Archive for December 2010

A Year of L.A. Lunching in One Gigantic Photo

It’s become an end of the year custom here on Midtown Lunch for me to compile every single photo of every single lunch I ate all year long in one gigantic photo. I’ve come to believe that how you view this piece of art horrific display of gluttony can tell you a little bit about yourself. If you look at the photo and think “That’s freakin’ AWESOME” then you are probably a bona fide Midtown Lunch’er. If you look at it and think “Urgh, that is freakin’ disgusting” then you are likely much skinnier than I am (congrats on that.) And if you look at the photo and it just makes you worry for my health, then you might be my mother (especially if it makes you simultaneously think “I really wish Zach had gone to law school.”)

Anyway, enough chat- onto the fat.  Every single lunch I ate in 2010 (from Spicy BBQ to ) in one gigantic photo, after the jump…

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Lunch Links (The “All I Want For XMas is Tacos de Guisado” Edition)

Photo courtesy of Street Gourmet L.A.

  • DTLA Hello, authentic Tacos de Guisado! [Street Gourmet LA;Squid Ink]
  • DTLA Nickel Diner has some awesome looking desserts [The Minty]
  • ECHO PARK You can get Seattle style teriyaki at Bernie’s [Squid Ink]
  • HWOOD Everything at Street is $10 during lunch through Friday! [Grub Street]
  • MID CITY Flavors of Belize looks amazing [Food Marathon]
  • MID CITY Robata Jinya only makes 20 bowls of tonkotsu ramen a day!? [Gastronomy]
  • WEHO The sausage roll at Salt’s Cure is great [LA Times]

Ramenya is a Great Sick Day Alternative to Santouka


If you live or work on the westside, and are on the hunt for great ramen, most people will point you to Santouka in the Mitsuwa Marketplace on Venice. And it’s hard to argue with that recommendation. It’s a porktastic bowl of ramen, with great flavor, solid noodles, and tons of sheen (aka greasy greasy fat). But what about for those days when you feel like complete crap (i.e. how I feel as I’m typing this.) Yes, while this might be hard for most of you to believe, the last thing I feel like dumping on a fever, stuffed up nose, and sore throat is a hot liquid made up of 50% pork fat- and that’s a conservative estimate for Santouka’s ramen

So… what’s a sick guy, craving a lighter bowl of ramen on the westside to do? Ramenya of course!

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PROFILE: Midtown Lunch’er “Juli”

As is customary on Midtown Lunch, every Tuesday we profile a random reader to get their recommendations for the best spots to lunch near their work. This week it’s Juli, a consultant looking for good Century City burger.

Name: Juli

Age: 28

Occupation: Consultant

Where in L.A. do you Work?: MGM, MGM Tower, Century City

Favorite Kind of Food: It’s really hard to pick a favorite…things that pop up in my head: pho, fried chicken, burgers, carnitas, the list could really go on and on.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: It’s a stretch to find a type of food I can’t at least appreciate when prepared well, some seafoods would qualify under foods I typically avoid.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch: The Stand (2000 Ave Of The Stars) — the chicken club with chips ($9) is rather delicious (don’t opt to get the fries instead of chips, I made that mistake my first time there — stick with chips). Gelson’s Wolfgang Puck Express (10250 Santa Monica Blvd) — I think the pizza and salad is the best lunch deal you can get in LA ($6.49), it’s enough for 2 lunches (it’s not on the menu, just ask for the lunch special). Be prepared for a lot of food: it’s a whole pizza(!) and a generous side salad. The Thursday farmer’s market provides a lot of great food as well, I stick with the $9 combo from the Greek place: a chicken kebab over Greek salad.

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Win Free Lunch From Mendocino Farms

Last week the good folks at Mendocino Farms (one of my favorite sandwich spots in L.A.) emailed me to let me know that they had added the PB3, a peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich, to their permanent menu and offered me a gift certificate to come try one on the house. I told them I didn’t really like taking free food from the places we post about, but I’d gladly take it and give it away to you guys! Want free lunch at Mendocino Farms? All you have to do is post a comment below letting me know why you deserve the gift certificate, and you’re entered to win. Consider it an early Christmas gift from your good friends at Midtown Lunch (and Mendocino Farms.)

Speaking of Mendocino Farms, there is a bright side to all this rain. When it’s crappy out you get a discount on their ham and gruyere grilled cheese sandwich from 10:30am until 2pm.

Lunch Links (The “Best Shawarma in L.A.” Edition)

Photo courtesy of Food GPS

  • MID CITY Shawarma Palace makes the best shawarma in L.A. [Food GPS]
  • DTLA You can get a great quesadilla at La Guadalupana [Table Conversation]
  • DTLA Cabbage Patch is now open on 6th [Blogdowntown]
  • CULVER CITY Tacomiendo is one of 20 best Mexican restaurants in L.A.!? [Squid Ink]
  • CULVER CITY Another Gaby’s Express is opening on Jefferson [Grub Street]
  • HOLLYWOOD Pa Ord’s pad see ew is better than Sanamluang’s [Squid Ink]
  • KTOWN Mapo Jip’s spicy potato stew is only $6 during lunch! [FoodGPS]
  • MID CITY Black Cat Cafe is now open, and serving sandwiches [Thrillist]
  • MID CITY A new branch of the Counter is now open on Miracle Mile [Grub Street]
  • SAMO Loteria Grill is coming to the 3rd Street Promenade [Eater]
  • MOBILE The Lobsta Truck will make a half and half lobster roll [Caroline on Crack]

Kobawoo’s Bossam Lunch Special Is The Greatest Thing Of All Time


Last month The Guru released his annual 99 Essential Restaurants list, and naturally I scoured it with an eye towards under $10 lunches.  One in particular that caught my eye was Kobawoo, a Koreatown bossam specialist.  Their signature dish (the bossam) is a big $27 plate filled with slices of boiled pork belly, a special kimchi, and possibly raw oysters?  As great as it sounded it’s waaay out of the ML price range- but I was super excited to discover that they have a lunch special portion of bossam for under $10!!!

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