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Good food near LA Memorial Coliseum?

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Richelsb Apr 23, 2012 07:19 PM

We're going to a concert this week at the Coliseum and are from out of town - clueless as to where to eat dinner. Looks like a lot of fast food around there, but we'd like something a little better than that. Does not need to be fancy/expensive - but sitting down and relaxing after a long drive would be nice. Ethnic would be great - or bistro/cafe style. Alcohol a plus! We'd appreciate suggestions, thanks!

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    Ogawak RE: Richelsb Apr 23, 2012 10:38 PM

    Across the 110 Freeway is a surprising little food court that houses some of the best little restaurants in LA, Chichen Itza for Southern Mexican and Mo-Chica for outstanding Peruvian.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Ogawak
      ipsedixit RE: Ogawak Apr 24, 2012 06:18 AM

      Ditto both of these recs. Neither, however, have alcohol.

      1. re: Ogawak
        Mr Taster RE: Ogawak Apr 24, 2012 10:06 AM

        These two places instantly sprang to mind when I saw the LA Coliseum subject line. Mo-Chica gets tons of love, but my dilemma is that every time I'm in the area (which is not often) I am sucked into a delicious vortex of sour orange juice marinated char-grilled pork and habanero at Chichen Itza.

        I've had a few very good and a couple of spectacular meals there, and they often run Groupon promotions. The panuchos are simply spectacular as was the poc chuc. I wanted to be more impressed with the queso relleno, which is a hollowed out shell of Dutch cheese filled with mince, like a chile relleno but with European colonial flair.

        Mr Taster

        1. re: Mr Taster
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          cdub RE: Mr Taster Apr 24, 2012 10:53 AM

          that tripe soup at chichen itza is spectacular. crave it every weekend.

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        nosh RE: Richelsb Apr 24, 2012 12:05 AM

        It is a mile or two northwest, but Dino's on the N/W corner of Pico at Berendo (two blocks west of Vermont) has a fantastic chicken special. Half a bird, marinated and flame-grilled, with a wonderful elusive vinegary garlicky sauce. Served over a huge mound of fries, with a cup of slaw and tortillas -- all for $5.50. Then you head straight douth on Vermont to the back side of the Coliseum. Seeing the Boss?

        1 Reply
        1. re: nosh
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          Richelsb RE: nosh Apr 24, 2012 09:44 AM

          Thank you very much for these recs, I will consult with my posse. Yes, BRUUCCE!!

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          brwencino RE: Richelsb Apr 24, 2012 09:52 AM

          Neither of the recommendations you have gotten is what you are looking for--they are good,but very informal "stand up" eating. You would be best off at one of the many fine downtown LA restaurants which are a short drive from the Coliseum--however leave about 1 hour to get there because of traffic and parking--maybe a lot earlier because I assume a big crowd is expected. A word of caution to an out of towner--the Coliseum is not in the safest area, especially at night--spend the extra $ and park on the on site lot, not off site!

          1 Reply
          1. re: brwencino
            Mr Taster RE: brwencino Apr 24, 2012 10:13 AM

            Neither Mo-Chica nor Chichen Itza are "stand up" eateries. They're "sit down" eateries in an odd sort of "stand up" environment. But that's a metaphor for LA in general, isn't it? We're a city composed almost entirely of uneasy bedfellows.

            The Mercado La Paloma is less a "food court" than an attempt to be a community center for Southern California Latino culture. Don't go there thinking you'll be walking into a shopping mall food court-- it's something entirely different. Occasionally there are festivals that take place outside (my lovely tasting assistant and I once stumbled onto the "radish festival", complete with elaborate radish carvings and giant paper mache dancing grotesques), and these are wonderful if you happen to stumble upon them. As for Mo-Chica and Chichen Itza, remember that these are chefs preparing your food-- not minimum wage employees or short order cooks. It's a wonderful bit of LA in an unlikely place, but again-- that's LA in a nutshell. We're filled with unlikely wonders tucked in out-of-the-way places, and that's what I love about this city.

            Mr Taster

          2. f
            foodiemahoodie RE: Richelsb Apr 24, 2012 09:56 AM

            I second Mo-Chica.

            1. Local RE: Richelsb Apr 24, 2012 08:44 PM

              Concur with Mo-Chica and Chichen Itza, tho you'll need to decide if you have enough time, as traffic builds by 3pm if not before. We're there both nights, and arriving by 1:30pm on Thurs. afternoon, since GA Floor and going with the cattle call for the lottery...

              There's The Lab (a somewhat cliche "gastropub") on Figueroa and also the 2-9 Cafe, both north of Exposition a few blocks. The Lab is within walking distance across the USC campus,and 2-9 a few blocks north of the north edge of campus, so it may be doable to walk depending on what time you arrive, (and Bruce never comes on til after 8 regardless) ...while not dining extravaganzas, they have acceptable menus, and do provide that "Plus" you noted in your post. Their sweet potato fries are safe. Same with McKays and a few other places across the street from campus, on east side of Fig, north of Exposition. Guessing the Lab will be an absolute zoo. Drinks at the Sports Arena's fine establishments are served by staff who were hired when they issued the Certificate of Occupancy- stingy and crusty (bring your own napkins and salt for the margaritas - i kid you not!) Definitely park in the designated lots- safer, and they move you in and out with traffic control relatively quickly after the concert. gonna be great- BRUUCCE!!

              http://www.thetwonine.com/
              http://thelab.usc.edu/#/intro

              2 Replies
              1. re: Local
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                Richelsb RE: Local Apr 24, 2012 09:50 PM

                Whoa, 1:30?! We are not doing GA so I don't think we need to be that early but maybe no time for dinner, and/or we should bring take-out and tailgate (recognizing that traffic will be an issue...)

                yes it's going to be awesome, with or without food! Thanks to you all again for the input, and the kindness to remind us to park in the safe, pay lot (being bumpkins from the sticks....)!

                1. re: Richelsb
                  Local RE: Richelsb Apr 24, 2012 10:05 PM

                  you should have enough time to grab a bite, if you arrive around 4-5ish, park, and then walk to one of the places on Figueroa,... or stop/park at Mercado (where Mo-Chica, etc are located) to eat and then cruise over to the arena when done- it will just take longer to park for the concert, and you'll likely be further from the arena if you do that...you could also take the Dash over to Mo-Chica from Exposition east to Grand Ave...doors to Sports Arena supposedly open around 6 ish, and even tho they say music starts at 7:30 it's usually more like 8:30.

              2. Dommy RE: Richelsb Apr 25, 2012 09:37 AM

                While I can not rave about Mo-Chica and Chichen Itza enough, not too far is Bacaro with a well edited wine and beer list and a menu of small plates that would appeal to many.

                Best!

                --Dommy!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Dommy
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                  running pig RE: Dommy Apr 26, 2012 11:05 AM

                  Dommy, agreed on Bacaro, was going to recommend it myself. Really love the cauliflower (spicy!) Nice small plates with good beer, nice kids working there.

                2. Ciao Bob RE: Richelsb Apr 26, 2012 11:51 AM

                  I am tailgating....even if its pouring rain.
                  Last time he played the Sports Area it was absolute hell getting in and getting parked. I walked in during his opener, "Radio Nowhere." I never missed a nanosecond of a concert prior to that debacle. I left work at in Snata Monica at 5.

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