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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 http://sfsaloon.com/ 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.

                      2. For good burger on Fairfax or Sepulveda go to Plan Check or Golden State. Both also have good beers on tap.

                        1. How about Serving Spoon. M-F they're open only 7-3. On weekends, you have to get in super early to beat the crowds.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: Jase

                            Went today for breakfast.

                            I totally forgot you recommended it in this thread, but remembered you had recommended it when we cruised to that soul food place up on Crenshaw.

                            We really liked it -- I had the fried chicken drummettes with over medium eggs, potatoes and biscuit. Excellent chicken and eggs. Patti had the egg whites with oatmeal and loved it. MIles did egg whites with salmon croquettes and corn bread. Love the way the toast the corn bread on the grill.

                            Thanks Jase.

                            1. re: PaulF

                              Glad you liked it. I like their spicy sausage patties too. Comes in other beef or pork.

                          2. I recently ate at La Azteca Tortilleria in East LA and it was great. A thick, fresh flour tortilla, and the proprietor pointed me towards the carnitas, which he said he had just made. The burrito was great.

                            If you are willing to drive a little more, my favorite burrito in LA is at Patty's in Claremont. The tortilla is just as thick as Azteca's, but has a totally different vibe. More of a good lard taste, and the outside is a bit more drier, which helps it stand up to the chile verde that they put inside. Their house hot sauce is different, more peppery than capsicum spicy but very very good.

                            Also, both places make it very simple to get a dairy free burrito.

                            1. coni'seafood.
                              call first to make sure sergio is cooking
                              310 872 2339

                              (oops!) i see that JTea beat me to the punch.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: westsidegal

                                ... but it always sounds better when you say it. :-)

                                1. sushi zo




                                  martys home of the combo


                                  bludso's, the OG one

                                  belcampo burger


                                  hollingshead's deli

                                  al and bea's

                                  the hat

                                  b and r burgers

                                  mom's burger

                                  hawkin's house of burgers

                                  sette bello

                                  chengdu taste

                                  seafood village

                                  sea harbor seafood.

                                  these should keep you busy.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: kevin

                                    I think wexlers, bel campo & Settebello will be a bit too trendy for his taste..... And I believe Bludso's is not open on Monday. Just took my little guy there yesterday for brisket....we love love loved it....so nice there. And now I understand why his is the gold standard, just incredible....

                                    1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                      i still have to re-try the marina locale of settebello.

                                    2. re: kevin

                                      Paul, check these recs above. These should keep you very busy.

                                      1. re: kevin

                                        Thanks kevin, interested in all.

                                        Been to many of them already.

                                        Sometimes it depends on what else I'm doing. Today, I built the excursion around a trip to Burger Records in Fullerton. Last week, I was going to MOCA so I hit up Belcampo in GCM.

                                        Al and Bea's temps me greatly.

                                    3. Thanks for the recs.

                                      Took the EXPO to 7th/Metro and walked to GCM.

                                      Sat at the counter and had the Belcampo cheeseburger and a Hef. (The only had Hef or a Porter).) It's a great cheeseburger, I don't have anything more to add than was said in the 350 post thread dedicated to it.

                                      Walked to MOCA, then hung out in the public library. On the recommendation of a friend, I went for a drink at Perch. Very cool spot to drink. I had a pear vodka/champagne concoction called Writers Block. Refreshing. It was Happy Hour, but I was too full from the cheeseburger. Too bad, because the HH menu was intriguing. The Perch doesn't get much play here. It's called The Perch because it's on the roof of an office building. I had my drink on the patio of the restaurant, the rooftop bar (one level up) didn't open until five. I can't recommend the food because I didn't eat. But I can rec the atmosphere and note the menu looks good.

                                      Next Week: Fullerton.

                                      1. js76wisco and A5KOBE:

                                        Thanks for the rec on Burger Parlor. Really enjoyed the food.

                                        I had the "Smokey" on the recommendation of the counterman. It had smoked bacon, crispy Onion, cheddar, arugula, oven roasted tomato abd chipotle aioli. Very nice blend of flavors and texture, the arugula was a nice touch. Burger was medium rare, beefy and juicy. Had the "half and half" as a side, onion rings and fries. Both were good, I was expecting to like the ORs due to the recs but found the fries good, too, because I like mine on the well done side. A ridiculous pile, two, three even four people could share them. I tossed half the basket out, after finishing the ORs plus some of the fries.

                                        Washed it all down with an 805 Lager.

                                        Good rec, thanks.

                                        1. If you are game for a road trip - I saw head north to King's Burgers-Got Sushi....
                                          9345 Reseda Blvd
                                          Northridge, CA 91324

                                          The sushi was amazing.

                                          This is a JOINT worth visiting!!!!

                                          1. Bludsoe's Compton - table in back end of parking lot
                                            Chichen Itza - on Grand in the Mercado but no beer
                                            Reddi Chick - Brentwood Country Mart - seating outside only
                                            Salt Air Beach Bistro - good lobster roll (at least from a non-expert's opinion)
                                            Reel Inn, Malibu

                                            3 Replies
                                              1. re: Dirtywextraolives

                                                Thanks. Sorry for the screw up.
                                                How about this - go Sunday, keep until Monday and have a picnic..

                                              2. re: bundyal

                                                Thanks for the recs.

                                                I've been to the Compton Bludsoe's quite a bit. It's close to the college and my kid's high school team used to play a bunch of baseball there.

                                                The rest sound good ... depends on what I can plan around them.

                                                I like Reel Inn, too. I miss the 3rd Street location, used to go there a lot.