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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)
-Mexican
-Italian (from Pizza to a good Veal Parm)
-Burgers
-Breakfast
-or just anything that's great you can suggest?

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

Thank you,

Stuart

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  1. Check out the new Umamicatessen on Broadway. 4 restaurants in one.
    http://gastronomyblog.com/2012/03/10/...
    UMAMIcatessen
    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

            MEXICAN
            Guisado's
            Tacos Tumbras a Tomas
            La Torta Loca

            ITALIAN
            Eastside Market and Deli
            Drago
            Bouttega Louie

            BURGERS
            Planetalis
            Morton's (lunch only)

            BREAKFAST
            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.
              Address:
              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

              1. (Nueva) Mexican: Rivera (corner of Flower & Olympic)

                Italian: Colori Kitchen (just east of the corner of Olive & 8th), Drago Centro (near Figueroa & 5th) - SKIP Bottega Louie!!!

                (Lunch) Burgers: Morton's (on Figueroa, near 7th)

                (Hawaiian) Breakfast: Aloha Cafe (Central & 2nd, in Little Tokyo)

                (Asian) Brunch: dim sum in Chinatown

                Breakfast: Nickel Diner, Pete's (near Spring & 4th)

                Great: Noé Restaurant & Bar (at the Omni Hotel, near MOCA), Chaya Downtown (near Figueroa & 5th), Sushi: sugarFISH by Nozawa (near Grand & 7th)

                1 Reply
                1. re: J.L.

                  MF Gourmet at the GCM serves a far superior breakfast to Nickel Diner.

                  Between Morton's and Nick & Stef's, I prefer Nick & Stef's for a chainy, professional, corporate burger.

                  Also, replying to someone else above, I made it from Spring Street Bar to Delicious Food Corner in 9 minutes last night. Night, meaning: 10pm, not 3am.

                  NB: this was on a weak 2-wheeler. Car would've been even faster.

                2. Alright, there are certain places I would go for certain cuisines.

                  $: $1-9.99/person
                  $$: $10-$14.99/person
                  $$$: $15-$20/person

                  Asian Food: Go to the San Gabriel Valley, ~10 minutes from Downtown.

                  Vietnamese: Banh Mi and Che Cali (CHEAP $4-$6) $
                  Vietnamese: Golden Deli in San Gabriel (off Las Tunas Dr) $
                  Chinese: JJ Hong Kong Cafe in Monterey Park off Garvey Ave $$
                  Chinese: Szechuan Hot Pot and BBQ in Monterey Park off Garvey/Atlantic (CHEAP $5-13!) $-$$
                  Thai: Banana Bay/ Coconut Bay (although ~25 mi drive) $$ - $$ - $$$
                  Thai: Thai Paradaise (Multiple Locations in Monterey Park) $ - $ - $$
                  Korean: Castle BBQ in Korea Town off Western Ave $ - $$$ (AYCE/Depends on what you want)
                  Korean: Sanya Restaurant off Olympic / Ferdora $ - $$$

                  Mexican Food:

                  Pepe's Mexican Food: Alhambra and Temple City, CA. $
                  Burgers Etc: Go for Tacos de Lengua: $
                  King Taco: Several Locations in LA, look around East LA. I go to 3rd / I-710. $

                  For Mexican, you can drive around East LA and El Sereno down Huntington Dr for a taco fix. You'll find several taco trucks and carts around the hispanic-populated cities. Cabeza, Lengua, Buche, and Al Pastor are my favorites.

                  Italian: Not too big of an Italian fan myself... But..
                  Petrillos Pizzeria: Off San Gabriel/Valley in San Gabriel, CA. $$ - $$$

                  Burgers:
                  Burgers / Burgers and More / Burgers Etc. : They kinda have an identity crisis, since they are just called Burgers online, Burgers and More at the store, and their name before was Burgers Etc. Hole in the wall spot in Alhambra. Best local burger joint around, delicious grilled burgers. ~$3-4 for a Burger. They also have good Tacos de Lengua. 2133 West Valley Boulevard Alhambra, CA 91803: $

                  Hole in the Wall Burger Joint: Heard good things about this place, although I have not personally been here. They are in West Side near UCLA. $$?

                  Five Guys isn't bad if you wanna make a drive to around the OC area...

                  Breakfast;
                  Burgers / Burgers and More / Burgers Etc: Pretty good breakfast menu, very good deals.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jonathanslam

                    Hole in the Wall Burger Joint has two locations...

                    WeHo..definately .not downtown.
                    W LA...even further west & behind the Winchell's on SM the block east of Sepulveda.
                    The burgers are considered 'build your own' and even though there are those who consider it " the best burger they've ever eaten"....the buns, imo, overpower the underseasoned patties.

                  2. Just so you know, the places I have listed above are the places I go to VERY often because of the quality of foods, and the fantastic prices. So if you eat the places I mentioned, your wallet will thank you.