Archive for February 2013

You Can Get Lunch at Park’s BBQ For $7


No matter how you measure it, Koreatown is without a doubt the cheapest lunch neighborhood in Los Angeles.  Nowhere can you get as much good, hot food, for so little money as you do in the ever expanding corridor that starts between Western and Vermont. $5 will get you a pretty great bowl of noodles in black bean sauce, $6 will get you a decent bowl of soup or bibimbap and one of the best assortments of banchan in K’town. Hell, that same $6 can even get you a good Korean style chirashi sushi bowl. And, of course, there are the all you can eat BBQ places- where for as little as $9 during lunchtime you can feast on all the meat you can eat.

At this point not being able to get an under $10 soup or stew at a Koreatown restaurant is the exception not the rule- an exception that borders on extinction.  Now, you could be thinking “What about the expensive and famous restaurants?  Like Park’s BBQ! A meal at that place, lunch or dinner, can cost almost $50.  There’s no way they’re going to let you get out of there for lunch for under $10.”  And to that I say, “Guess again.”

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DTLA Gets 3 New Noodle Spots, One More on the Way

Daikokuya just celebrated its 11th anniversary last week with $5 ramen, a deal that made those of us who already hate the lines at Downtown’s most popular ramen joint shudder.  I’m as cheap as the next guy, but even on a normal day, the waits at Daikokuya have me questioning how much my time is really worth.  Luckily it’s not the only noodle game in DTLA these days, and more and more places seem to be popping up every day.  Here are 3 of the newest:

Men Oh Tokushima

DSC00038This Tokyo ramen chain opened its first L.A. location back in October in the same strip mall as Aloha Cafe and Sushi-Gen.  Fans of the super porky broth at Daikokuya might not consider it a suitable replacement, but pure ramen fans looking for something new and different will find a lot to like about this place.  Their signature ramen is a combination tonkotsu/shoyu broth, giving the soup an interesting flavor that you’re not likely to find at any other ramenya in L.A.  Toss in some thinly sliced, stir fired pork belly alongside the more typical chashu pork and you’ve got a bowl of ramen worth going a little bit out of your way for.  456 E 2nd St. 213-687-8485

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Lunch Links (The “Sourdough Pizza” Edition)

Wildcraft Pizza. Photo courtesy of Grub Street

  • BEVERLY HILLS Itzik Hagadol is expanding [Toddrickallen]
  • CULVER CITY Wildcraft Sourdough Pizza opens on Monday… [Eater]
  • CULVER CITY … and here’s your first look [Grub Street]
  • DTLA 10 Best Eats in Little Tokyo [Squid Ink]
  • DTLA Juicy Lucy is disappointing [AHT]
  • DTLA Chego is headed to Chinatown [Eater]
  • LOS FELIZ Ricky’s Fish Tacos closed until further notice!? [Eater]
  • PALMS Simpang Asia is the best Indonesian spot in LA [Squid Ink]
  • WEST LA Ramen Hayatemaru is coming to Olympic [Grub Street]
  • RAMEN Jinya is opening a branch in NYC [Eater]

Bistro Laurent Now Sharing Space w/ AYCE Indian Buffet


I’m not sure if this is a sign of Bistro Laurent’s impending doom, or a brilliant case of two savvy restauranteurs helping each other to survive, but an all you can eat Indian restaurant called Mama’s Indian Kitchen is now sharing the Bistro Laurent space on Sepulveda in Culver City.  I suppose it makes sense. Owned by brunch specialist(?) Laurent Triqueneaux, the bistro never seemed to be open for the first half of the week anyway, so why not turn the space over to an Indian buffet concept on the days they’re closed.  It’s a fool proof scheme! And the best part is, it’s $9.95 all you can eat lunch and dinner (during the half of the week they’re open.)

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Don’t Let the Truck Fool You, Chego is as Good as Ever

When Kogi’s rice bowl place Chego closed a few months back to renovate their kitchen a collective sigh could be heard throughout Palms.  They moved operations to a truck parked in front of the restaurant, but how could that possibly be the same? Korean tacos are one thing, but rice bowls and sandwiches, and salads and a burger?  Figuring that something had to be sacrificed moving from a full kitchen onto a truck I didn’t rush back to eat at Chego, hoping that the renovations wouldn’t take too long.  Turns out, that was a huge mistake.  Not only are they offering practically the entire menu on the truck, from bee hive brussels sprouts to the kung pau rice bowl,  the food itself is as good as ever… possibly even better?

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Big Mista’s BBQ Now Serving Century City on Thurs; DTLA on Friday


If you are an L.A. BBQ fanatic, you’ve likely heard of Big Mista’s.  My first encounter with the well known caterer/farmer’s market vendor was at the 2010 Vendy Awards, where they served up plates of ribs and strips of their addictive pig candy (aka sticky sweet bacon.)  I was disappointed to discover at the time that they didn’t have a permanent location, and did most of their selling at Farmer’s Markets around the city… the only problem was, all of their weekday locations weren’t ideal for Midtown Lunch’ing. In other words, not located between Downtown and Santa Monica. And if I was going to drive 30-45 minutes for BBQ, I might as well hit up Bludso’s in Compton.

So, I was excited to hear (courtesy of Lunch’er “Bigmouth”) that about six months ago they changed up their locations- switching to Century City on Thursdays and Downtown L.A. on Fridays.  That, I could definitely do.

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Lunch Links (The “Best Wings in L.A.” Edition)

The chicken wings from China Lee. Photo courtesy of Squid Ink
  • HWOOD China Lee has one of the top 5 wings in L.A.!? [Squid Ink]
  • HWOOD Beverly Chicken is now open [Grub Street]
  • SGV I don’t make it east for lunch often, but when I do I go big [Amateur Gourmet]
  • LISTS If only this list contained one plate of street meat [Squid Ink]
  • PODCAST L.A.’s own Local Natives is the latest guest on Food is the New Rock [FITNR]