Archive for 'Mid-City/Miracle Mile'

Short Order Finally Launches Lunch Specials


If you were one of those people (read: cheap bastards like me) who found the menu at Short Order, the Nancy Silverton backed burger concept in The Original Farmer’s Market, to be way too expensive for a casual lunch- a reprieve has finally arrived.  Short Order has announced the launch of lunch specials.  Now $14 will get you a grass fed cheeseburger with a side order of house fries or their signature spuds, plus a soda.  For $3 more you can get a beer instead, $7 more will get you a cocktail (the special is also offered during happy hour.)   It still doesn’t exactly feel cheap, but at that price it’s a lot easier to swallow than it was when the same lunch would cost you $18+.   And, I’m down with any deal that forces me to order those spuds.

Short Order, 6333 W 3rd St. 323-761-7970

Kaboom Brings Jamaican Heat (and Low Prices) to Mid City


Since I moved here from NYC two years ago I’ve been on the hunt for a replacement for my beloved Jamaican Dutchy, the Midtown cart that introduced me to the wonders of jerk chicken, curry goat, and most importantly stew peas.  The Kassava Truck was good while it lasted (it’s gone now), but I still can’t bring myself to go to their restaurant- mostly because it’s too expensive for ML purposes, but also because a little part of me is sure that great Jamaican food is not going to be found in the shadow of the Beverly Center.  Nope- for that your best bet is to head to Mid City where Carribbean restaurants dot Washington and Pico in a way that makes you wonder when the “Little Kingston” sign is going up.

Natraliart is the go to favorite in the neighborhood, but I was a bit underwhelmed on my one visit.  And it’s a bit too expensive.  So when Lunch’er Garrett pointed out this quick little mention of Kaboom on the blog Food GPS I was intrigued.  When I saw their prices, I was downright excited.

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Pioneer Chicken Looks to Reveal Their K-Town Roots


I didn’t grow up eating fried chicken in California, so the nostalgia factor of the Pioneer Chicken on Olympic and San Vicente is a little lost on me.  I don’t have any fond memories of eating the grease bomb that is Pioneer as a child, nor did I ever go through the shock of discovering that my local Pioneer had been replaced by a Popeyes, or feel any sadness when the original Echo Park location closed a few years ago.  And even though the location on Olympic is one of only 3 locations left (and the only within Midtown Lunch’ing boundaries), there are some who claim that it doesn’t taste the same as the original locations.  It’s not a surprise considering that the actual chain itself hasn’t really existed since the 90s, and the remaining franchises are all owned and operated independently.

But none of that really mattered when Lunch’er Garrett recommended Pioneer as one of his favorite places to eat lunch in Mid City.   I had driven by that kitschy chuck wagon sign so many times, trying to think of a good excuse to stuff my face with fried chicken that couldn’t possible be as good as Honey’s Kettle, or Roscoe’s, or even, ironically, Popeye’s. (I freakin love Popeye’s.) Garrett’s rec was just the excuse I was looking for, and now that I’ve been I can think of 5 amazing reasons I’ll be back to Pioneer.  (And one of them involves Korean fermented soy bean soup.)

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Soupless Ramen is the Thing to Get at the New Mid City Jinya


When Jinya opened its first outpost in Studio City back in the summer of 2010 it was a bit of a ramen revelation.  Not only was it a great bowl of soup (praised excitedly by both JGold and Rameniac) but it was also in the Valley- a particularly noodle deprived part of the Greater Los Angeles area. To say people were excited would be a bit of an understatement.  Robata Jinya came a few months later to Mid City, and even though the ramen menu was a bit more limited it filled a hole between the ramen hubs of Downtown and West L.A. But the ramen explosion of 2011 seemed to leave Jinya in the dust a bit, as the Yamadayas and Shin Sen Gumis (not to mention the sole branch of Tsujita) relegated Jinya to “good for the hood” status, but nothing to drive out of your way for.

This year Jinya looks to get back into the swing of things, with new branches coming to Sawtelle in West L.A. and the Miracle Mile section of Wilshire Blvd.  The Mid-Wilshire location opened up a few weeks ago, and is serving a quality bowl of ramen.  But it just might be their soup-less ramen dishes that makes the new Jinya a destination lunch spot in L.A.’s quickly overcrowding ramen scene.

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Son of a Gun Answers My Lunchtime Prayers


On April 27th, 2010 Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, the chefs from Animal, served one of my favorite lunches of the year from the Cart For a Cause Truck: a fried chicken sandwich, modeled after the delicious specimen from Bakesale Betty’s in Oakland.  Starting the next day,  I began a campaign (occasionally in public but mostly just me praying privately to the food gods) to make that sandwich available for lunch somewhere in L.A.  Anywhere.  I didn’t care.  In Feburary, Son of a Gun opened and the chicken sandwich made it onto the menu.  But like Animal, they were only open for dinner. So my campaign praying begging to food baby Jeebus continued. Well, I’m happy to report that on Monday my campaign officially came to an end.   Son of a Gun is now open for lunch, and the chicken sandwich ($11) is on the menu along with two new sandwiches that are just as good (if not better.)

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Kabab Mahaleh is a Lunch Best Enjoyed by 4


Remember the days when you had to drive all the way to the valley for fresh baked Persian sangak? Now there’s not only Naan Hut in West L.A. (which also serves sangak pizza!?) but Kabab Mahaleh as well, a casual Kosher spot on Pico discovered by Squid Ink’s Elina Shatkin back in September. When I first visited a few months ago, the tables were mostly empty and the menu consisted of a few kabab options, printed out on a piece of paper, along with a rice dish and a salad option on display on the counter. Tasty, no doubt, but still a work in progress.


Fast forward to this week, and you’ll find a packed house during lunch, ordering off a printed menu hanging above the register. In other words, the word is out. This place is awesome.

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Genki Grill is An Ideal Miracle Mile Lunch


If there was an award for most improved L.A. lunch scene in the past few years, it has got to be Miracle Mile.  The area of Wilshire Blvd. between La Brea and La Cienega has been completely transformed since I worked at 5700 Wilshire in 2005.   Back then it was Baja Fresh or Baja Fresh… unless of course you liked Marie Callender’s (I do not.)  Now there’s The Counter, a couple of decent looking sushi places, Five Guys is on its way, and of course the food trucks- which still line up en masse across the street from the LACMA.  But my new favorite place in the area has got to be Genki Grill, a 6 month old Asian rice bowl place on Wilshire between San Vicente and Crescent Heights.

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