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What's your favorite restaurant in town that is under $15 per before tax and tip

  • k

Any cuisine is fine. Just the paramters are what would be your favorite.

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  1. Langer's but you can't get any sides or a drink. Hot pastrami on rye $13.50 Is just water ok? You are over budget for a #19 by 50 cents.

    8 Replies
    1. re: wienermobile

      The cost of a soft drink at langers is obscene.

        1. re: LuluTheMagnificent

          $2.95 for soda, ice tea, lemonade or a Dr. Browns.

          1. re: wienermobile

            Which basically means you're at 20 bucks for a sandwich and a drink, not including tip.

              1. re: wienermobile

                Not arguing that point but the total cost of a trip to Langer's makes it a special occasion lunch for this poor ass 'hound.

                You can easily drop 50 bucks (after tax/tip) on 2 soft drinks 2 sandwiches 1 fries.

                1. re: ns1


                  Very easily.

                  And I don't think it really flies as a neighborhood deli, but then again it's not a neighborhood deli.

                  1. re: ns1

                    It's even worse when you forget about the parking lot, park at a meter on street cleaning day, and get a ticket.

                    Still, the sandwich is great

      1. hoyka thai noodle.

        15pp = eat like a king status

        13 Replies
        1. re: ns1

          +1. Their roast duck and boat noodles...

          1. re: omieurhomie

            +1, although lately I've been digging on the hoyka noodles too.

            Also been exploring the menu a little bit more - papaya salad w/ crispy pork + fried pork appetizer = awesome.

            that fried pork appetizer is the culinary equivalent of fried crack. Good enough to be ordered as a to-go item, to be snacked on while watching TV later.

            1. re: ns1

              i usually get this thai salad thing that's extraordinary, in that i've never tasted anything (except maybe in burma) that tastes quite like it.
              i can't remember the name, but i see thai folks ordering it. it's a bunch of separate ingredients, served with a cup of...dip/sauce/goo and a fish ball or two.
              i'm not even sure how to eat it, but it sure is good.

              1. re: linus

                i need to know what this is NOW.

                1. re: ns1

                  i searched the pics on yelp and didn't recognize it, and there wasn't an intelligible photo of the complete menu, either.
                  i can't remember if it was on the menu or the specials board, but they've had it every time i've gone there.

                  darn it, i wish i could help you out and remember more.
                  it has a funky, herbal flavour that's unique, even for quality l.a. thai joints. maybe there are some noodles in it after all.
                  but it comes with everything separated on the plate.
                  i'll bet tonyc knows what it is.


              2. re: ns1

                haha funny you mentioned that papaya salad ns1. I noticed that on the blackboard AFTER I ordered my noodles... I guess I have to go back soon!

                1. re: omieurhomie

                  I didn't even NOTICE the blackboard until my 10th visit or so.

                  1. re: ns1

                    haha yeah it's tucked away in the corner. So sneaky.

            2. re: ns1

              Is this the tiny place on Hollywood near Western, in the space that (back in the 80s) used to be a Mongolian BBQ?

                1. re: ns1


                  I just discovered HoyKa a couple of weeks ago. It was pretty good, but I prefer the nearby Pa Ord. Maybe I didn't order quite the right thing (no complaints, though).

                  1. re: Jack Flash

                    I would be inclined to go to Pa Ord more often if they weren't so freaking busy - I could never get in/out of there within my 90 minute lunch.

                    I didn't find Pa Ord noticeably better than Hoyka the few times I went, so I go to the restaurant where I can actually get seated in a reasonable amount of time.

                    1. re: ns1

                      I see. I've been fortunate to go to Pa Ord at non-peak hours (e.g., 6:00 pm yesterday) and have had no trouble either parking or getting my food (got there, ordered takeout and was on my way home in <15 minutes).

            3. Yang Chow with a group.

              1. Cafe Verona, 201 S. LaBrea.

                1. Tie between Beverly Soon Tofu in Ktown and San Marcos in Van Nuys

                    1. SinBaLa.

                      And I'd have enough left over to buy some sausages to take home.

                      12 Replies
                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Current champ for "Best Paella in Town" clocks in at less than $10 per racion (in a styrofoam serving box) at La Espanola in Harbor City.

                          1. re: J.L.

                            racion ?

                            isn't that the name of the tapas joint in old town ?

                            is it possible to get the paella there at La Esponala without the sausage and the chicken, so basically the seafood with the rice, or would that also throw everything off and fuck up the crust on the rice ?????

                            thanks man.

                            1. re: kevin

                              I'm pretty sure J.L. was flexing his fluency with espanol:


                              1. re: bulavinaka

                                thanks man.

                                my bad.

                                you are too kind.

                                  1. re: bulavinaka

                                    i'm trying to cut back on the foul language.

                                    1. re: kevin

                                      Increase the fowl language and decrease the foul...you got to accentuate the positive http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZUmAb...

                                      1. re: Servorg

                                        I cracked a mini-laugh at that one.

                                        An old curmudgeonly laugh.

                                      2. re: kevin

                                        I like to think of it as sprinkles on the cake. Sure it's not necessary, but ain't it festive?

                                        1. re: bulavinaka

                                          Now that's what I'm talking about.

                                          Sprinkles on the cake, or rather the stewed cherry in an old fashioned, or the hot fudge on a delicious fuckin ice cream sundae.

                          2. 2 plates of Dino's crazy chicken & fries...with a few bucks left over.

                            11 Replies
                            1. re: Servorg

                              that's a good idea.

                              two plates would be the appropirate size, with an extra order of fries sluiced with that gravy, the spicy sauce i mean, and a biggee orange bang.

                              life is good.

                              1. re: kevin

                                Dino's chicken combo recently was raised to $5.99 from a decade or more (?) at $5.50. Still fits, just warning you.

                                I know we are talking about the Dino's on Pico at Berendo, two blocks west of Vermont. I know the Dino's on Main above downtown and east of Chinatown is separately owned. What about the newer one in Artesia, same ownership -- is the chicken the same?

                                1. re: nosh

                                  I've only been to what I believe to be the original location in Pico Union, near Normandie.

                                  I ain't got the foggiest clue about other locations.

                                  1. re: nosh

                                    The owner of Dino's Burgers Pico has 5 locations: Pico, Pico Rivera, Azusa, Pomona and Huntington Park. I think the Pomona location is a franchised location whikle the other locations are family-owned.


                                    1. re: nosh

                                      When I first went (circa 2003) it was about $3.50, which at the time was still a ridiculous deal. $6 now feels like a more down to earth price.

                                      Mr Taster

                                  2. re: Servorg

                                    I have been dreaming about that chicken for a few months now. Need to get my butt over there. I have only been to the Azusa location and that one has the same owner as the LA location. Cannot imagine that they would franchise out... the workers there told me that the owner or his son(s) come and make the sauce for the chicken themselves. No one else knows the recipe. I swear, I would swim in that sauce if it wouldn't turn me yellow and burn my eyes!!

                                    1. re: WildSwede

                                      Wild swede , you have never been to the Pico-union location ?

                                      In that case, you are seriously overdue on a visit.

                                      And get an order of fries on that side drenched in that lip-smacking, deliriously delicious vinegar and chili and chicken drippings-laced sauce.

                                      1. re: kevin

                                        Yeah, only been to the Azuza location. They know me there now - they start making my order before I even get to the register. I also return mid-meal for them to put more sauce and shake on my chicken and well-done fries! Lip-smacking is absolutely a spot-on description! ;-)

                                        1. re: WildSwede

                                          I go to the Pico at Berendo location. I also order extra "sauce." Having read about it on this board, I asked for welldone fries two or three times -- didn't notice any difference, and from the speed my order came out (always dependent on the chicken) I doubt they fried a special batch or anything...

                                          Back in the day -- WAAY back in the day shortly after the L.A. Times had an article lauding them -- at least two decades ago they would give me "extra sauce" in a little container to dip the fries and chicken. But that stopped almost as soon as it began.

                                          1. re: nosh

                                            Yeah, I think they are afraid that someone will try and figure out what is in the sauce. When I get to go, I usually take my own containers since with the extra sauce, it usually sloshes all over the place. They will not put the sauce into a container by itself. Must be in with the chicken or fries (if you order only the fries with the sauce). They have always done my fries well done for me. I think I wait a little longer, but it just adds to the enjoyment when I finally get it. I also take some of the juice from the yellow chiles and some lemons and put both on top of it all.
                                            Either way, I am just glad they are nearby! ;-)

                                    2. re: Servorg

                                      The Dino's on Telegraph in Pico Rivera is tasty as hell.

                                    3. Lomo Saltado from Mario's Peruvian

                                      1. Mexicali for vampiros and cachetadas

                                        1. That's an easy one. Zam Zam.

                                          1. Not favorites in town, but tasty meals convenient to me:

                                            Beech Street cafe
                                            Any sandwich but I really like the chicken, chile, rocket and
                                            the Italian grinder
                                            $12 each, served w house salad, Caesar or pasta salad)

                                            Cafe Vida
                                            Any organic scramble ( turkey burger & California are good)
                                            $11.75, served w toast, bagel or Eng muffin, fruit or greens
                                            Chicken Jalapeño melt sandwich, $11.50
                                            Southwest turkey roll up, &10.95
                                            Served with baby greens or Caesar salad, fries or sweet potato fries, which are addicting.

                                            Palisades Garden Cafe
                                            Burgers, turkey, veggie & pastrami burgers, $6.95
                                            Seasoned fries $2.75
                                            Chili cheese fries $3.95

                                            1. does inglewood, near hollywood park, count as "in town?"

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                For you (I'll make an exception), it sure does.

                                                So if it's in Inglewood or even Lynwood or Maywood, etc, please do proceed.


                                                1. re: kevin

                                                  Coni'Seafood, of course.

                                                  second choice:
                                                  Cafe Gratitude

                                              2. Eduardo's shrimp burrito or grilled veggie burrito.

                                                21 Replies
                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                    What's the big deal with Eduardo's? What's so great about that shrimp burrito?

                                                    I hear about it a fair amount, but have never tried it, because...well....I do not know exactly why. Something just puts me off whenever I think about it. I get the sense it is a "cultish" item, probably because most of the folks who mention it to me, don't actually like Mexican food...they like Mexican Phony Phast Phood (wish I knew how to do Mr. Taster's little trademark symbol). Like Baja fresh or Poquito Mas. If I am in that area I will go to Tacomiendo. But maybe I am wrong about this.

                                                    1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                      Are you saying that Baja Fresh or Poquito Mas are Phony Phast Phood? If so, how so?

                                                      1. re: EarlyBird

                                                        I am saying that. Hard to explain, how, precisely but these are the things that put me off, and Baja is much worse than Poquito (which I used to like before tasting less Souless Mexican food): tepid "gringo flavorings," lousy chips, tasteless tortillas, rubbery white meat chicken.

                                                        1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                          Yeah, Bob, those shrimp burritos are definitely not authentic, traditional, etc (fill in the blank).

                                                          But to me, they are still quite delicious, no matter how heretical that may sound.

                                                          To me the way the tomato sauce in there mixes with the sauteed shrimp and cheese is a thing of utter beauty to me. Much better than the sum of its parts.

                                                          anyhow, i'm probably on the minority in really likeing and enjoying it.

                                                          but i do.

                                                          1. re: kevin

                                                            Well, I had the shrimp burrito last night at Eduardo's and I agree it is more than the sum of it's parts. Quite nice. It falls apart very fast - I had a drippy mess that I had to dump into the pastic basket and eat with a fork after just a few bites. But I enjoyed the experience. Doubt I would go back but for a one-off, quick meal, why not?

                                                            1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                              I like it a lot more than others.

                                                              I devour it in a matter of seconds before it disintegrates.

                                                              But for me, I hit it up frequently.

                                                            2. re: kevin

                                                              haven't tried them, but just confirming your description--
                                                              they contain both shrimp AND cheese, right?

                                                              1. re: westsidegal

                                                                Yes. Both. To me, it just tastes disgustingly great.

                                                                But I am afraid if you try and don't like it, you'll give me shit for it.

                                                                1. re: westsidegal

                                                                  Yes. So do Coni's Marlin tacos - it ain't Italian, as you well know.

                                                                  1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                    Smoked marlin and cheese dolded in a torrilla - what's not to like?

                                                                    1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                      Some people get totally weirded out by seafood and cheese in the same dish. I've always had a soft spot in my taste buds for shrimp parmigiana, so it has never bothered me. I like the one I've had at Fabrocini's Italian Kitchen in Tarzana.

                                                                        1. re: Servorg

                                                                          Just had it at Tana's and it was disgustingly delicious.

                                                                          And so were the beef curtains.

                                                                          Thor. Your new drink is the house Capp.

                                                                      1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                        i never order the marlin tacos at Coni'Seafood.

                                                                  2. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                    I would definitely say that Baja Fresh is in the fast food category - a good fast food rendition of Mexican food nonetheless.

                                                                    I have to disagree however on Poquito Mas. They get high marks from me for making their own tortillas.

                                                                    1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                      I agree wit you there, Baja < Poquito (ha) but neither make me feel like I am cozying up to somebody's abuelo en Pueblo.

                                                                2. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                  In MS Word, Alt + Ctrl + T

                                                                  Then copy/paste

                                                                  Mr Taster™

                                                                    1. re: Ciao Bob

                                                                      You can't trademark Thanks, or can you ?

                                                                    2. re: Mr Taster

                                                                      Thanks taster, i also wanted to know how to do the dope trademark ting too.

                                                              2. Settebello Pizza - Margherita
                                                                Pho Licious - Filet Mignon Pho
                                                                Hollywood Thai Noodles - Hollywood Pork Noodles (lg) & Mango w/ Sticky Rice

                                                                1. For a solo diner, the chicken dinner at Versailles is still listed at $12.99. (Unlike Dino's, you actually get to sit down at a table and they bring you the food on an actual plate!) ...and at the Venice Bl. location, still consistent.

                                                                  Cam the Man, his new girlfriend, me and the Woman In The Hat did a lotta damage in Thaitown two weeks ago for $15 per.

                                                                  10 Replies
                                                                  1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                                                                    Cam the Man ????

                                                                    The Woman in the Hat ????

                                                                    Translation. Please ?

                                                                    1. re: kevin

                                                                      The Chowpup, (see e.g., http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/83778) (grown to be a man and a serious Chowhound himself) and my Chow-Spouse.

                                                                    2. re: silverlakebodhisattva

                                                                      SL - they have always brought my chix and fries to me on a plate at Dino's!! ;-)

                                                                      1. re: WildSwede

                                                                        Plate or styrofoam container? A flat plate wouldn't have a prayer of holding everything.

                                                                        1. re: nosh

                                                                          Dino's Burgers Azusa serves its chicken plate on a plate while Dino's Burgers Pico serves its chicken plate in a Styrofoam Container. I have dined at both of these locations.

                                                                          Not sure how the other 3 Dino burgers locations (Pico Rivera, Pomona and Huntintgon park) serves their chicken plates as I have NOT dined at these 3 locations.

                                                                          1. re: nosh

                                                                            Yes, Azusa on hard ceramic plates, oval, like the kind you see at old-school cafeterias, with a little lip on it. And metal silverware. It is comical watching them try to balance the plate when they bring it to me since that thing is overflowing with sauce! They have to walk very, very slowly!

                                                                            To go is in the styrofoam.

                                                                            1. re: WildSwede

                                                                              that location sounds like a sitdown restaurant.

                                                                              that's very interesting.

                                                                              1. re: kevin

                                                                                Well, sort of. No waitress service, but you order and then take your number and sit down. They bring the food to you.

                                                                          2. re: WildSwede

                                                                            Not to gainsay Dino's, which I love, but Versailles actually has plates,and non-plastic flatware, and waiters, and a wine/beer license, and stuff like that. Also, unlike Versailles', Dino's chickens seem to be shrinking in the last few years. They're not down to game-hen size yet, but they seem headed that way...

                                                                          1. re: SIMIHOUND

                                                                            Panini is a really good value. At the one in BH, they do a chicken kabab family special that has 4 portions of the chicken kabab (more like 6), a mediterranean salad (also huge) and a large platter of rice or grain (they will let you mix) for about $32. Its a ton of food. For a few bucks more you can get 16 oz of humus and a basket of pita. Good quality and value.

                                                                            1. re: Thor123

                                                                              I've not been able to come up with my answer yet, but Panini crossed my mind. I just went to the downtown one last week and grab their food to take to the Dodger game quite a bit. The chicken kabab plate is my favorite as well. The value is even better if one is faced with just downtown options. One can even park fro free at the Ralph's across the street with any purchase.

                                                                          2. Can't really say if it's my favorite $15 meal, but I greatly enjoyed the $15 box lunch I had recently at Aburiya Toranoko. It consisted of tuna and salmon sashimi, a two-shrimp&veggies tempura, plus a third entree. In this case it was a terrific subtle and juicy chicken teriyaki.

                                                                            1. For "American" food it's Pann's, surprise surprise. Dim sum it's 888, soup is Pho 79, breakfast Square One … since I don't have a "favorite" cuisine from one day to the next, it's impossible for me to have just one favorite restaurant, especially in that price range. Even within categories, if I wanted CFS and eggs instead of that precious salmon Benedict w/salad for breakfast I'd go for Rod's or Harry's.

                                                                              3 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                which was the joint you ordered the salmon benedict with salad at ?


                                                                                1. re: kevin

                                                                                  Square One Dining. House-cured salmon, lovely crunchy fried potato bird-nests, freshly poached eggs, hollandaise. The menu lists it with grits, but the first time I ordered it the grits were gone, so I got the house salad instead - baby arugula and the like, nice lemony dressing. It was so fabulous I've gotten it that way ever since. I mean, hell, I can make grits at home …

                                                                                  It might have gone beyond our $15 limit by now, though; it was right on the nub, like Langer's sandwich, where if you get anything but water you're over $15.

                                                                                  1. re: Will Owen

                                                                                    No worries.

                                                                                    Even if it is streching the $15 set price that I posted above, this salmon benedict still sounds great.

                                                                                    And I haven't been to Square One Dining in years. And i believe it's because I don't usually end up in that area, and usually on the weekends I don't want to drive an hour to get there and then have the privilege of waiting more than a couple hours on line.

                                                                              2. Natas on Ventura in Sherman Oaks and Kotohira on Redondo Beach in Gardena easily fit in this category. Most of their menu entrees are in the $10 range. The service at both is quite good. Kotohira makes it easier by including genmaicha, takuan and Japanese potato salad to each order, which is already quite generous in size and dishes.

                                                                                2 Replies
                                                                                1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                                  I love Kotohira's udon combinations, especially unagi and shioyaki saba and sanma.

                                                                                  1. re: Ogawak

                                                                                    Saba and sanma enters the realm of OG hardcore Buddhahead.

                                                                                2. Fuego Grill, 7th Street between Main and Los Angeles. 3 delicious al pastor tacos carved straight off of the spit for $4 dollars with delicious salsas and pickled ensaladas to choose from. No table service. Get on it!

                                                                                  Westside? Attari Grill. Any one of their delicious sandwiches and a small barley soup will get you in under the $15 bar.

                                                                                  1. Rahel with the restaurant.com coupon

                                                                                    1. There are so many that fit the <$15, it's hard to narrow it down to just one.

                                                                                      1. Taylor's Steak House - Lunch menu at either location.

                                                                                      2. Lusys Mediterranean Cafe & Grill in Van Nuys.

                                                                                      1. The Bobbie sandwich at Capriottis or the chicken with Garlic sauce at Zankou

                                                                                        1. Sunday dinner @ Dominick's--$15. Always good & great patio.

                                                                                          1. Finally made it out to Ciro's for the first time last night. Great value. Super delicious. Jukebox full of Art Laboe Show classics. And complimentary avocado salsa for the table that many other joints would charge a pretty penny for. Can't wait to go back.

                                                                                            3 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: djquinnc

                                                                                              I think their shredded beef tacos are great. Wished I lived closer but probably a good thing I don't for my health's sake.

                                                                                              1. re: Servorg

                                                                                                Do they make cheese enchiladas here in that classic enchilada sauce and topped with sliced olives if so I will need to make a trip here a couple weeks into my diet.

                                                                                              2. re: djquinnc

                                                                                                art laboe is dope.

                                                                                                now that's what i'm talking about.

                                                                                              3. A big gnarly carnitas in green sauce burrito at El Abajeno.

                                                                                                  1. re: kevin

                                                                                                    They take credit cards as well as cash.

                                                                                                    1. Take A Bao on Ventura in Studio City (or in the Century City mall). Everything on the menu is under $15 (most items closer to $10), and the salads, soups and plates are generous in size.

                                                                                                      Even better, go for Happy Hour...apps are about $3, bao are $4, and beer and wine are between $4 - $6. The GF and I go for happy hour and fill up for under $30 (drinks included).

                                                                                                      1. Chicken Curry at Pingtung on Melrose. $6.95, comes with a cup of soup. PLENTY of deliciousness. Enough to share.

                                                                                                        1. Salsa and Beer, the one on White Oak

                                                                                                          1. Wako Tonkatsu is up there. Prolly under $11 before tax and tip. Comes with a couple sides even. I'm gonna ask people, doesn't it suck at this point to post about good restaurants and then have a hard time getting a table in a few months after they blow up? That def seemed to happen with Pa Ord.

                                                                                                            4 Replies
                                                                                                            1. re: tenxtone76

                                                                                                              Well that's a better option then having the place shut down (see: pho minh)

                                                                                                              1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                What happened to Pho Minh ?

                                                                                                                1. re: ns1

                                                                                                                  textone76 and ns 1: you've both defined the existential questions of parcipation on this board.

                                                                                                                1. I forgot about Hannosuke.