The 7 Healthiest L.A. Lunches I Can Bring Myself To Eat
This time of year it’s natural, even for professional fatsos like myself, to be feeling a bit gross. So it’s become a custom to post a list of the healthiest Midtown Lunches I can bring myself to eat as a public serve to our readers looking to start off the year a bit healthier. Of course my idea of healthy differs a bit from the average Angeleno, but in my defense the title of the post isn’t “healthy” lunches. It’s healthiEST lunches, which on this website could be medically questionable. In other words, if avoiding carbs is your preferred method of getting healthy, you may want to avert your eyes. If, on the other hand, you consider carbs to be healthy by virtue of their not being fried, read on! This list is for you…
1. Bun from NongLA. Vietnamese food is one of those completely unique cuisines where my preferred dish also happens to be one of the healthier things you can order. Boiled noodles, grilled meat or shrimp, veggies, and nuac cham. That’s one small step removed from a salad in my book. The version at NongLA is not as good as what you can get driving to Westminster or the SGV, but it’s the best in West L.A. for sure. Sadly it’s next to impossible to order this dish without getting the fried spring roll. If you don’t tell anybody, I won’t. 2055 Sawtelle Blvd, West LA. 310-268-1881
2. The $11 Chirashi Bowl from Murakami. Simple. Fresh. Delicious. And, the most sensible lunch I ate in all of 2012. Raw fish is way better for you than meat (I can only assume), and what’s a little white rice amongst friends. Will most fatsos leave this lunch feeling hungry? Probably. But $11 for sushi this good is worth the sacrifice. And it’ll give you an excuse to eat more at dinner. Wait- scratch that last part. 1714 N Wilcox Ave., Hollywood. 323-467-8181
3. Kimbap from Gaju Naeng Myun – Speaking of sushi, if you prefer cooked stuff to the raw stuff, and prefer rolls to bowls, Korean kimbap is a great healthy lunch- provided you stick to veggies and avoid the ones with hot dog in them. The best part about non-Japanese sushi? You don’t have to worry about falling off the wagon, and ordering the rolls stuffed with shrimp tempura or mayo filled spicy tuna. 3839 Wilshire Blvd, Koreatown.
4. Salad pizza from Grey Block Pizza. The idea of ruining a perfectly good slice of pizza by topping it with salad, completely disgusts me. But the idea of improving a perfectly horrible salad, by putting a delicious slice of pizza below it is completely genius! So maybe calling a piece of Grey Block Pizza “delicious” is a strech, but what I’m trying to say is if I’m going to force myself to eat a salad for lunch as some lame attempt at new year healthy eating, this is going to be the one. 1811 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica or 4410 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City.
5. Grilled Mackerel at Wondo – Look at me Mom! I’m eating at a Korean restaurant that doesn’t involve stuffing your face with as much grilled pork belly and brisket as you can for under $10. Never mind how salty and oily mackerel is, it’s good oil, right?! (Omega something or other.) Also, Wondo gives you a giant box of free fruit at the end of your meal. What’s healthier than that? 357 S Western, Koreatown. 213-738-7927
6. Shrimp Paste Rice at Moo Moo Thai Cafe – Considering my favorite Thai dishes usually contain cripsy fried pork, pig’s blood, and deep fried vegetables masquerading as salad, there’s not much that qualifies as healthy Thai food- even in my sick and twisted world. But I’d like to think that shrimp paste rice, my newest Thai food obsession, qualifies. So what if the rice isn’t actually brown rice (it’s colored brown by the shrimp paste). And so what if it’s probably fried and not steamed… it comes deconstructed, with shredded egg, pear, and carrots on the side, leaving the mixing to you. That’s got to be a bit healthier than a full blown fried rice, right? Some people say the best version of this dish being served right now is at Darabar Secret Thai in Thai Town, but these days I’m kind of partial to the one at Moo Moo Thai in Culver City. Of course part of the reason for that is I can walk or ride my bike to that place… not that I do. (They deliver.) 11127 Venice Blvd., Culver City. 310-287-9999
7. Yook Hwe Bibimbap at Oo Kook – Ok, so admittedly steak, and hamburgers, and all you can eat Korean BBQ is bad for you. But what about raw beef? That’s healthy, right? I say it is, especially when paired with a whole plate of pickled Korean veggies. And, as an added benefit of eating the $12 lunch special version at Oo Kook, you can feel good about avoiding the $20 ayce BBQ that so many of the other fatties around you are indulging in. I’ll probably be one of them. If you haven’t figured it out, I’m clearly no good at this healthy eating stuff… 3385 W 8th St. Koreatown. 213-385-5665