Archive for October 2011

Your First Look at Tsujita L.A.’s New Lunch Menu


I want to stop eating ramen.  I really do.  But the city won’t let me. First, popular Torrance transplant Yamadaya opened around the corner from my house.  Then Shin Sen Gumi did the same Downtown.  Surely after my Tsukemen round up, I would take a slurp break, but no.  After months of teasing, Tsujita L.A., a Tokyo mini-chain popular for its tonkotsu ramen and citrus spritzed tsukemen, decided to finally start serving lunch last week.  How could I not?

Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.

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Chimu is Now Closed

IMG_0770Super sad news via Gourmet Pigs this morning… Chimu, the excellent Peruvian lunch window just outside the Grand Central Market, had its last service yesterday. I was very excited to hear about Red Hill, the chef’s new restaurant coming to Echo Park next month, but not if it meant he’d be closing Chimu!  Apparently the place didn’t do enough business to survive, so if you find yourself reading this and saying “Nooooo! I never got to try Chimu before it closed!”  then I blame you. Now, Mo Chica on 7th can’t come quick enough…

Lunch Links (The “I Need to Take My Pie Hole to Pie Hole” Edition)

Mac & Cheese Pie from the Pie Hole. Photo courtesy of Guzzle & Nosh.

  • CULVER CITY Cafe Livre might have some decent lunch options [Squid Ink]
  • DTLA Early word on the Pie Hole is that it’s great [Squid Ink]
  • KTOWN 5 Great options in Koreatown [LAT]
  • WEHO The No Tomatoes Truck has gone brick and mortar [Squid Ink]
  • MOBILE A new Japanese curry truck is launching soon [Grub Street]

Obligatory Roscoe’s Lunch: Dissecting the Toughest Lunch Menu in Los Angeles


A few days ago the President visited Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles on Pico, and as excited I was to see him getting his fried chicken and waffle on at one of L.A.’s food institutions, I was pretty disappointed in his order.  The Country Boy: 3 wings w/ your choice of a waffle, potato salad or fries (though one only assumes that waffle is chosen 100% of the time.)  I can be disappointed because this was actually my go-to order at Roscoe’s for my first I don’t know how many visits.  The appeal is obvious.  At $8.90 it’s one of the cheaper chicken and waffle combos available, and one cannot downplay the mental importance of getting 3 pieces of chicken instead of 1 or 2 (even though they are the smallest pieces you can get.)  There’s only one problem.  The chicken wings at Roscoe’s are terrible… and this is speaking as somebody who loves fried chicken wings.  If you have been to Roscoe’s and only had their chicken wings, you cannot judge Roscoe’s.  I don’t know if it’s the shorter cooking time, or what, but the wings at Roscoe’s just don’t taste as good as the other 3 pieces of chicken. And it’s not just the actual chicken itself.  It’s the crust too.  The crust on the wings isn’t as salty and peppery and just plain delicious as the other pieces of chicken.

Don’t believe me?  Do the side by side taste test, and you’ll be convinced.  I’ve wasted two meals on chicken wings just to prove my thesis, and I will not make that mistake again.  But if only my obsessive Roscoe’s menu dissection ended there…

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3 New Lunches I’m Very Excited to Try

IMG_1458Ramen fanatics… our wait is finally over.  Tsujita L.A. finally opens for lunch today, and will begin serving ramen and tsukemen- the dishes they are famous for in Japan. Normally you might want to give a place like this time to get settled, but they’ve been open for two months for dinner while clearly holding out on serving their ramen!  Clearly it’s ready for public consumption, and  if the Tanaka pop up at Mitsuwa last week (which was reportedly a testing ground for the ramen chefs at Tsujita) was any indication, it’s going to be amazing from day 1.

But that’s not the only new lunch I’m excited about this week…

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PROFILE: L.A. Lunch’er “Kelly”

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 Kelly, a cubical designer who loves pizza.

Name: Kelly

Age: 31

Occupation: Cubical Designer, Pizza reviewer for Slice and writer for my own blog, The Vegetarian Foodie

Where in L.A. do you Work?: Mostly Culver City, but currently spending lots of lunches in El Segundo

Favorite Kind of Food: Pizza! But I also love Summer Rolls drenched in peanut sauce, and pretty much anything that involves cheese.

Least Favorite Kind of Food: Again, probably obvious: meat. It’s not that I hate meat, I just don’t eat it. I’m also not a fan of mushrooms, but I seem to eat them all the time anyways.

Favorite Place(s) to Eat Lunch: In Culver City I’m often at Versailles on Venice for Moro (rice and beans coked together) and Sweet plantains. I also love the Chinese Chicken salad -but I get it with tofu- at Green Peas (4437 Sepulveda Blvd), plus they have free wifi and couches to “freelance” on. In El Segundo I’ve been loving the Pizza Bread from Little Gourmet (117 Main St) and the Lunch Special at Sushi Avenue (130 E Grand Ave) – $4.99 for a hardy vegetable tempura roll with miso and salad!

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7 Reasons to Hate L.A. (Lunch’ing That Is)

I try to be positive here on Midtown Lunch… and I freakin’ love this city.  The food is amazing, and there’s no better place to be a “Midtown Lunch’er”.    But as much as I love most of the food in L.A. (and will defend it to the death against any outsiders, or natives with an inferiority complex) there are some things about lunching in this town that really annoy me.  Here are 7 of them, LAist style, for your enjoyment…

Sauteed Blood Sausage ($19) from Jang Tou Bossam

1. Why doesn’t anybody serve a version of soondae bookum that serves one and is under $10? I’m fat, but not that fat.


2. Squash blossom tempura stuffed with spicy tuna and drizzled with honey sounds like it would be awesome, right?  It’s not.

3.  It shouldn’t take 6 months to open an all you can eat buffet! Fatsos like me are going to come whether its good or not.  Just throw a bunch of shit into metal steamer trays, set up a couple of tables (or not) and we will come.   Did you see the lunchtime crowd at that newish Chinese bufffet in Hollywood?  It’s not rocket science. I’m hungry. Do it. Doooooo it.

Black wieners, banh mi, and more after the jump…

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