Archive for June 2011

The Hits Keep Coming (and Going) at Chimu Downtown

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If you work Downtown and saw the L.A. Times write up of Chimu last week (the new Peruvian place in the Grand Central Market) you must have run right out and tried it.  I know I did. Twice. Despite being a take out window just outside the Grand Central Marketplace, the menu of modern Peruvian cuisine is a bit out of my price range (“entrees” are $10-13) but I couldn’t help but splurge. The chef’s pedigree is top notch- he used to work Lazy Ox, another acceptable Midtown Lunch splurge, and Mo Chica, the Peruvian restaurant that was clearly used as a model for Chimu’s concept and menu style.  But the dishes themselves are mostly unique and changing every day.

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So Kong Dong’s New Dumpling House Has a Great $10 Lunch Special

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Is there a better part of Los Angeles for lunch specials than Koreatown? Driving up Western or Vermont the signs surround you, touting $5.99, $4.99, even $3.99 (!!!) deals to entice cheap bastards like myself to go here, not there. I’ve discovered some pretty amazing mid-day deals over the past year, including the $10 pork plates at Kobawoo and Jang Choong Dong, the $6 menu at Mapo, and the Korean/Chinese feast you get at Dragon.  Not all of them might be considered top of their class, but they’re all worthwhile based on price, variety or sheer volume.

One place I wish I had lunch specials, but doesn’t is Jeon Ju, the dolsot bibimbap specialist on Olympic just west of Vermont.  But thankfully So Kong Dong Kyo Ja, sister restaurant to So Kong Dong Soondubu and located in the same strip mall, stepped in to save the day.

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PROFILE: L.A. Lunch’er “Jason”

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 Jason, a writer who loves Chicago sandwiches.

Name: Jason

Age: 29

Occupation: Writer of things

Where in L.A. do you Work?: Bon Appetit Magazine, Sunset Magazine, FoodRepublic.com. I do all my work from the comforts of my MiniHouse in Culver City.

Favorite Kind of Food: Italian/Southern (including Cajun/Creole)/Steakhouse

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Indian

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch: Mezza (9901 Washington Blvd) for their gyros and fattoush salad. Sushi lunch special at K-Zo (9240 Culver Blvd).

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Second Curious Palate Location Gets a Menu Makeover

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On the surface Curious Palate (on Venice Blvd in Mar Vista) isn’t a typical Midtown Lunch’ing spot. Everything is a dollar or two more than it should be, and if my NY self caught my L.A. self eating quinoa a good kick to the balls would be in order. But some of their sandwiches are pretty awesome, and kind of worth the splurge if you’re in the area- like their miso short rib wrap, and the Thai chicken satay sandwich. And if you like nuts and dried fruit in your chicken salad, their chicken salad is pretty awesome as well.

So when I saw that they were opening a second Curious Palate inside the new “Market” at Santa Monica Place, and it was going to have an expanded menu from the Venice location, I was intrigued. I’m a fan of the SaMo place food court, but even I crave a “quality” (read: more expensive) lunch every once in awhile.

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Lunch Links (The “Sorry I Was M.I.A. This Week” Edition)

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Bibim Naeng Myun from O Jang Dong

  • DTLA Skip the nose tacos at Roast to Go [Deep End Dining]
  • DTLA The tongue is the best thing at Chimu [LAT]
  • HWOOD A guide to Thai sweets at Bhan Khanom [Serious Eats]
  • KTOWN The cold noodles at O Jang Dong Naeng Myun are great [Mattatouille]
  • KTOWN We are in the middle of a soondae renaissance! [LAW]
  • MID CITY Tinga is really not that expensive! [Eating L.A.]
  • WEST LA Ramen Jinya is coming to Sawtelle [Eater]
  • MOBILE Saturday is Roaming Hunger’s Gourmet Food Truck Race! [Eventbrite]

Lunch Links (The “Syrian Pizza” Edition)


Saheefa from Kebab Grill. Photo courtesy of the LA Times.

  • CULVER CITY Bawarchi makes paneer tikka masala [Gourmet Pigs]
  • CULVER CITY Kebab Grill specializes in Syrian flatbread [LAT]
  • DTLA Bottega Louie is looking to upgrade their sandwiches [Grub Street]
  • DTLA Chichen Itza’s cochinita pibil is awesome [The Minty]
  • DTLA One Year In: A Look at Starry Kitchen [Eater]
  • KTOWN Han Bat makes a good sulongtang [Squid Ink]
  • VENICE A look at Gjelina’s new take out window [Squid Ink]
  • MOBILE Roadstoves owner says “Be Cool!” [Squid Ink]

Waffle Chix’s Sandwich is a Ton of Food For Under $10

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I don’t know what it is about fried chicken and waffle that gets me so excited- oh, who am I kidding.  Of course I know what it is.  It’s the excuse to pour maple syrup over a piece of fried chicken (and enjoy it with a waffle!)  Now, I know what you’re thinking.  ”But Zach, you are a fat bastard.  Isn’t that excuse enough to pour maple syrup over your fried chicken, waffle or no waffle.”  Yes.  I suppose it is.  But doing it in a sanctioned environment somehow makes me feel better about myself.

So when I heard that Waffle Chix, a new fried chicken and waffle place, had opened in Westwood I figured I’d take one for team and go check it out.  You know… for you guys.

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