Helpful ReplyDowntown LA

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Kenny Joe
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2011/10/08 17:46:20 (permalink)

Downtown LA

I am going to be in Downtown LA next week for a meeting. I will probably only be able to escape for two evening meals. One of my likely companions is a vegetarian. Any suggestions? (No fine dining, please. The divier, the better. ) If Downtown LA is a Roadfood Desert (as I have heard), we could go to places easily accessible by public transit. (Yes, LA has transit.)        
#1
mar52
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/10/08 18:49:03 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
Starry Kitchen
 
http://s3.amazonaws.com/data.tumblr.com/tumblr_lshywwx3101qzdi5wo1_1280.jpg?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ6IHWSU3BX3X7X3Q&Expires=1318200473&Signature=Nvke6KjhTNjwrkQ3S4bVRt5Sf3w%3D
 
350 S Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90071
 Neighborhood: Downtown
 
You might also find something at the The Grand Central Market. 
 
http://www.grandcentralsquare.com/
 
I've never been to either, but I hear good things.
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Twinwillow
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/10/08 20:02:10 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
Ditch the "veggie" and go straight to Philippe's. Home of the "French dipped sandwich". Or, take the "veggie" with you and transform their life as well as yours!
http://www.philippes.com
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catosaurus
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/10/08 20:24:40 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
I've had some great meals at Nickel Diner, http://nickeldiner.com/ (skip the maple-bacon doughnut, though ... icing is great, but the doughnut is "baked").
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mar52
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/10/08 21:29:51 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
I think catosaurus hit it on the head.
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Foodbme
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/10/08 23:23:25 (permalink) ☄ Helpful
Two suggestions:
  1. Ditch the Vegetarian!!!
  2. Or go to the Pantry. the "V" person can eat pancakes. They also have salads and a veggie plate for $6.95. You can check out the USC Coeds there too!  http://www.pantrycafe.com/
 
post edited by Foodbme - 2011/10/08 23:27:44
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Kenny Joe
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/10/09 22:24:04 (permalink)
Thanks for all of the suggestions. They all seem like places I would enjoy, and I hope I can make it to each of them. I was happy to see the Nickel Diner mentioned. I was at a party a few weeks ago and when I realized there was a real Angelino there who worked downtown, I asked her where I should dine. She raved about the Nickel Diner, but it's good to have Roadfood confirmation that it's a place to go. Our tastes aren't like most folks, so it's always good to get some confirmation of a stranger's recommendations. 
A related question: Are there usually seats in an In & Out Burger or are they all takeout only? I was hoping to check one out while I was in LA but while contemplating the name, it occurred to me it might be take out only. 
 
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mar52
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/10/09 22:47:12 (permalink)
Hi Ken,
 
You can drive through an In & Out and you can dine inside.
 
I like mine without the tomato and with grilled onions. 
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Twinwillow
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/10/09 23:26:07 (permalink)
Yes, you can sit very comfortably at In-N-Out Burger. Be sure to order the double/double "animal style" with extra raw onion. 
However, if you can get over to 10801 W.Pico Blvd. in West LA, a must eat is The Apple Pan. Serving (arguably) the best burger and apple pie in LA since 1947. My preference is the hickory burger.
http://www.applepan.com
 
 
post edited by Twinwillow - 2011/10/09 23:28:54
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wanderingjew
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/10/10 09:20:34 (permalink)
Kenny Joe
 
Compared to the fantastic burgers in Pittsburgh, you will probably find In and Out to be ordinary.
Not sure why Apple Pan was even mentioned since it is miles away from downtown , however the burger there, is also nothing special, however the banana cream pie was some of the best I've ever had.
 
Another downtown recommendation
http://www.daikoku-ten.com/locations/littletokyo/menu/
 
Daikokuya- a ramen parlor in Little Tokyo- I wasn't very thrilled with the Ramen (although after looking at their menu again it appears I may have ordered wrong) but the Chicken Teriyaki and Salad were really good.
 
 
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brisketboy
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/10/10 10:25:23 (permalink)
In a word. Pinks.
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chefbuba
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/10/11 19:53:30 (permalink)
Go to the Pantry, let the veggie make a meal from the french bread and slaw that is served when you sit down, while you enjoy some short ribs or a steak.
I have not been there in years, but when I lived in LA it was a favorite place for a bite to eat.
Apple pan was good as I remember also, the pies were better!
Grand Central was also a good place to get tacos and a cool place to just check out.
 

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Kenny Joe
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/10/11 21:53:03 (permalink)
"Compared to the fantastic burgers in Pittsburgh, you will probably find In and Out to be ordinary."
I do not have great expectations for In and Out. I am mainly going so I won't have to sit on the sidelines during the next discussion of whether In and Out is better the Five Guys or some other chain.
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wanderingjew
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/10/12 07:33:29 (permalink)
Kenny Joe

"Compared to the fantastic burgers in Pittsburgh, you will probably find In and Out to be ordinary."
I do not have great expectations for In and Out. I am mainly going so I won't have to sit on the sidelines during the next discussion of whether In and Out is better the Five Guys or some other chain.

That's ok
 
A Five Guys just opened up near me in the plaza where I do my food shopping. I haven't tried it yet, but I suspect once I do, I'll be able to determine which is more "ordinary" Five Guys or in and Out?
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brisketboy
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/10/12 09:27:41 (permalink)
In the realm of ordinary, I would put In and Out in the same catagory as Famous Dave's and Freddy's. Just this side of mediocre.
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catosaurus
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/10/12 17:09:19 (permalink)
I've written here many times before that I don't get why so many people love In 'N' Out so much.  On the other hand, I think Five Guys is a really good burger, and love their fries, too. 
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Kenny Joe
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/11/08 20:20:38 (permalink)
I had some great meals in LA thanks to the recommendations here. 
My first was breakfast at the Original Pantry. I remember an article in The New Yorker a few years ago that compared two restaurants in New Martinsville WV. One was a very good but lightly patronized downtown restaurant; the other a Bob Evans on the edge of town. One thing the author mentioned was how the good restaurant was louder than the Bob Evans been though it had far few folks dining. People there were talking to each other (and not just to the people at the same table), while the Bob Evans customers were mostly eating in silence. By that measure, the Original Pantry was a great place - folks were being very social, even the singles at the counter.  I would give the place a 10 for atmosphere and a 6 for food. And for me, as long as the food is decent, the atmosphere is what counts. Otherwise I'd be hanging out at some gourmet food site.  
I expected that atmosphere would be the sole charm of Phillippe's.  It had the atmosphere, but I found the food surprisingly good. I got the beef. The meat itself was nothing special, but the nice crusty bread and the "jus" was excellent. I only got a single dip and had to go back a second time to experience the double dip. (Going back wasn't a problem because it is so near the train station and I like to hang out at train stations.) As good as the "jus" was, in the end I decided I preferred the single dip as half the bread remained nice and crisp.
The real find though was the Nickel Diner. I went twice, once alone and once with three friends. Everyone loved it, although a couple of my companions worried about the neighborhood. High points for food, service,  atmosphere, and even the neighborhood, which I liked. Two items worth mentioning are a cheesecake dessert that actually tasted like cheese (!) and a fabulous collection of hard to find soft drinks. 
I often have bad ideas and the best way to recognize them as such is to communicate them. So when I explained to Wandering Jew why I wanted to go to In-N-Out. I recognized it as a bad idea. However, I had some time to kill after my meeting was over, so I took the subway to Hollywood. Wandering around, I saw an In-N-Out and had to check it out. Like each of the other LA restaurants, the atmosphere was great. Lots of young folks there that didn't look much like the folks I see here in Pittsburgh. Can't say much nice about the burger I had, though.    
post edited by Kenny Joe - 2011/11/11 06:44:45
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mar52
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/11/08 23:34:09 (permalink)
Ken, glad you found things you liked.
 
I love PHillipe's but I do not like the beef.  I always order the pork and last week when there I thought... why not give the beef another try?  It will be pork forever more and always single dipped.  Did you apply cole slaw to your sandwich?  It's a wonderful combination.
 
How about a pigs foot?  Did you see them?
 
Did you have the sour dough toast at The Pantry?  It's mostly a cool dive with standard food.  I've been told the steak is good, but I've only been for breakfast.  (The area)
 
I must try The Nickel Diner.  It gets rave reviews from everyone.  In a few weeks they'll be filming some sort of movie/TV Show/commercial? there.
 
I've never been crazy about In n Out and also don't know why they have the following.  Maybe the esoteric menu?  Couldn't be the food.
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Foodbme
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/11/09 02:39:48 (permalink)
My Daughter went to USC and was on the swim team. The Pantry was their group's hangout. They would always order more than thay could eat and give their "to go" boxes to the homeless that would hang out around there
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Nancypalooza
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Re:Downtown LA 2011/11/16 15:59:41 (permalink)
I'm gonna have to check out the Nickel Diner.  I almost like breakfast at Phillippe's better than the lunch/sandwiches.  It's not quite as good as breakfast at the Pantry but really close.
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