PROFILE: L.A. Lunch’er “Lien”
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 Lien, a writer who wishes she worked Downtown (but is still looking for a good Westside Mexican rec.)
Where in L.A. do you Work?: I contribute a fair amount of food content to The Huffington Post Los Angeles, Forbes Travel Guide, plus, the occasional 1,500-word piece for something like Marie Claire Australia. If I’m on deadline, I usually will not leave my Venice apartment – unless it’s to get lunch.
Favorite Kind of Food: Cheeseburgers. The more civilized side of me would answer “French” (steak, frites, rillettes) and “Japanese” (ramen, sushi, poki).
Least Favorite Kind of Food: Onions (raw). Big arugula (I love you, Huckleberry, but I don’t want that stuff all over my egg sandwich).
Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch: I like to bike over to the taco truck (La Isla Bonita) on Rose Avenue, between Third and Fourth Streets, for the $2 ceviche tostada. I ration the two slices of avocado very carefully. The carnitas taco is also lovely to eat. I like to get over to Santouka Ramen in the Mitsuwa Marketplace (3760 S Centinela Ave) before the long line forms (so, like, 11:30am) for a bowl of shio, add an egg. Right now, I’m eating my way through the entire sandwich menu at Fundamental LA (1303 Westwood Blvd); the chicken torta steals my heart. I might also get a glass of Cava or rosé with my meal, and frankly, you should, too.
The “goto” lunch place you and your co-workers eat at too often? I eat at Uncle Darrow’s (2560 Lincoln Boulevard) a lot. The oysters, fried in cornmeal batter, are kind of insane. And cheap!. My friend Jason, who works at the Grammys, would come over and we’d eat soft-shell crab po’ boys and watch episodes of “Treme.”
Place you discovered thanks to Midtown Lunch? Thanks to Midtown Lunch, I discovered that A-Frame is now serving a burger.
The farthest place you’ll drive for lunch on a normal day? I will drive very, very far for a good lunch. Like Langer’s-far. Which I did the other day. (I needed to know whether it was better than the pastrami sandwich I’d just eaten at Katz in New York. Both damn good.)
Dream job location (anywhere in the world), purely for lunch purposes, and why? Last summer, I served on a jury with Judge Ito for five weeks (a double-murder!), and eating lunch in Downtown was a major perk. We were allowed an hour and a half for lunch. I would meet friends at Lazy Ox Canteen and Daikokuya; I introduced Mendocino Farms to my fellow jurors, and on Thursdays, we’d all walk over to City Hall together for the farmers’ market. If I were serving jury this summer, I would eat a lot of lamb belly at Chimu and banh mi at The Spice Table.
Anything you’d like to ask the Midtown Lunch readers? Enlighten me, por favor – where the hell else can I eat good Mexican food on the Westside?
Well… I don’ t know if it’s “Mexican” food, but the carne asada fries at Pepe’s are pretty awesome (and their tacos aren’t terrible either). There’s also Monte Alban (11927 Santa Monica Boulevard), and Juquila (11619 Santa Monica Blvd) is next on my list. Anybody else have a suggestion for Lien, put it in the comments. And, as always, if you want to be next week’s Profiled: L.A. Lunch’er (or know somebody you’d want to nominate), email me- email@example.com.