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Jul 22, 2014 03:02 PM

Where Should I Have Lunch?

I'm taking Mondays off this summer. Three straight Mondays I went to Orleans and York for lunch. (Once to try it. Once to try the other location. Once because my wife also took a Monday off and wanted to try it). Yesterday I went to Lupe's #2 for a couple of burritos -- excellent. Will likely go back again this summer.

I still have some Mondays off and am looking for lunch recommendations. That's way too vast, so I'll give some parameters.

I live in Culver City/Mar Vista, so while I'm always interested in local places, I'm willing to use my vacation time to drive a bit.

Not super interested in SFV places because if I go over the hill that way, I'll feel obligated to visit my parents, thus negating it as a "vacation day." (LOL -- you don't know my mom.) Still, I do visit the parents sometimes, so Valley recs will be fine.

I much prefer joints and dives, even bars(!), to anything remotely trendy. Stands are fine as well.

I might visit Burger Records in Fullerton one of these Mondays, so anything near there in Fullerton would be cool. (645 S State College Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92831) In fact, I love record stores so if your rec is near your local record store, that's a major plus.

I don't like cheese that much, so a pizza place or a grilled cheese place wouldn't work for me. Probably don't need recs for chinese food because while I enjoy it, I enjoy it more in groups, family style, and I'll be alone on my excursions.

I guess what I'm looking for is that place in your neighborhood where the locals stop for lunch or lunch and a beer. A taco, a burger, a bowl of great curry, soul food (reminder to self: go back up Inglewood and find that soul food place you drove by)

Places that are packed at lunch probably wouldn't work. I don't want to stand on line for an hour just to eat. I don't want to make a reservation.

Not looking for food trucks, I don't think.

Don't really want to spend more than 20 on lunch, unless that includes a beer or two (at most, I'll be driving).

If it's a stand, is there anyone to sit? I don't want to eat in my car.

Hollywood, DTLA (FWIW, I'm going to the GCM one of these Mondays to eat that burger so I can post in that million post thread about it), Long Beach (would really love something in Long Beach), San Pedro, East L.A. (would love to go back to East L.A.), South Bay, Leimert Park, Inglewood, Hawthorne, El Segundo, Echo Park, Silverlake, ... all work.

Probably don't need Japanese recommendations because we eat it a lot and have our spots.

Where would you take someone you were meeting for lunch in your neighborhood if they wanted a relaxed, home cooked, solid, neighborhood meal? I mean, if they have "Established" and the year somewhere on a sign, that's great. If they are known for their burger and the coldness of their beer (as opposed to their selection of rare beers), that's good. If I'll need an extra napkin to wipe sauce off my chin, that's good. If the heat of the wings make you sweat a bit, that's cool, too.

Not sure what else to say ...

Obviously I won't be able to eat at all the recs or maybe any of them depending on the recs. But I do promise to write about wherever I eat and even if I don't make it to any of the places (despite the fact that they are my vacation days, I do have some things to get done this summer and might not be able to go on all day lunch excursions -- it's day to day) -- I hope people will still make some recs because the thread might be of use to others in the future looking for lunch.


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  1. Near Burger Records you could do The Bruery for some good beers. I don't know if food trucks are around during the day though. There is a good burger place in downtown Fullerton not too far called Burger Parlor. Great fries and onions rings too. They usually have about 5 or 6 beers on tap.

    2 Replies
    1. re: js76wisco

      Near the Bruery is Mas Islamic Chinese although I don't know how that might work for one.

      1. Funny I had to read your request for cold beer over rare beer twice to make sure I was reading right. I understand though sometimes a nice lager hits the spot.

        Too bad the Bucket is no more it would have been right up your alley. Good enough burgers and a good selection of cold lawn mower beer. The new place that took over has already closed down.

        A little fancier but you could try the Oinkster for burger and beer.

        Closer to your home is the Hinano in Venice Beach for a unfussy burger and beer.

        17 Replies
        1. re: burntwater

          Yeah, I was using that as a bit of a metaphor. Craft beer would be great -- but I was thinking vibe, not necessarily beer quality.

            1. re: Servorg

              Thanks, that one I've actually done. It's in my 'hood.

              One tip for you: One of their loaves comes sliced if you ask them. One of the tastiest breads around. Makes awesome PBJs.

              1. re: PaulF

                Beef gyro at Sunny Grill? Hey, O-musbi at Sunny Blue. If I can come up with one more Sunny - and now I thought of Sunny Spot - and we have a Sunny trifecta!


                1. re: Servorg

                  Second the beef gyro at Sunny Grill. It is very tasty, with good tzatziki sauce.

                  1. re: J.L.

                    One other place I like is the San Francisco Saloon on Pico at Exposition for the Bruin Burger (beef patty) with bacon and avocado and their sweet potato fries are quite tasty too.

                    ADD: Forgot that the Bruin burger has jack cheese too. Don't want to forget "Jack"

                    1. re: Servorg

                      Nice burger. Tacomiendo essentially across the street. Bang bang

                      1. re: jessejames

                        And let's not forget Mori Sushi. Badabing Badaboom.

                        1. re: jessejames

                          Talking about SF Saloon got my salivation system turned up to high and I ended up in getting a 49'er burger medium rare with sweet potato fries.

                          That's their bleu cheese and grilled onion burger and I added bacon. I don't know if they changed cooks or what but the burger was even another magnitude better than it was before.

                          Huge patty cooked perfectly. Satisfied each and everyone of my taste buds.

                          1. re: Servorg

                            Had many fine burgers there. Nice size patty always cooked to order correctly. Bravo.

                            1. re: Servorg

                              Their wings are pretty solid too. Additionally they'll carry different hot sauces such as El Yucateco.

                              1. re: Jase

                                Cool. I love wings never had em there always get burger. Buffalo style?

                                1. re: jessejames

                                  yes. I think their wings are underrated. They're crisp, meaty, good size. They give you a fair amount for the price. They'll also give you blue cheese if you ask, not stuck with ranch. Sauce isn't super spicy but since they actually carry a decent selection of hot sauces, just douse with your choice.

                                  1. re: Jase

                                    Will give em a go. I like em really hot

              2. A reason to go to Bulgarini or Mother Moo or Carmela?


                1 Reply
                1. re: A5 KOBE

                  Ahh ... thanks.

                  I should have been more clear, my bad. Don't do cheese, don't do ice cream either. No allergies or anything, just not my thing. Occasionally a bit of sheep or goat cheese.

                  Thanks for the recs though.

                2. Nearby:
                  - El Abajeno
                  - Gloria's
                  - Gentleman's Butcher Shop
                  - EK Valley
                  - JR's BBQ
                  - Papa Christo's
                  - La Cevicherria

                  - Coni'Seafood

                  - Corazon y Miel [closed Mon, but check out 'fire the menu': excellent burger & turkey sammie, but so much more that your party of 5 will take half of it home. Fun dinner.]

                  SF Valley:
                  - Pho So 1

                  1. I'll beat wm to the punch here .... Langers!

                    2 Replies
                      1. re: jessejames

                        Ate their Saturday. Excellent. But that's crossed off the list.