Archive for January 2011

Wako Donkasu: Is L.A.’s Best Japanese in Koreatown?

After seeing this blog post back in August, Wako Donkasu immediately went on to my “list”.  I could say I’m a huge fan of katsu, but quite frankly who isn’t a huge fan of katsu?  It’s boneless meat cutlets, breaded and deep fried.  How can that be bad!?  And even though smart money would send you to Sawtelle or Little Tokyo for the best Japanese food between Downtown and Santa Monica, Wako Donkasu is actually in Koreatown.  Thankfully I learned pretty early that when deep fried meaty goodness is involved, it’s better not to ask too many questions.

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Lunch Links (The “I Think There Might Be Pork in Every One of These Links” Edition)

Pupusa from El Chipilin. Photo courtesy of The Minty.

  • DTLA New York’s Two Boots is coming to Broadway [Blog Downtown]
  • H’WOOD There’s a new Thai spot in Ganda’s strip mall [Food GPS]
  • KTOWN The Guru recommends blocking out a weekend for Olympic Cheonggukjang [LAW]
  • KTOWN El Chipilin makes the best pupusas on Beverly [The Minty]
  • KTOWN Bicycle & Gogi combines Korean food w/ barbecue [Squid Ink]
  • MOBILE Organic ramen… on wheels? Coming Soon [Eater]

Wow Bento & Roll’s Sashimi Salad is Far Less Scary Than I Expected


When I first moved to Los Angeles from NYC and decided to keep doing Midtown Lunch I had a decision to make.  Do I focus on one specific area, like Downtown (the Midtown of L.A.), or do I try to cover a larger area of lunching- thereby making the site as useful as possible to as many office workers as possible.  In the end, people convinced me that Downtown L.A. was no Midtown, and I selfishly decided to cover the area from Downtown all the way to Santa Monica.  Well, I’m starting to think that might have been a huge mistake!  Downtown L.A. is kind of amazing, and every time I’m there for lunch I think about how much I wish I worked there full time.  (No, this is not April Fool’s.)

Just like Midtown Manhattan, Downtown L.A. pretty much has everything.  Your ethnic enclaves (Little Tokyo, Chinatown), your new generation chains (Mendocino Farms, Starry Kitchen, Gram & Papa’s), and your old school classics (Philippe’s, Cole’s, Grand Central Market, Clifton’s Cafeteria, and Uncle John’s Ham’s and eggs).  But even more important than all that, Downtown L.A. is dotted with all sorts of dirty looking, semi-hidden gems. Places that probably won’t survive their next lease renewal, but until that day comes continue to serve up cheap and tasty lunches to longtime regulars, and those of us newcomers with adventurous stomachs. Places like Wow Bento & Roll, my newest DTLA lunch discovery.

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L.A. Times Profiles the Mayor of Jitlada: Today's L.A. Times features a profile of Jo from My Last Bite, the unofficial Mayor of Jitlada and our lunchtime tour guide of the Thai Town mainstay back in July.   She's halfway through her goal of eating through all 300 dishes the restaurant serves! (Bonus tidbit... the story was written by Profiled Lunch'er "Betty Hallock".)

Where Can I Find Magic Wok’ish Filipino Food in L.A.?

Sorry Little Ongpin… you just don’t cut it.

I’m a huge fan of the Manila Machine, but they’re kind of limited by being a food truck- and sometimes even I don’t feel like chasing down your lunch on twitter.  Plus MM doesn’t completely satisfy my craving for down home Filipino food.  (For one thing, their sisig is made from only cheeks!)   Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a good brick and mortar Filipino place between Downtown and Santa Monica, a fact that was reinforced by a recent out of bounds lunchtime visit to The Magic Wok in Artesia.  I don’t normally have the time to travel that far for lunch, but when I heard they were the best Filipino restaurant in Southern California I felt compelled to go the extra mile(s).  And I was rewarded with two of the best pork dishes I’ve ever had in my life.

Warning: If you like crispy pork clicking the jump will make you want to drive to Artesia for lunch.

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Mozza2Go Pizza Deal All Week This Week: Remember the Sunday/Monday Mozza2Go pizza deal we told you about back in October?  Well, this week they're doing it all week long. Get 2 margheritas for $20, 2 sausuge pizzas for $25, or 2 meat lovers pizzas for $28 through February 1st. Call 323-297-1130 to place your order. UPDATE: The 2 margherita pizzas for $20 deal is now permanently on the menu.

PROFILE: L.A. Lunch’er “Bucky”

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 Bucky, a Fashion Designer with some great Downtown recommendations.

Name: Bucky

Age: 40

Occupation: Fashion Designer

Where in L.A. do you Work?: SYC FUK (Street Youth Couture From Unwanted Kids)- Down Town Los Angeles

Favorite Kind of Food: BBQ and Seafood

Least Favorite Kind of Food: French

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch: 1. RCA (Red Corner Asia, 5267 Hollywood Blvd) on Hollywood Blvd- Frequently I crave Thai food and this is the best one I have found in LA. I like the crispy duck panang, make sure you order the panang on the side. then dip each piece so it remains crispy. The calamari here is perfectly fried crispy and in big cuts. I highly recommend 2. Wow Bento and Roll (710 S Hill St) – Sashimi Salad – the biggest amount of FRESH sashimi you will get for only 7.99. It comes on a bed of wide shred lettuce on over a bottom bed of warm rice. And the ginger dressing is a bit spicy for the amateur but AMAZING. Ask for an extra container of dressing, its that good. 3. Tulip Café (628 Saint Vincent Ct) – The shrimp scampi. I like this because of the sauce, it is really creamy and thick. Not your traditional sauce. And you get a nice chunk of a baguette you can break up and dip in the sauce. The owner is working there from opening till close every day. 4. LA Café (639 S Spring St) – This is def New York Style. Place is real trendy right now and always has a scene going on… But I really believe its because of the food they are serving. I really like the Mini Cheese burgers (3) on a bed of caesar salad… salad is crispy and the burgers and hot on fresh buns. The carrot cake is also worth getting a slice of to go. Problem is I cant wait to get home to eat it. Make sure you have milk around with the cake tho, it compliments it just right.

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