Help Me Expand My Westwood-based Lunch Rotation
I live next to Westwood Village. I don't like spending much more than $10 for lunch. Now I go to:
BJ's -- good lunch specials, half-sandwich, good skinny fries, salad under $10.
Philly West -- philly cheesesteak.
Hu's -- combo with entree (kung pao chicken or twice-cooked pork) soup & small chinese chicken salad
Shamshiri -- lamb koobideh skewer + rice + grilled veggies + shirazi salad = $8.85++
Amandine -- quiche or french toast (if early)
The Shack (Wilshire) -- on Wed, all burgers are $2 off, i get the double-cheeseburger.
Label's Table -- their deli sandwiches are bigger and less expensive -- pastrami $8.50.
800 Degrees -- yep, a pizza qualifies, but it really doesn't do it for me by itself...
Victor Jr.'s -- i like their Italian beef dip, but it was dry last time.
In'n'Out -- sometimes satisfies but only once every couple months.
Tacos Por Favor or Taquieria Sanchez -- the hot sauce is almost more important than the tacos.
am thinking of trying Roast, but on the upper end of my price range -- will two roast beef sliders at $9.95 satisfy?
Another likely suspect would be Attari Sandwich Shop http://www.atarisandwiches.info/ and if you like classic coffee shop style places then you should also try out Mary & Robbs http://losangeles.menupages.com/restaurants/mary-robbs-westwood-cafe/ and they are on Face Book as well: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Mary-Ro...
Try Simpang Asia right across from Hu's. I love this place. I love SE Asian food in general, Simpang is the best in town (better than Ramayani, although Rama is probably closer to you and also worth a try. Simpang is better though)
Yamadaya has a branch in WW now just south of Wilshire on WW blvd. I personally think their ramen is so-so but enough people rave about it for me to admit I might just be too dumb to "get it" or something
Naan hut has a new expanded menu in addition to the great sangak flatbread they've been putting out for years, if you're feeling like persian, go here. the WW blvd places IMO can't compare. I like the kabobs across the street at Glaat kosher market, I haven't had naan hut's kebabs yet.
Unfortunately, when it comes to the culinary wasteland that is westwood, I have a much much much longer list of "don't ever go there"s than I do rec's, sad to say
Thanks for the recs so far. I will try them and report which make the regular rotation.
Note: According to their website, Fundamental currently is closed at lunch temporarily. Please someone post when they reopen.
I should add these to my list of regulars, especially when I drive:
Bay Cities Deli -- sure, sandwiches, but I like the potroast dinner on the hot side.
Dino's -- great chicken, awesome "sauce" marinade.
Carnitas Michaocan -- good asada, better al pastor, best hot sauce in SoCal.
Eastside Deli -- love those messy hot sandwiches, usually more than I can eat.
Portos -- a LONG drive to Downey, but love those potato balls.
Have you ever tried Bella Pita...fresh made to order food at a very reasonable price and they have a sauce and salad bar where you can add whatever you like.
Also I would suggest sockos next to diddy reese, they make their bread fresh daily and are extremely accomidating
Bella Pita's actual food itself is decent enough, nothing to write home about but nothing likely to dissatisfy
However, their "really really hot sauce" (yeah that's actually what they call it) is unforgettable.
My go-to order at Bella? A large container of really really hot sauce, to go.
I can't second your rec on Socko's, sorry their sandwiches are pretty bad. Fat Sal's may be known for sandwiches that are banned in 8 states, but if you order a normal sub from the "signature heros" part of the menu, you'll get a better sandwich than at socko's. Jersey Mikes is OK too. I'd go to quizno's a million times before going to socko's again
Wally's Cheese Box on Westwood Blvd, just north of Olympic, has a limited selection, but some very good sandwiches. Top-quality cheese and nice charcuterie on La Brea Bakery bread.
If Simpang Asia is too far, Ramayani on Westwood, just north of Wilshire, has good Indonesian food. The lunch specials will fit your budget.
If you are driving all the way to Tacos Por Favor or Taqueria Sanchez, consider The Talpa on Pico, just east of Barrington. It has been their forever and is a bit kitschy, but the chips and salsa are good and spicy, and I particularly like the carne asada taco and the chile relleno. Their website has some $5.50 lunch specials.
I haven't been to Sunnin since it moved across the street. Stupid website menu -- had to go to menupages to get prices. Seems that most dishes -- lamb kebabs, shawarma, kefta or koobideh -- are about $3-4 more than Shamshari's lunch specials. Are we talking two skewers instead of one?
I concur enthusiastically with the suggestions of Simpang Asia, Attari Sandwich. Mary & Robbs is also on our family's regular dinner rotation, although I'm not sure if it quite fits your price point. Another classic coffee shop well worth a try is the one at Rancho Park Golf Course, at Pico & Patricia.
I'd also suggest Fresh Corn Grill (especially the soup; Cajun shrimp pizza is also good but again might not fit your price point). You could give Aroma, on Overland S of Pico, a shot: the best thing on the menu, the pljeskavica (onion burger) is $12, I think, but very much worth it, one of the best burgers in LA.
The salads and sandwiches at John O'Groats are mostly too expensive for your budget, but if you stick to the breakfast side of the menu you could probably do pretty well.
Apple Pan's inflated prices put it outside your budget, as many have bemoaned here, but if you just had pie for lunch, once in a while, I think it might be worth it. :-)
Couple of other suggestions not mentioned yet:
Ramen Yamada-ya: bowl of ramen is around $8+
Noodle Planet, Mr. Noodle: slightly different Asian food places, seems like they are better at different things
Bibigo, Gushi: Bibigo is much more traditional, quantity is more at Gushi
Sandbags and Angelino's Cafe are the two places I tend to go to. Fundamental-LA was better, but as noted is currently reworking the lunch menu. Take out Italian also at Angelino's.
Have not gone to Five Guys, but every once in a while I will splurge on calories and drive to Hole in the Wall Burger - same distance as going to Zankou.
The new Umami restaurant hasn't opened yet. Have not gone to Native Foods since the remodel.
Grab a Ficelle from the Larder at Tavern. Great sandwich on a thin homemade sourdough baguette and filled with thinly sliced fresh turkey, provolone, peppers, shredded lettuce and olive oil. wonderful sandwich. they make a couple of other Ficelles with other ingredients but the turkey one is my favorite. $8.00
J.L. I tried tsukemen at Tsujita recently per your rec, and I really enjoyed it. Since the geographical area being discussed have blown past the borders of Westwood already, I would say it would be a place that fit the OP's criteria. Without the char-siu, both the tsukemen and tonkotsu are right at the $10 price point.
It is different from all other Umami's and is named U-Mini. This is their fast food version and you will order at the counter with tablet-only customer service and app ordering with a limited menu, and they will be trying out new limited edition burgers. Only 45 seats. This is the version they hope will go nationwide. Should open sometime this summer.
1131 Westwood Blvd. Westwood.
If price is an object...
Hawai'ian Plate Lunch at Ono Hawaiian BBQ (NW corner of Santa Monica & Bundy). Many don't like it, but I do.
Doughnuts for lunch? Sure, why not?! Go have a buttermilk bar or five at Primo's on Sawtelle & National.
Which Wich just opened on the SE corner of Sawtelle & Olympic, and I like their customize-able sandwiches.
An impromptu outdoor selling featuring yakitori, yakisoba and/or okonomiyaki sometimes materializes like magic in front of Nijiya Market on Sawtelle, selling delicious, hot, cheap Japanese street fare.