Ever since Profiled Lunch’er Sara recommended La Cevicheria back in August of last year it’s been on my list of places to hit up. It took me a year to finally do so because for some reason I had gotten it into my head that despite its Mid City location (on Pico just East of Crenshaw) lunch at this Guatemalan ceviche specialist was going to end up costing more than $10, my self imposed lunchtime limit (what can I say, I’m a cheap bastard.) And sure enough the specialty of the house, which features blood clams highly recommended by The Guru himself, is a whopping $15. But it is actually far easier than I expected to get a lunch for under $10, without sacrificing the best dishes La Cevicheria has to offer.
Archive for 'Seafood'
Finding decent raw seafood for under $10 is one of my favorite pastimes, whether it be a great chirashi bowl, hwedupbap in Koreatown, or ceviche from a food truck. The line between good and bad seafood is not something you want to be crossing on a regular basis, so finding that perfect balance between quality and price is pretty exhilarating. So when I read about Poke Poke, a newish Hawaiian tuna bowl stand on Venice Beach, I was pretty excited. Cubes of raw tuna, tossed in shoyu and sesame oil, and served over rice for under $10 at one of the (arguably) worst lunch strips in all of Los Angeles? Yes please.
Over the weekend LA Taco’s 3rd Annual Taco Madness came to a close, and in the closest vote of all time Mexicali Taco & Co (in Westlake) was crowned the champ of Los Angeles tacos. Only one problem for this lunch hunter… they’re only open at night! In fact, sometimes it seems like most of the great taco trucks are only open late at night (Leo, I’m looking at you.) So when I saw that the Taco Madness Runner Up, Mariscos Jalisco was *only* open for lunch I got pretty excited. Add to that the fact that they’re pretty close to Downtown, and dispatched (the amazing) Ricky’s Fish Tacos (1400 Virgil, Hollywood) in the semi finals, and I couldn’t resist heading over Monday to check it out.
We here at Midtown Lunch have always believed that $10 is the most you should have to spend to get a delicious lunch near where you work. Of course that often puts things like good sushi a bit out of reach, and lobster rolls? Well, let’s just say I don’t eat a lot of lobster rolls. As amazing as they are, there is something about spending $15-29 for a sandwich whose only effect on your appetite is to make you want another one as soon as you finish the first. So, when the Lobsta Truck launched a few months ago, serving up $12 lobster rolls, I had mixed emotions.
Emotion #1. Screw that. I don’t care if they’re serving foie gras topped with caviar pearls individually wrapped in gold leaf. Lunch from a food truck should never cost more than $10. Cheapness is half the reason people love street food.
Emotion #2. $12 is actually not bad for a lobster roll. I do love lobster rolls. If I pay the extra $2 from change that’s scattered around my house, then that count as a $10 Midtown Lunch right?
I suppose I could try it just this once…
Lord knows I am not about giving up any kind of food in the name of religion (after all I am jewish with a lower case “j”) but I won’t hesitate to use a religious holiday as an excuse to stuff my fat face… especially when fried seafood is involved. So when my buddy Sam told me about Louisiana Pico Seafood, a take out dive on Pico just East of Crenshaw where you can score fried fish, shrimp, hush puppies, salad, fries and a soda all for $5.50, it didn’t take a sign from Jeebus to get me in my car heading towards Mid City.
I think the car wash lunch is one of my favorite things about Los Angeles. I’m not sure why, because admittedly I’ve never actually had lunch at a car wash. It just excites me that they exist. I live in Culver City, so Outdoor Grill at the Handy J Car Wash on Washington is on my list (even though I’ve heard it’s terrible.) And somebody told me there is car wash sushi (how could I not!) But my first car wash lunch happened last week when I stumbled upon Crunchy Sea, a newish car wash shack specializing in $1 fish tacos in of all places, Koreatown.
How could it be bad?
I am quite possibly the worst Jew of all time. Yesterday I ate a Cuban sandwich in Pasadena… which is wrong on so many different levels. (Spoiler: It has nothing to do with it being in Pasadena.)
1. It’s Passover. Sandwiches tend to be frowned upon (sorry, but pb&j placed between two pieces of matzoh is not a sandwich in my book. I don’t care what your mom says.)
2. A Cuban Sandwich has two kinds of pork. Not one. But two.
3. It also has cheese (what was that one about milk and meat?)
But to add insult to injury I am actually considering using another religion’s rules as an excuse to eat fried fish for lunch. (Yay lent!) The only question is where? I could go the fancy fish and chips route, but I prefer things a little dirty. Hello Fisherman’s Outlet and Catch 21! Now I just need to decide which one. Fisherman’s Outlet always has the longest lines (good thing or a bad thing depending on your perspective), but Catch 21 is cheaper (a good thing or a bad thing depending on your perspective.) Or maybe I just need to eat at both.
You know who would know what to do in this situation. God. Sadly, I don’t think he’s talking to me right now (for so many different reasons.) So I have to rely on you guys. Thoughts?
Fisherman’s Outlet, 529 South Central Ave., 213-627-7231
Catch 21, 441 S. Central Ave., 213-485-1614