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Best Eats for $2

nosh Apr 13, 2013 06:39 PM

...not including tax or possible tip.

My first thoughts are:

-- Croissant at Amandine ($1.95 takeout).
-- Four regular crunchy tacos at Del Taco (49 cents each) drenched in the del scorcho hot sauce mixed with a little of their hot salsa.
-- Two potato balls at Portos Bakery (under a buck each).
-- Ice cream sandwich at Diddy Riese (is it $1.75 now?).
-- Cinnamon roll, glazed, fried, crisp variety (current favorite is the donut shop on the N/E corner of Santa Monica Blvd. and Sawtelle, $1.30).
-- Fries, well-done at Tommy's Burger ($1.90? for big order, I go to the location in Santa Monica on Pico and Lincoln -- they get the crispy right).

  1. CharlesKochel May 6, 2013 11:06 PM

    Jack & Jill's Santa Monica has mini blueberry muffins hot out of the bakery oven for $1, mmmmmmmm good

    1. j
      jzalvidea Apr 21, 2013 10:30 PM

      $2 buck Tuesdays (2 scoops) at Handel's Ice Cream (Redondo Beach)
      $1.50 empanadas at Continental Market (Lomita)
      $1 tacos at El Chato taco truck (La Brea & Olympic)
      $0.70 cheese rolls at Porto's

      1 Reply
      1. re: jzalvidea
        kevin Apr 29, 2013 11:08 AM

        Hmm, there's a Handel's in Redondo Beach ?

      2. c
        CompuDude Apr 20, 2013 07:48 PM

        The Apple Fritters at SpudNuts are amazing, and enormous. A buck twenty-five, I believe.

        1. PommeDeGuerre Apr 18, 2013 03:31 AM

          Two pieces of chicken at Popeye's on Tuesdays. for less than $1.50, including tax.

          1. h
            heinous Apr 16, 2013 05:52 PM

            - Spicy beef or spinach empanada at Continental Gourmet - $1.49

            - Tiger tail at Donut Man - under a buck

            - Gigantic baked pork bun at Family Pastry in Chinatown - $.60

            3 Replies
            1. re: heinous
              ns1 Apr 16, 2013 05:55 PM

              that tiger tail is f'n delicious.

              1. re: ns1
                heinous Apr 17, 2013 10:50 PM

                That's no joke. Now I really really really want one... or three.

              2. re: heinous
                livemyjourney Apr 16, 2013 05:57 PM

                Wow!! All three sound insanely amazing!!

                Great recs!


              3. Tripeler Apr 16, 2013 05:24 PM

                Fantastic idea for a thread.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Tripeler
                  Servorg Apr 16, 2013 05:28 PM

                  Next up: "The Pick of the Dumpster's for Post Club Delicacy Diving"

                  1. re: Servorg
                    Tripeler Apr 16, 2013 05:31 PM

                    That's an even better idea. Is the Club you mention Canadian Club?

                    1. re: Tripeler
                      Servorg Apr 16, 2013 05:47 PM

                      Hard to tell with that brown paper bag obscuring the label...

                    2. re: Servorg
                      ipsedixit Apr 16, 2013 07:37 PM

                      Don't you mean "Best Dumpsters in LA to Dive"?

                      1. re: ipsedixit
                        Servorg Apr 16, 2013 07:39 PM

                        You define your mosh pit and I'll define mine...

                      2. re: Servorg
                        Thor123 Apr 27, 2013 11:24 AM


                        1. re: Thor123
                          Jase Apr 29, 2013 08:23 PM

                          I don't understand what exactly is so disgusting about having a thread about best eats under $2? Just because of the low price point?

                    3. e
                      Ernie Apr 16, 2013 08:05 AM

                      Chả giò for 40 cents a piece at Bánh Mì Mỹ Tho in Alhambra

                      1. Kitchen Queen Apr 15, 2013 11:37 PM

                        Fresh made Chicken satay stick from Bangluck Market - on the weekends and, the one on Reseda/Sherman Way 1.50$ ea! And, I think a bag of fried banana is 2$

                        1. s
                          set0312 Apr 15, 2013 01:06 AM

                          Tacos Baja Ensenada fish taco (do not understand the CH hate!)

                          1. r
                            romayo Apr 14, 2013 09:15 PM

                            diddy riese cookie- 35 cents each, or a half dozen for $2. Their ice crease sandwiches for $1.75 is good too

                            1. h
                              happybaker Apr 14, 2013 08:46 PM

                              Happy hour at Pazza Geltao in Echo Park - $1 a scoop


                              Pupusas at La Esquina in Eagle Rock

                              +1 for just about anything at Portos
                              + 1 for the Costco Hot Dog/Polish dog Combo.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: happybaker
                                JeMange Apr 26, 2013 07:39 PM

                                Had no idea that Pazzo opened up an outlet in EP. Charging a ridiculous amount for admittedly tasty gelato must be paying off.

                              2. JeMange Apr 14, 2013 07:52 PM

                                A tripas or cabesa taco from Taco Zone.

                                12 Replies
                                1. re: JeMange
                                  mucho gordo Apr 30, 2013 11:23 AM

                                  For the best (and the cheapest) tacos you'll ever eat, go to any street vendor in Mexicali. You could probably get a half dozen for 2 bucks.

                                  1. re: mucho gordo
                                    kevin Apr 30, 2013 11:36 AM

                                    Those tacos in Mexicali across the border from Calexico were really really really good. but i guess I went to an upmarket joint because it definitely was not a half dozen for $2

                                    1. re: kevin
                                      mucho gordo Apr 30, 2013 04:51 PM

                                      I'm talking about back in the 60's when they were, IIRC, 25 cents @ or 8 centavos.

                                      1. re: mucho gordo
                                        Servorg Apr 30, 2013 04:54 PM

                                        And I filled up my 409 for 25 cents a gallon on high test at the local Union 76 station in Northridge... ;-D>

                                        1. re: Servorg
                                          mucho gordo Apr 30, 2013 04:57 PM

                                          Those were the days, my friend.

                                          1. re: mucho gordo
                                            kevin Apr 30, 2013 05:33 PM

                                            those were the days, yes, to quote Mr. Bunker.

                                          2. re: Servorg
                                            bulavinaka Apr 30, 2013 06:00 PM

                                            409? Dang you old f-er! ;-) Two bucks bought a lot of bottled sodas in those vending machines too. Every gas station had at least one.

                                            1. re: bulavinaka
                                              Servorg Apr 30, 2013 06:04 PM

                                              Had the last year they made them, 1965. And I filled up at the Union 76 that was right beside the White Horse Inn at the corner of Roscoe and White Oak, which served lobster thermidor and frogs legs and some of the best prime rib I can recall. They brought that dessert cart to the table. Man was I in heaven. This was a special treat that my parents took us for some extraordinary achievement, (or because my mom was sick of us asking to go and finally gave in) and usually my grandmother went with us. Good memories and good times.

                                              1. re: Servorg
                                                kevin Apr 30, 2013 06:06 PM

                                                I'm crying here again.

                                                Dessert carts ? Lobsta thermidor ? And frenchy frog legs (btw, greely at the golden truffle in newport served some great buffalo frogs legs years ago, great stuff).

                                                This is why we are not allowed to post on long-gone establishments. It makes most of us hounds, just too darn sad. No joke.

                                                1. re: Servorg
                                                  mucho gordo May 1, 2013 11:43 AM

                                                  Really!! Does anyone serve thermidor or newburg anymore??

                                                  1. re: mucho gordo
                                                    Servorg May 1, 2013 11:48 AM

                                                    The Dal Rae for one still does thermidor (IIRC).

                                                    1. re: Servorg
                                                      kevin May 1, 2013 12:22 PM

                                                      OH, yeah, that's right. I hit it once for their chocolate souffle and a steak. . But for some reason, I'm never usually in the area.

                                    2. AntarcticWidow Apr 14, 2013 07:45 PM

                                      Breakfast Plate at Ikea. 99 cents.

                                      1. westsidegal Apr 14, 2013 06:49 PM

                                        a side order of the Yuzu Japanese Slaw that they make at the Humble Potato on lincoln in westchester.

                                        this is NOT the mayo laden wilted stuff with which most of us grew up.

                                        the slaw itself is NOT the stuff that comes from a plastic bag.

                                        the slaw is made up of sliced green cabbage, red cabbage, red onions, carrots, and FRESH JALEPENO PEPPERS (i.e. NOT the canned or the pickled stuff) that are all sliced in the restaurant.

                                        the dressing has NO MAYO. it is a citrusy vinaigrette that is NOT oily. (i suspect that it doesn't even contain oil.)

                                        the slaw is dressed to order; that is, they put the dressing on the vegetables right before it is served to you. the vegetables don't sit around in the dressing like they do at virtually every other restaurant i've tried.

                                        what you get is an great combination of bright, spicy, flavors AND crisp textures every time.

                                        they charge a buck for the stuff as a topping on a burger, and a couple of cents under $2 as a side order served in one of those cardboard "boats." (dunno the real name for those things)

                                        1. Servorg Apr 14, 2013 05:15 PM

                                          Just about any taco truck but for the sake of argument let's just use El Chato as a demo for our purposes. $1 per taco.



                                          1. y
                                            yogachik Apr 14, 2013 11:12 AM

                                            any Taquito at Tacos Por Favor $1.85
                                            Carne Asada soft taco at Tacos Mexico (9th&Broadway) $1.25

                                            1. A5 KOBE Apr 13, 2013 09:09 PM

                                              Buttermilk bar at Primo's $1
                                              Taco de chicharron at Carnitas Los Reyes $1.35
                                              Side of refried beans at Carnitas Los Reyes $1.75
                                              Guava cheese at Porto's $0.85

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: A5 KOBE
                                                Dogbite Williams Apr 14, 2013 01:49 PM

                                                Second the guava cheese Danish at Porto's. Yummy!

                                                1. re: A5 KOBE
                                                  livemyjourney Apr 16, 2013 04:52 PM

                                                  Must visit Carnitas Los Reyes... Sounds delicious.

                                                  The Guava cheese at Porto's is AMAZING! Good call!


                                                2. emglow101 Apr 13, 2013 07:41 PM

                                                  When I was working in Culver City last year. I would go to Sorrento Market on Sepulvada .I remember their half sandwich at a super value. I think it was under $2.00. Correct me if I was wrong. I loved that place.

                                                  1. ipsedixit Apr 13, 2013 07:21 PM

                                                    Any dim sum item from Dim Sum Express. Heck, 90% of those would qualify for "Best Eats for $1"

                                                    Thrifty's (aka Rite-Aid) ice cream

                                                    19 Replies
                                                    1. re: ipsedixit
                                                      Porthos Apr 13, 2013 07:26 PM

                                                      Man! Used to love the Thrifty's black cherry flavor as a kid. Is it still under $2?

                                                      I'll add El Chavito Taco Truck in Huntington Beach. 2 small tacos, any meat filling for $1. Also, burrito for $2.

                                                      1. re: Porthos
                                                        ipsedixit Apr 13, 2013 07:38 PM

                                                        I believe a triple scoop is 1.99.

                                                        I remember when I was wee-little 'Hound, a triple scoop was something ridiculous like 45 cents. It was either a triple scoop or two games of Millipede.

                                                        1. re: ipsedixit
                                                          wienermobile Apr 13, 2013 07:41 PM

                                                          When I was little it was 5 cents a scoop or 15 cents for a triple at Thrifty.

                                                          1. re: wienermobile
                                                            Porthos Apr 13, 2013 07:56 PM

                                                            Nice. You can tell age by the cost of a triple scoop at Thrifty's as a kid.

                                                            Think it was 50 cents-ish when I was a kid too. Picked that every time over Millipede. No brainer. Childhood obesity was a problem back then also. Swanson's chicken pot pies at 50 cents each in the frozen food section didn't help either.

                                                            1. re: Porthos
                                                              nosh Apr 16, 2013 04:57 PM

                                                              One of my first jobs was scooping at Baskin-Robbins. Summer of '70 -- single cone was 18 cents, two-scoop 30 cents, shake or ice-cream soda 50 cents. (My pay was $1.15/hr, raised to $1.25.)

                                                              1. re: nosh
                                                                Bruin2 Apr 16, 2013 06:18 PM

                                                                My first job was at Baskin Robbins. 1966. Pico and La Cienega. But I have to say, the "Burgundy Cherry" at Thrifty, (as it was then called before legal issues required the change of name to Black Cherry), was better than our stuff.

                                                                1. re: nosh
                                                                  schrutefarms May 6, 2013 04:36 PM

                                                                  Haha, my 1st job was Baskin-Robbins as well-'94-'95. Did you know if a cake is dented, it can't be sold, and therefore a lucky employee gets to take it home/ (wink, wink) BTW, does anyone remember a flavor called Choc O' the Irish? It was around during St Patricks Day, and I've never seen it since. Irish Cream ice cream with hunks of fudgey brownies-sooooo good!!

                                                                  1. re: schrutefarms
                                                                    nosh May 7, 2013 07:54 PM

                                                                    How much for a single or double scoop cone then? How much did you get paid?

                                                                    I loved the cinnamon flavor they had for awhile back then.

                                                                    1. re: nosh
                                                                      schrutefarms May 7, 2013 11:03 PM

                                                                      Oh, wow, I can't remember how much it was! I will say that I remember it being kind of pricy! Or maybe it was because I was making $4.25/hr, so everything was pricy! I left there the next year to hostess at Louises Trattoria for a cool $6/hour, I was really climbing that ladder! :)
                                                                      I never had cinnamon, it sounds delicious!

                                                            2. re: ipsedixit
                                                              kjonyou Apr 30, 2013 12:45 AM

                                                              Yes, it may be a deal, and yes my parents took me there but just an FYI most of what is in Thrifty's Ice Cream is WAX AKA PARAFFIN. Keeps it from melting. Also cheaper then cream.

                                                              1. re: kjonyou
                                                                Porthos Apr 30, 2013 01:23 AM

                                                                You you have a link to back this up?

                                                                This is what I found:

                                                                "But don't think for a minute that the factory is skimping on ingredients.

                                                                Thrifty ice cream uses imported confectionery ingredients and adds real chunks of fruit and cookie pieces to ice cream, which contains a respectable 10.25 percent amount of butterfat. (Most premium ice creams contain about 12-16 percent butterfat)."


                                                                1. re: Porthos
                                                                  jencounter May 1, 2013 09:08 AM

                                                                  Aren't there rules about what can and cannot be called ice cream? I believe it has to have a certain amount of butterfat in order to be labeled ice cream. Otherwise, it's called "frozen dairy dessert".

                                                                  I just did a quick google search and came up with this. Man, Breyers has really gone downhill. Yuck.


                                                                  1. re: jencounter
                                                                    Porthos May 1, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                    I'm no expert or anything, but there are probably rules to how much wax and paraffin the FDA allows to put in food.

                                                                    Not to mention that wax is hard at those temperatures and probably do not create a texturally pleasant product. Which explains why gum is probably used as stabilizers.


                                                                2. re: kjonyou
                                                                  ns1 Apr 30, 2013 09:30 AM

                                                                  "Yes, it may be a deal, and yes my parents took me there but just an FYI most of what is in Thrifty's Ice Cream is WAX AKA PARAFFIN. Keeps it from melting. Also cheaper then cream."

                                                                  yeah I don't believe this for a second.

                                                              2. re: Porthos
                                                                schrutefarms Apr 29, 2013 10:35 AM

                                                                Black Cherry is the best!! (Well, actually, it shares that title with Chocolate Malted Crunch!) Nice to see someone shares my taste for it! All my friends call me an "old lady" for getting black cherry. I say, good, more for me!

                                                                1. re: schrutefarms
                                                                  bulavinaka Apr 29, 2013 10:58 AM

                                                                  I liked the bing cherry at Sav-On. Lots of cherries mixed in and the folks behind the counter were very generous with their scoops.

                                                                  1. re: bulavinaka
                                                                    kevin Apr 29, 2013 11:06 AM

                                                                    oh, yeah, the black cherry and that coconut pineapple crap. I have to have it every so often.

                                                              3. re: ipsedixit
                                                                Tyus4pt8 Apr 13, 2013 07:58 PM

                                                                Those cylindrical ice cream scoopers are truly a world wonder

                                                                1. re: ipsedixit
                                                                  Tripeler Apr 13, 2013 08:53 PM

                                                                  Even now, the Rite-Aid ice cream is an incredible bargain.

                                                                2. mucho gordo Apr 13, 2013 07:06 PM

                                                                  Porto's potato balls rock!

                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                  1. re: mucho gordo
                                                                    granadafan Apr 13, 2013 09:19 PM

                                                                    Good call on the potato balls.

                                                                  2. o
                                                                    ozhead Apr 13, 2013 06:43 PM

                                                                    A hot dog or Polish sausage at Costco -- $1.50, including refillable drink.

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: ozhead
                                                                      Scotty Apr 13, 2013 09:37 PM

                                                                      A hot dog or Polish sausage at Costco -- $1.50,

                                                                      I think this is the best food deal in CA and the rest of the US.

                                                                      Ps-I like the hot Dog a lot better than the Polish sausage

                                                                      1. re: Scotty
                                                                        mucho gordo Apr 14, 2013 04:46 PM

                                                                        Their hot dogs are really the best. We buy the big pkg of them (3lbs, i think). Just wish they would make/sell buns big enough to fit.

                                                                        1. re: Scotty
                                                                          ns1 Apr 16, 2013 05:34 PM

                                                                          was just here yesterday, $1.63 with tax. Also polish is a lot better than hot dog IMO, and the kirkland polish better than HN. YMMV :)

                                                                          1. re: ns1
                                                                            wienermobile Apr 16, 2013 07:32 PM


                                                                      2. t
                                                                        Thor123 Apr 13, 2013 06:41 PM


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