakfast, LA Cafe
        Italian, Bottega Louie or Calori Kitchen

        2 Replies
        1. re: yogachik

          Thank you Yogachik, your suggestions look perfect!

          1. re: yogachik

            For Mexican, he should take a cab 2 miles west of downtown to Guelaguetza fpr Oaxacan, to the new Mexicali Taco & Co. on the outskirt of Chinatown for tacos and the vampiro, to Grand Central Market.

            For burgers, the Morton's happy hour has mini-cheeseburgers and steak sandwiches. The happy hour is 4:30-6:30 and 9 to closing. I believe the main Morton's burger also is available.

          2. CHINESE:
            Yum Cha Cafe

            Tacos Tumbras a Tomas
            La Torta Loca

            Eastside Market and Deli
            Bouttega Louie

            Morton's (lunch only)

            Uncle John's
            Nick's Cafe

            7 Replies
            1. re: ipsedixit

              Yum Cha Cafe is a very "fast food" oriented Chinese Dim Sum spot in Monterey Park. It definitely won't pass for quality, but at the price around $1 - $1.50 a plate, it's a bargain.

              If you're looking for taste, try elsewhere. Dim sum is better at New Capital Seafood Restaurant in San Gabriel, CA in the Focus Plaza (also has 99 Ranch Market for great Asian groceries). It's on the top floor of the plaza. Ask someone if you cannot find it.
              140 W Valley Blvd
              San Gabriel, CA 91776

              Another great spot for Dim Sum that I personally prefer because of convenience, about par quality, and little or no wait time is in the heart of Downtown Monterey Park. This spot is a restaurant in the Lincoln Hotel Plaza. Don't think they really have a name other than the Lincoln Hotel Restaurant, but the address is at:
              123 S Lincoln Ave,
              Monterey Park, CA 91754.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Unless it's closed down, there is a small branch of Yum Cha Cafe in Chinatown on Broadway. It is, to my knowledge, the best dim sum in Chinatown. But that isn't saying much.

                1. re: estone888

                  Eh, SGV's only 10 minutes from DTLA, or a short 20 minute bus ride on the 70/76.

                  1. re: jonathanslam

                    More like 25-30 minutes (without traffic) at least. From the Biltmore, it would take the better part of 10 mins. just to get on the freeway.

                    1. re: Jack Flash

                      According to Google Maps - 16 minutes from the Biltmore to J&J near Valley Blvd and Del Mar Ave, Monterey Park is at least 5 minutes closer. Freeway is close to the Biltmore - up 5th to the 110 North to the 101 South to the 10 east. Still, if you're staying in downtown why not walk everywhere - even if it means the lesser dim sum at Yum Cha Cafe in Chinatown rather than going out to the far better places in the San Gabriel Valley.

                      1. re: estone888

                        Have you ever actually tried driving that route? 16 minutes is accurate at 3 a.m. Otherwise, if you get on the 110 at just about any hour, it will take you several minutes just to make the transition onto the 101. You could get stuck for several minutes making the transition onto the 10 as well.

                        Less of a concern on the weekend, of course, but still, in my experience, those are unrealistically optimistic time estimates.

                        1. re: Jack Flash

                          Weekends and late night traffic will treat you better. Driving is nice, but the Metro isn't too bad. 70/78 will take you to MPK in about 20 minutes. However, I would much prefer taking the 76 to Valley Blvd to Alhambra/Valley for good eats.

                          Look for Savoy, Bacalli, Banh Mi & Che Cali, and New Capital Seafood on Valley.

                          On Garvey Ave, you'll find JJ Hong Kong Cafe, Mama Lu's Dumpling House, and a ton of other cafes...

            2. Chaya Downtown, which has definite Asian influences in its cuisine, is really one of my favorite spots. Not quite sure what an "average priced" meal is these days, but Chaya does have excellent Sunday night dinner deals. During the month of March, they have a $33 prix fixe menu, with 1/2 price bottles of wine. Most Sundays, it's a $25 prix fix (and 1/2 price wine bottles). Menu changes weekly.

              This week's offering:

              - 1st -
              Scarborough Farms Garden Salad
              black truffle vinaigrette / radishes / campari tomatoes

              - 2nd -
              Pasilla Chili Roasted NZ Lamb Loin
              cauliflower / bloomsdale spinach / fingerling potatoes / lamb jus

              - 3rd-
              Orange Blossom Water Panna Cotta
              blood orange sorbet / almond tuile