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Downtown without a car or $$$

c
chloehk Jan 2, 2013 06:26 PM

I'm on foot in downtown LA for two weeks (E. 6th & S. Main).

I'm short on dough, but eat just about anything.

Can someone point me in the direction of the tastiest places in the vicinity?

I wandered Grand Central Market earlier today, but couldn't get a clear read. A lot of the fresh food on sale didn't look too fresh. There was a good crowd at China Cafe around 10am, which made me curious.

Any thoughts/suggestions much appreciated.

Also, are there Chowmeets in LA?

  1. a
    AubWah Jan 2, 2013 06:42 PM

    My friend, go to las morelianas in grand central market. Best tacos I've ever had. Walk to Chinatown. Plenty of cheap eats abound

    1 Reply
    1. re: AubWah
      j
      Jack Flash Jan 2, 2013 07:01 PM

      It's a long walk to Chinatown from 6th & Main (I'd take the DASH shuttle).

    2. ipsedixit Jan 2, 2013 06:50 PM

      Head over to the Jewelry and/or Fashion District. Some good eats there like Farid, Shish Kebab and More, Masis, and Sultan Kitchen.

      There are plenty of good and cheap eats in Little Tokyo as well, e.g. Aoi, Suehiro, etc.

      Definitely cheap eats in Chinatown, but the grub there is so rough and basic, not sure there's much bang for the buck.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit
        a
        alliebear Jan 2, 2013 08:39 PM

        Also around Jewelry/Fashion district is Nabeeya on Santee Street between 7th and 8th. Very good value for good, fresh sushi. The place is tiny and don't expect fast service if you go during lunch peak time. They seem to do a lot of carry-out business and when I went there were two people in the kitchen, one of whom was also the waitress.

        1. re: alliebear
          ipsedixit Jan 2, 2013 08:45 PM

          I believe it's a husband-wife only operation.

        2. re: ipsedixit
          l
          Liquid Sky Jan 3, 2013 11:12 AM

          I totally agree with IPSEDIXIT... the downtown Chinatown is awful!!!

          Some of my recommendations: "Colori" on Figueroa (I think they're lunch only; inexpensive, good-quality Italian); definitely Little Tokyo ("TOT"); and "Fresh Faire" on 7th St for healthy, tasty lunchtime sandwiches (ahi tuna wraps are great).

        3. j
          Jack Flash Jan 2, 2013 06:59 PM

          At GCM, I'm partial to Ana Maria's (as well as its brother establishment, Tacos Tumbras a Tomas) for burritos and tortas. Good stuff, cheap, and very filling. Also, the hard shell tacos at Roast to Go. The Asian foods are to be avoided, in my experience.

          Try a French Dip sandwich at Cole's (6th near Main).

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jack Flash
            a
            avar Jan 3, 2013 12:31 PM

            Good tips. The tacos at Tomas are very good, Like the chicken best (tacos $2.50). Tomas is on the So. wall of GCM about half way between Hill and Broadway. The Chinese take out place, across the way from Tomas, has a recent change in ownership and it's as good as any I frequent in Chinatown. Maria's Roast To Go has a nice fish taco if you get there at lunch time ($2.50)
            The north side of GCM has a butcher. Opposite the butcher is a stand with a number of good items. The sit down Chinese place is popular. Haven't eaten there but it looks like their popularity, at least in part, is due to the availability of beer with your meal.
            There is a very pleasant outdoor eating area on the Hill Street side of GCM.
            The produce at GCM is really questionable except for root vegetables.
            I've assumed that your $$$ really meant $. If you can spend $10 to $13 for lunch you're surrounded by good choices. Mendocino Farms has delicious sandwiches - there are two MF's close to you; 7th & Fig and the Water Court @ about 300 Grand Ave.
            Enjoy the New Downtown L.A.

          2. Mattapoisett in LA Jan 2, 2013 09:30 PM

            So I am trying to figure out if you are only in DTLA for Lunch only or if you are staying there for the two weeks you're in town.

            Grand Central Market is about to go through a reboot and we hope on the other end of it it will become a much better place.

            I will say that public transit (Metro/Dash/etc) will expand your horizons tremendously. For example if you hop on the red/Purple line and get off 10 minutes later at Macarthur Park You can find what is arguably one of the best Pastrami on earth at Langer's

            If you hop on the Expo Line and head down to the Jefferson BL stop, you can walk a couple of blocks to Mercado De Paloma where you can get really good Yucatecan Food at Chichen Itza.

            Dash-A Bus Will get you most of the way to HomeGirl Cafe just outside the Gold Line station at Chinatown I'd go there for Breakfast.

            Last rec is for DTLA is Wood Spoon at 9th and Main for well prepared Brazilian food which is reasonably priced.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
              wienermobile Jan 3, 2013 09:36 AM

              +1 for Langer's Deli. Best thick handcut pastrami and rye on earth. 5 minute red line subway ride to Westlake/McArthur Park station & Langer's is just across the street. Closes at 4pm and is closed Sundays.
              http://langersdeli.com

            2. JeMange Jan 2, 2013 09:38 PM

              Try the new pasta place, Maccheroni Republic, which is adjacent to Grand Central Market. Good, inexpensive pasta at 332 S. Broadway.

              I'd also suggest a meal at Umamicatessen at 852 S. Broadway. Crispy pork rinds, great burgers, craft beers, cured hams, donuts fried to order.

              There's good Japanese within walking distance also, like Daikokuya Ramen at 327 E. First. Wander around Little Tokyo for everything from sushi to baked goods.

              Wurstküche at 800 E. Third has some fantastic sausages, great belgian fries and a killer beer selection.

              Nick & Stef's steakhouse certainly isn't cheap, but their happy hour deals on drinks and burgers won't hit your wallet too badly. 330 S. Hope St.

              All of the places listed, with the exception of Nick & Stef's during non-happy hours, are in the $ or $$ category. None of them will set you back too much dough.

              1. m
                madcao Jan 3, 2013 01:28 AM

                You're steps away from Cole's, where they have a M-F lunch special: $5 Manhattan with the purchase of any French dip. :) You're also close to the Nickel Diner, which has good comfort food. Less than a mile away, Aburiya Toranoko has fantastic sushi lunch specials for $10-$15.

                I like the bus and rail suggestions from other posters! The closest rail station is about half a mile away at 7th and Flower, and it's called the 7th St / Metro Center Station. Get the HopStop app on your phone or something similar to navigate the public transit system. Right by the Metro station is Octopus, which offers cheap Americanized sushi, if you're into that sort of gluttony.

                Have a great time in LA!

                1. Servorg Jan 3, 2013 05:29 AM

                  Definitely, go here: http://mexicalitaco.com/ and get a vampiro and a chachetada http://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/HTvyn9... with chorizo. You won't regret it.

                  1. c
                    chloehk Jan 3, 2013 07:10 PM

                    Yum, thank you all for these suggestions.

                    Las Morelianas
                    Suehiro
                    Mexicali Taco
                    Nabeeya
                    Langer’s
                    Chichen Iza
                    HomeGirl
                    Roast to Go
                    Farid
                    Shish Kebab & More
                    Masis
                    Sultan Chicken
                    Aoi

                    I particularly love pastrami, and the food photos for Suehiro look great. Someone else recommended Mexicali Taco to me as well, so will make sure to hit all of those.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: chloehk
                      mrgreenbeenz Jan 4, 2013 12:13 PM

                      2nd Mexicali Taco. Phillipe's is also worth checking out if you don't get your french dip fill at Cole's.

                      In Chinatown the $10 lobster at Zen Mei bistro is a poor man's luxury. Banh Mi at Buu Dien or Lien Hoa are also extremely affordable.

                      It's on the other side of downtown but the anytime happy hour at Drago Centro is one of the best deals I know. Really good $5 cocktails plus a bar menu of small plates between $4-$6. The best thing is the mussel, chorizo and bechamel pizza.

                    2. t
                      Thor123 Jan 5, 2013 10:42 AM

                      Every Friday there is a farmers market in front of 333 S. Hope (BofA Tower). There are some good venders at reasonable prices. The mini at Hawaiian Chicken is great for $7 and not too small.

                      1. e
                        ebethsdad Jan 5, 2013 05:18 PM

                        I am quite fond of the fish, scallop, and shrimp tacos at Senor Fish on 1st and Alameda. The Urth Cafe is a little hip and trendy, but has really good coffee and sandwiches - although nothing like Langer's

                        Urth Cafe
                        451 South Hewitt Street

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