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Nov 2, 2012 09:50 PM

Lunch recommendations for Downtown LA

Im going to be in downtown LA around lunchtime a lot. I was wondering any good (and cheap) lunch deals or lunch specials.
I will be coming out of Union Station, so anything walking distance, towards W temple st. I would have come off the train so not really interested in taking the bus towards something further away. Ive heard of some places, I would like to try Daikokuya sometime. I tried going to Spice Table, but theyre not open for lunch anymore.

Also are there any good "treats" in that area. For example, I bought a box of lette macarons to take home, something that would survive without refrigeration.

Thanks in advance!!

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  1. Well, you're close to Little Tokyo if you are at Union Station. Lots of places there for cheap (or cheap-ish) eats, incl. KaGaYa, Sushi Gen, Sushi Go, and Izakaya Fu-ga, and if you want to go ghetto cheap try LA Chicken.

    In nearby Olvera St., I would recommend Cielito Lindo for taquitos. Quick and cheap. May give you the runs, though.

    If you want some portable snacks to take back, try Fugetsu-Do in Little Tokyo for mochi, or Cafe Dulce for Japanese inspired pastries and donuts.

    10 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Coming out of Union Station, "good" and "cheap" says Philippe the Original to me. It isn't great and not foodie food, simple fare and inexpensive.

      Salathai Restaurant, Won Kok and J & K Hong Kong Cuisine are close. If you want Little Tokyo, take the Gold Line one stop and look at Daikokuya Little Tokyo (for the ramen only), O Omasa and Sushi Gen.

      1. re: scottca075

        Sushi Gen has a great sushi lunch special. Daikokuya is a great choice, as is Shabu Shabu House, which is cheaper at lunch time and excellent always.

        1. re: scottca075

          What's not foodie about a Phillppe's lamb dip and a piece of pie in the circus room?

          1. re: wienermobile

            >>>What's not foodie about a Phillppe's lamb dip <<<

            No truffle oil or uni in it.......

          2. re: scottca075

            Philippe's isn't all that "cheap" anymore.

            If you skimp and get only one sandwich, you're easily looking at 10/person (sandwich and drink), and that's not including any sides like chips, pickles, mac salad, etc. And I usu. get 2 sandwiches and a drink and that's just about 20/person, after taxes.

            Now you say Sushi Gen's lunch special starts at something like 15, right? Sure, but that's sushi and sashimi, which in my opinion is a better bargain than a beef dip sandwich.

            Philippe's is good, maybe. Cheap? Not so much.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              Well I always get the lamb dip and it is all relative. I went to a favorite deli the other day and got a sandwich, chips and a drink.... it came to just under $15. I remember when the same combo used to be $5, but everything is more expensive these days, it is part of the price you pay for living in CA.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                I guess it depends, we usually split a sandwich but then have two glasses of wine and beer.....

            2. re: ipsedixit

              The carnitas at La Luz Del Dia on Olvera St is worth a stop.

              1. re: ipsedixit

                Thanks for the suggestions. I did go to Fugetsu-Do and got a variety of mochi, they were very tasty, comparable to something I had in Japan.

              2. DASH is your friend. These vans/minibuses are cheap and run several routes around downtown. They will expand your geography for cheap, good lunches considerably.

                That said, yes, Phillippe's is historic, fun, and good. But one of their sandwiches certainly never satisfied me for a lunch, and two gets expensive. I learned to supplement with a cup of chili or beef stew. But once I discovered East Side Market Deli, just west of Chinatown on Alpine ( a couple of blocks north of Cesar Chavez, west of Figueroa, west of 110 ) I rarely went back to Phillippe's. HUGE sandwiches, probably up to $9 or so, but a half of the pastrami and roast beef (with cheese and peppers) would fill me up better than a measly pork or lamb dip ever did, and leave me the remaining half for dinner.

                And check out Dino's for the half-chicken combo. The one on Pico at Berendo might be too far, but there is a branch up on North Main east of Chinatown does a similar combo. Anyone checked out that location?

                1 Reply
                1. re: nosh

                  Re Dino's, it's not the same ownership nor product.

                2. phillipes for french dip is a only a couple of blocks from union station.

                  1. Not sure if it qualifies as cheap, but Baco Mercat is close by and open for lunch to my knowledge. One Baco plus a drink and you can probably get out of there for $20. Worth it in my opinion.

                    1. have you tried the $4.20 lunch specials at suehiro cafe on 1st?