Archive for May 2013

My 5 Favorite Lunches Near Amoeba Records (For After You Get Free Ben & Jerry’s Today)

Today from Noon to 1pm Food is the New Rock will be at Amoeba w/ the L.A. Street Food Fest and the Ben & Jerry’s Truck giving out free froyo and tickets to the L.A. Street Food Fest.  For a lot of people in L.A. we know that free Ben & Jerry’s would constitute lunch, but not for us. Normally lunch would be in Thai Town when we’re in this area, but if you only have an hour you’ll need to stay pretty close.  So here are my 5 favorite lunches to grab near Amoeba for when you’re done scoring your freebie…



This might be the most underrated sushi place in all of L.A.  It’s always tough to find that cheap sushi sweet spot between price and quality but these guys nail it. You’re not going to find the quality or variety of a place like Sushi Gen, but for $11 you’re not going to do better than this1714 N Wilcox Ave. 323-467-8181

Not in the mood for sushi?  Four other options are after the jump…

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The Menu at Grand Central Market’s Sticky Rice is Now Up to 6 Items


If you’ve been to Downtown L.A.’s Grand Central Market at all in the past month or two you’ve likely noticed some big changes happening inside the building at the base of Angels Flight.  You can still get a pupusa from Sarita’s, a carnitas taco from  Las Morelianas, or a bowl of wonton soup from China Cafe.  But some of the lesser known longtime vendors have been cleared out to make way for more gourmet options as the market looks to re-make itself as a tourist destination somewhere between Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market, and San Francisco’s Ferry Building. There’s talk of a heavily curated oyster bar, real deal Texas BBQ (in the old Chimu space), a branch of Valerie Confections, and G&B Coffee.

But the first new space to open and be selling food is Sticky Rice, a Thai “comfort food” lunch counter sporting organic ingredients and some real cooking pedigree.

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Tsujita Annex Replaces Miso Ramen w/ Tsukemen


The reaction to Tsujita’s new “Annex” across Sawtelle has been pretty schizophrenic in the few weeks it’s been open.  For every ramenologist excited to discover that they’re serving an almost exact replica of Tokyo’s super famous Jiro style Ramen, there was somebody complaining on Yelp about how many ways the Annex’s bowl of soup is different from the original Tsujita location across the street. How different?  Well, it’s fattier, the noodles are thicker, it’s loaded with cabbage and bean sprouts (the horror!), they fill the bowl up so much the soup falls over the edge, and, the real crime, it’s not going to make the line at Tsujita any shorter. Did we mention how fatty Jiro style ramen is?  It makes the original Tsujita ramen from across the street seem watery.

And even though Tsujita Annex’s ramen is expertly constructed for those who appreciate this kind of ramen, complainers will be happy to know they’re not filling the bowls up to the rim as much as they were at the beginning. And yesterday they started serving their miso ramen…

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Lunch Links (The “Blue Crab Grilled Cheese!?” Edition)

Photo courtesy of Gourmet Pigs

  • BEVERLY HILLS Signage has gone up for Itzak Hagadol [Grub St.]
  • BEVERLY HILLS Get free chips with every wrap at Momed this week [Grub St.]
  • DTLA Tangerine is now open in the Weller Court [Grub St.]
  • MID CITY Fritzi Dog has added some new options to their menu [EstarLA]
  • SAMO Your first look at Pono Burger [Grub St.]
  • WEST LA The Ramen Jinya on Sawtelle has closed [Eater]
  • WESTWOOD Chipotle’s Shophouse is taking over Waffle Chix [Eater]
  • WESTWOOD The blue crab grilled chese at TLT looks pretty good [Gourmet Pigs]
  • MOBILE Ricky’s Fish Tacos will return on a truck!? [Eater]

Ink Sack’s New Egg Sandwiches Might Be Their Best


I’ve been a huge fan of Michael Voltaggio’s Ink.Sack ever since it opened a year and a half ago. See, MVolt could have opened a typical sandwich annex next to his popular restaurant Ink, charging upwards of $12-15 for sandwiches that people who eat lunch on Melrose would be more than happy to shell out the cash for. But he went the other way, offering a mostly take out menu of smallish sandwiches for $5-8 with great ingredients and interesting flavors that cheap fatsos like me would like. A pork filled, chicharron topped banh mi. House made corned beef and pastrami. A Cuban sandwich. Sadly, the chicken skin and liver mousse sandwich is gone, but there is still the cold fried chicken sandwich and the Spanish godfather.

And this week they added 6 new sandwiches to their menu, four of which contain an ingredient that pretty much improves anything it touches: fried eggs. And the best part is, they’re available All. Day. Long.

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7 Reasons to Hate L.A. Lunching (The Chinese Food & Chego Edition)

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…

 The Beef Roll from 101 Noodle Express in the Fox Hills Mall

1. You’re not allowed to complain about there being no good chinese food on the westside unless you eat at 101 Noodle Express in the Fox Hills Mall Westfield Culver City at least once a month. Your indifference already killed Kyochon. Please don’t let it happen again. Oh- and don’t give me this “It’s not as good as the one in SGV!” bullshit.  This is why we can never have nice things, westside.

2. Speaking of the westside… I know it was you Chego.  You broke my heart.  You broke my heart.

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The New Pa Ord is a Thai Town/Thai Foon Hybrid


At this point it’s common knowledge that Los Angeles is home to the most culturally diverse food landscape in all of the country (possibly the world.)  But to call it a melting pot would be a little misleading, since most of the best versions of each cuisine represented in L.A. can mostly be found in their own specific neighborhood.  Thai food in Thai Town, Korean food in Koreatown, and so on.  Good Chinese food outside of Chinatown and the San Gabriel Valley?  Good luck.  Naturally, there are exceptions.  And as more and more people become interested in following Jonathan Gold to the next foreign treasure it only makes sense that more treasures are creeping outside of their own enclaves.

Boyle Heights’ Guisados opened up a new Echo Park location less than 3 miles away from the original. A second Mariscos Jalisco truck?  Same deal.  And now there’s Pa Ord, the boat noodle specialist from Thai Town who recently bought Thai Foon on La Brea and Sunset.  Close enough to Thai Town to make you consider just going to the original, far enough a way to make it conveniently worth it not to.

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