The Lazy Ox’s Lunch Menu Makes Me Break My Rules
Longtime readers of this site are all too familiar with my quirky rules for determining what places qualify as bonafide “Midtown Lunches”. (All you can eat buffet = good. The *best* salad and turkey sandwiches = meh.) But the one that looms largest is price. There are actually multiple reasons for this rule. #1. I’m a cheap bastard and of the opinion that it is our god given right to a delicious and filling lunch, for under $10. But it’s also a matter of self preservation as well. I’m already overwhelmed with the number of must try under $10 lunches in Los Angeles. Open the site up to every $12 lunch menu, avocado topped, boar’s head serving, salad/sandwich spot in L.A. and my head would probably explode. Plus I’m not interested in those kind of lunches.
But I’ll tell you what I am interested in. An oyster po’boy with french fries from the Lazy Ox Canteen! Profiled Lunch’ers “Shawna & Sonja” recommended the place, KevinEats was impressed, “The Guru” found some things to like about it, and the L.A. Times just gave them 3 stars (and called their burger the best in town.) How could I not?
The Lazy Ox Canteen might be a dinnertime hot spot, but for lunch the scene is far more laid back. Quiet and well lit by the sun beaming through the front entrance, it’s still cool but far less of a scene. The lunch menu [PDF] is completely pared down as well, with 5 small bites ($4-11), 7 small plates ($6-15), 4 sandwiches ($10-12) and steak frites ($21). Sadly the “specials” blackboard was completely empty when we went… so no crispy pig ears, no pork belly with duck rillettes, and no burger. But that’s ok, I was there for the sandwiches ($10-12), and even thought there was one ML friendly sandwich for $10 (curry chicken sandwich) I couldn’t resist the fried oyster po’boy ($11).
That’s right… $1 over the limit. Sue me. What can I say? I love New Orleans (I was married there), and considering that it was just Fat Tuesday I couldn’t help myself- price be damned.
Considering the Lazy Ox Canteen’s track record, I knew not to expect the biggest sandwich of all time… and they didn’t disappoint. It was a small to medium sized sandwich (and a far cry from the massive, oyster stuffed po’boys you’ll get in the Crescent City.) But I’ll tell you what were huge… the oysters! Seriously, I was amazed. Sure, the homemade brioche roll was sacrilegious (if you’re going to call the thing a po’boy), but the taste of the oysters was right on. And their sheer size makes it so you actually taste the oysters through the breading and bread. In other words the oysters totally reminded me of New Orleans (I pretended not to hear when the waiter told us the oysters were actually from Washington State.)
So, is the Lazy Ox Canteen a Midtown Lunch? Sadly, it’s not. The sandwich is a tad bit too small, and the menu is just a few dollars too pricey for this site. But you have to appreciate that they’re at least trying to keep prices down during lunch, and you can’t argue with shoestring fries! (They come with every sandwich.) And if you’re going to splurge for a nice sit down lunch in Downtown, you’ll be hard pressed to find too many better ones than this for the price… especially once they add that amazing looking burger to the lunch menu!
THE + (What people who like this place would say)
- Gigantic fried oysters FTW!
- It’s only $1-2 over the ML budget, for high quality food
- Good for a sit down splurge Downtown
- At lunch they still give you a free dish of toasted corn with lime and salt. Delicious!
THE – (What people who don’t like this place would say)
- Sandwiches aren’t much bigger than the “small plates” served during dinner… left me hungry for more!
- Once you add tax and tip, the meal is closer to $20 than $10.
- The word brioche shouldn’t even be in the same sentence with the word po’boy!
- The oysters were big, but there were only 3 or 4 of them, tops
Lazy Ox Canteen, 241 S. San Pedro St., 213-626-5299