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Downtown Restaurant Reviews

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Philippe the Original
1001 N Alameda St.
at Ord & N Main St.

$$$$$

3

10

Besides the fact that it's been used to simply describe LA's Philippe's, it also reminds me of being crazy. What makes this interesting though is I would say that you'd be crazy to.. >

Daikokuya
327 E 1st St.
b/w Judge John Aiso St. & S Central Ave.

$$$$$

3.3

9

A few months ago, I drove to L.A., paid for parking in one of those Little Tokyo parking labyrinths, and waited for over an hour to get a seat at Daikokuya, the stalwart of L.A. ra.. >

Izayoi
132 S Central Avenue

$$$$$

2.8

9

Ok, now that we have pinned down the very nature of what izakaya -- Japanese pubs serving beer, sake, and small bites -- are all about in this post, we can talk about Izayoi in Lit.. >

Starbucks
138 S Central Avenue

$$$$$

3.9

7

It's time to pull off and drive-thru a Starbucks for a road-trip breakfast. Is this blog shooting fish in a barrel?.. >

The Standard Downtown Restaurant & Lounge
550 S Flower St.
b/w W 6th St. & W 5th St.

$$$$$

3.5

6

I just passed 100 posts which to me is the one of the greatest things I've ever accomplished. You would think performing in front of 40,000 people was but this was much harder. Wi.. >

Pete's Cafe & Bar
400 S Main St.
at W 4th St.

$$$$$

5

Met up with my friends for brunch at Pete's Cafe and Bar which I had dinner before. When our dishes came, our first reaction is: huge portion! A big bowl of Mac & Cheese (avermont .. >

Fiore Natural Italian Yogurt
134 Japanese Village Plaza Mall

$$$$$

3

5

After a sushi dinner at Hamakawa Sushi on Central Ave., I decided to give Fiore Natural Italian Yogurt another chance. The first time I went to Fiore I thought their yogurt was too.. >

Clifton's Cafeteria
648 S Broadway
b/w W 6th & W 7th St.

$$$$$

2

4

A lot has changed in LA's downtown since Clifton's opened near the corner of Broadway and 7th St seventy years ago. The same stretch of pre-WWII movie houses are still standing, b.. >

Curry House
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St.
at E 1st St.

$$$$$

2

4

Sawtelle is a popular destination and was my hang out place when I was at UCLA. I used to go eat at Curry House a lot (still do, somewhat) so I thought I should finally make a post.. >

Empress Pavilion
988 N Hill St., #201
at Bernard St.

$$$$$

2

4

Having spent the morning in Vernon (furniture shopping at the IdentityCraft sample sale), we were hungry -- and dim sum beckoned. After being less than thrilled with our most recen.. >

Suehiro Cafe
337 E 1st St.
at Judge John Aiso St.

$$$$$

1

4

When I first moved to LA from Pasadena and I lived in K-town with a good friend of mine by the name of Takeshi Nishimoto, a brilliant guitarist who taught me how to just love makin.. >

Izakaya Haru Ulala
368 E 2nd Street

$$$$$

4

The San Francisco Bay Area is often an incubator of trends, so I'm surprised with the large Asian population the Japanese izakaya has largely passed us by. These pubs are known to.. >

Ciudad
445 S Figueroa St.
b/w W 4th & W 5th St.

$$$$$

2.2

3

Like I said earlier, I just don't see the point of going out for Mexican Food, I mean, that's what I was raised on (and still am)but...when I go out, I want to try something differ.. >

Ocean Seafood
747 N Broadway
b/w Ord & Alpine St.

$$$$$

3

We took the Gold Line down to Chinatown to check out the Lunar New Year parade and festival.. but Maria's and Evan's stomachs were growling... plus Evan wasn't a big fan of the par.. >

P E Cole's Buffet
118 E 6th St.
at S Main St.

$$$$$

3

As an Angelenophile, I'm embarrassed that I hadn't hit Cole's until now. And I'm glad I did. The place exudes old time character; the sandwiches are excellent (although I may still.. >

Chop Suey Cafe & Lounge
347 E 1st St.
at Los Angeles St.

$$$$$

2

2

Chop Suey Cafe opened about a month ago with hopes of rekindling the charm that made it a community institution in the latter 20th century... >

Cielito Lindo
23 Olvera St.
at E Cesar E Chavez Ave.

$$$$$

2

It really is a shame you can't have everything in life. Where you'll have World Class, Grammy-Winning Music (Mariachi Sol De Mexico) reconstructing Mariachi harmonies and unison, y.. >

La Golondrina
17 Olvera St.
at E Cesar E Chavez Ave.

$$$$$

2

My folks have been in town this week and on Friday we kicked off a downtown tour with lunch at La Golondrina, housed in the oldest brick building in Los Angeles. It's centered on O.. >

Patina
141 S Grand Ave.
at W 1st St.

$$$$$

3.3

2

A strange thing happened to me. I was invited to a dessert tasting at Patina to sample renowned Pastry Chef Ian Gresik’s spring preview dessert menu. It’s strange because I’m not a.. >

Roy's
800 S Figueroa St.
at W 8th St.

$$$$$

2

I thought that a 5pm dinner before a 7pm show at the Ahmanson was a good idea. But when LA traffic hits and a three course meal is in the picture... I miscalculated how much time w.. >

Senor Fish
422 E 1st St.
at S Central Ave.

$$$$$

2

We've been to the downtown location once or twice, and the tacos are excellent. But this is now that second time that we've tried to eat at the Eagle Rock location (not too far fro.. >

Sushi Gen
422 E 2nd St.
at S Central Ave.

$$$$$

2

I've had a couple bad experiences with downtown sushi. The first was Hamakawa. Easily the worst sushi I have ever had in terms of quality and freshness. Literally inedible. Second .. >

Tiara Cafe
127 E 9th St.
at Werdin Pl

$$$$$

2

After spending the afternoon haggling with carpet salesmen downtown (funny how a $300 rug can drop to $100 by the time you get one foot out the door), we worked up an appetite and .. >

Via Cafe
451 Gin Ling Way,
at N Hill St.

$$$$$

2

Stopping to eat during a busy day can be a chore sometimes, 'cuz there's too much to do during the day and not enough hours to do it in. Taking a break from the busy organization o.. >

Edison Bar & Lounge
108 W 2nd St

$$$$$

3.5

2

This past Wednesday, I checked out the Edison’s new weekly event, Incandescence Wednesdays. Vaudeville circus/dance troupe Lucent Dossier was performing from the rafters, the stage.. >

Mikawaya
118 Japanese Village Plaza Mall

$$$$$

2

That's the sound a jury summons makes when your spouse drops it off in front of you at the dinner table. Jury duty. Again. While most people dread and complain about jury duty, I s.. >

Joymart
137 Japanese Vlg Plz Mll

$$$$$

2

Drop by Joymart for dinner on Friday night after OT at work till Eight-after. Raw Tuna Salad with Ponzu sauce $8 and Bibimbap $8. And guess who we saw drinking beer alone there? Ma.. >

T.O.T.
345 E 2nd St

$$$$$

2

Google Local Info Over the past holidays, I had the dubious pleasure of serving jury duty. You'll be happy to know that I sent a probable gang-banger home to his momma for Christma.. >

Hama Sushi
347 E 2nd St

$$$$$

1

2

Buddy convinced me to branch out a bit from my favorite sushi joint, Saito's, so we headed down to Little Tokyo to a place he had been once before. The inside of the tiny restauran.. >

Komasa Sushi
351 E 2nd St

$$$$$

2

My Sazerac and the cigar list at Seven Grand Whiskey Bar When I'm not cooking or saving the world, I read books. The downtown LA public library hosts quite the line-up of authors.. >

Sushi Komasa
351 E 2nd St

$$$$$

2

It's finally Spring Break and I am loving every moment away from my five and six year olds! I don't have anything extravagent going on this week. All I want to do is eat and sleep... >

Grill Lyon
424 E 2nd St

$$$$$

2

Back to the very good Japanese French restaurant in Little Tokyo within the same top entry page ~ :D.. >

Takumi
333 East 2nd St.

$$$$$

2

I've been craving Asian food ever since returning from Santa Fe (I hope to post my food stuff from our trip soon), and boy, did this hit the spot. I wanted sushi, but sometimes Su.. >

Angelique Cafe
840 S Spring St.
b/w W 8th & E 9th St.

$$$$$

1

The cold weather and tired feet brought us to this cafe for refreshment (= cake + hot drink ^^;;). Both of the Framboise and Black forest mousse cakes taste really good! Not too sw.. >

Blossom
426 S Main St.
at Winston St.

$$$$$

1

I've read about Blossom, the Vietnamese restaurant in the Historic Core, but it's still a little shocking to find a place like this while walking from City Hall to 6th Street along.. >

Cafe Metropol
923 E 3rd St., #101
b/w S Garey St. & S Santa Fe Ave.

$$$$$

1

across from the Architecture design school SCI-Arc, there lies Cafe Metropol in the Artist District at Downtown LA. It's probably hard to notice it if you don't attend/work at SCI-.. >

California Pizza Kitchen
735 S Figueroa St.
at W 7th St.

$$$$$

1

A deceptively Asian exterior belies the fact that I am far better with words than I am with numbers. I was the Spelling Bee Champion in elementary school. A+ 100% scrawled across m.. >

Cuba Central
114 S Central Ave.
at 1st St.

$$$$$

1

Now you know I'm a huge fan of the melting pot. My friends come in all colors, shapes, and sizes. Hell, I'll even be bringing China and Puerto Rico this much closer in internationa.. >

Farmer Boy's
726 S Alameda St.
b/w Bay & E 7th St.

$$$$$

1

If there's one thing that the British and Scots have contributed to the culinary world, it's fried foods. This delicious and dubious honor probably started with cooking potatoes in.. >

Fuddruckers
255 S Grand Ave., #102
at 2nd Pl

$$$$$

1

Fuddruckers used to be all over when I was in high school. But they slowly closed down. I remember going to Fuddruckers and really liking their burgers... >

Full House Seafood Restaurant
963 N Hill St.
b/w Gin Ling Way & Bamboo Ln

$$$$$

1

Family dinner at an old neighborhood Cantonese seafood restaurant for over 10 years nearby my parent's house, while they were pretty good before, their menu has changed and quality.. >

Hop Li Seafood Restaurant
526 Alpine St.
b/w N Hill St. & Yale St.

$$$$$

1

"Why isn't there any good Chinese food on the westside??" I've heard this phrase uttered in disgust over a dozen times. And yes, I agree, the best Chinese food is located in Monter.. >

Liberty Grill
1037 S Flower St.
b/w W 11th St. & W Olympic Blvd.

$$$$$

1

A couple friends came into town yesterday for business. After an exhausting flight, and an even more exhausting day of meetings and running around, they were pretty wiped out by t.. >

Mandarin Chateau Restaurant
970 N Broadway #114
b/w Bamboo Ln & Bernard St.

$$$$$

1

Finding edible Chinese food in Chinatown is harder than it sounds. I usually go to Full House -- it's open late, it's lively and it's pretty good if not spectacular. A lot of peop.. >

McCormick & Schmick's
633 W 5th St., 4th Floor
at S Grand Ave.

$$$$$

1

Through a clandestine entryway in a hidden corner of an office tower parking garage, we enter McCormick and Schmick's Pilner Room. Inside it is dark, space is cramped, and the patr.. >

Mien Nghia
304 Ord St.
at New High St.

$$$$$

1

For a while, I lost hope in finding the right Chiu Chow noodle shop in Los Angeles. My dad first introduced to me what is still now, my most favorite noodle shop - Trieu Chau Rest.. >

Oiwake
122 Japanese Village Plz Mall
b/w E 1st & E 2nd St.

$$$$$

1

Oh my! It's been a long while since I've gone to Oiwake's. (About five years?) Located in the Japanese Village Plaza on the second floor and accessible from the parking lot, this J.. >

Organic To Go
350 S Grand Ave., Suite D5
b/w W 3rd & W 4th St.

$$$$$

1

This review is a little different from my others in that I was invited to try Organic To Go by their PR firm and they paid for my meal. Despite this, you can still count on Foodie .. >

Qdoba
655 S Hope St.
at Wilshire Blvd.

$$$$$

1

The Qdoba on 53rd St. & 3rd Ave. opened for business yesterday.  Chipotle, you were forewarned.  Let the McBurrito wars begin! There are two other Qdobas in New York City (one on 3.. >

Sunset Grill
521 W 7th St.
at S Olive St.

$$$$$

1

Sunset Grill is yet another mediocre stop on the Promenade, serving rather blah traditional American food, including sandwiches, burgers, and salads. The Chinese chicken salad I ha.. >

Sushi Go 55
333 S Alameda St. 3rd FL, Ste. 317
b/w E 3rd & E 4th St.

$$$$$

1

If the world were a comic strip, you'd be able to see the little question mark that floated over my head as I decided on, traveled to, and finally entered Sushi Go 55 in Little Tok.. >

The Original Pantry Cafe
877 S Figueroa St.
b/w W 8th Pl & James M Wood Blvd.

$$$$$

3

1

Owned by former LA Mayor, DICK Riordan owns The Original Pantry. I guess DICK, owning The Pantry had NOTHING to do with Staples Center being built two blocks south? If you're stu.. >

Traxx
800 N Alameda St.
at N Los Angeles St.

$$$$$

1

Yes, it's the Union Station restaurant; but no, it doesn't feel grossly overpriced nor does it taste unremarkably bland like any other airport, train depot eatery that everyone has.. >

Usui
343 E 1st St.
b/w Judge Jhon Aiso Ave. & N Alameda St.

$$$$$

1

On a busy night at Little Tokyo lorded by young student and trendy crowd, we found refuged at this nice hole-in-the-wall Japanese place. Their bento sets all looked surprisingly de.. >

Water Grill
544 S Grand Ave.
b/w W 5th & W 6th St.

$$$$$

1

After reading tangbro1's review of the 5x5 Collaborative dinner at Melisse, I decided I had to try at least one of the upcoming ones, so I made a reservation for the Water Grill di.. >

Oomasa Restaurant
100 Japanese Village Plz Mall

$$$$$

1

Was it all that feminist art that was making me so hungry for sushi at 10:45 on a Saturday night? What luck to stumble upon Oomasa just off of 1st Street in the outdoor Japanese Vi.. >

Sohoju
106 Japanese Village Plaza Mall

$$$$$

1

Quite a pleasant surprise. We had no idea Sohoju even existed; but it quickly won us over. Food and service were strong... >

Weiland Brewery Restaurant
110 N Central Ave

$$$$$

1

The bad news is that the system at work went down for the rest of the afternoon; the good news is that we were allowed to go home early...woo hoo!!! Being that I usually get home r.. >

J Restaurant & Lounge
1119 S. Olive St

$$$$$

1

Part of the ongoing downtown renaissance, blah blah. What if they gave a renaissance and nobody came?.. >

Mitsuru Café
117 Japanese Vlg Plz Mll

$$$$$

1

1

Growing up in Los Angeles, my family and I would drive down to Little Tokyo pretty regularly as part of our usual routines. I took my first Odori dance lesson there, had my first r.. >

Zenshuji Soto Mission
123 S Hewitt St

$$$$$

1

Of course, what better way to ward off an unlucky review #13 than going to a place of worship? Actually, I found out about this special event almost last minute through Slow Food L.. >

Growers Direct
1601 E Olympic Blvd

$$$$$

1

In a messy tangle of streets, in the Bermuda Triangle where the 55 freeway turns into Newport, stands Growers Direct, a small market which sells fresh and seasonal produce. It's mo.. >

Chiu Heng Restaurant
211 Alpine St., Suite 6

$$$$$

2

1

Over the years, Chinatown has become less of a Chinese-populated areas. The Chinese have most east towards the San Gabriel Valley, the land of good food. The majority of incoming b.. >

Ham Ji Park
3407 W. 6th St., Suite 101-C

$$$$$

3

1

The nondescript, utilitarian/brutalist Modern building at 3407 West Sixth Street has turned out to be an oddly significant personal site. At the corner of Catalina we made many, ma.. >

Kokekokko
360 E 2nd St

$$$$$

1

Lots of recommendations to this popular Yakitori place from people around me recently, including the foodies sat next to Jon and I at Bistro K. Their glowing reviews prompt me to g.. >

Haru Ulala
368 E 2nd Street

$$$$$

1

My friend Kent spent a lot of time in Japan a few years ago. When I launched LA Food Crazy, he immediately e-mailed to ask if I had come across anyplace that serves okonomiyaki. I'.. >

626 Reserve
626 S Spring Street, Suite B

$$$$$

3.1

1

It's been a while since I put up a post about one of my LA adventures, and I've been meaning to write about my visit to 626 Reserve for quite some time now... >

Thien Huong
727 N Broadway

$$$$$

1

Randomly venture inside one of the many many vietnamese noodle places in Chinatown. This one is completely full, though after I sat down I realized all customers are Latino familie.. >

Rodolfo's
8 Olvera St

$$$$$

1

You may recall that some time ago, I posted a near-encyclopedic review of the numerous taquito stands lining the East side of Olvera Street. I concluded that while Cielito Lindo is.. >

The Bishop Coffee & Gourmet
816 S Grand Ave

$$$$$

2.3

1

If anyone had asked me to live in Downtown L.A. fifteen years ago and I would have asked them to pound sand. In fact, if they had asked me only five years ago, I would have done th.. >

Texas Barbecue King
867 W Cesar E Chavez Ave

$$$$$

1

Bobby Flay did a profile of Texas Barbecue King on the Food Network. Barbecue King is on the corner of Sunset Blvd and Figueroa in what looks like an industrial building, with the .. >

The Edison
Second St and Main St
Basement of the Higgins Building

$$$$$

4

1

A night at the newly opened Edison in downtown LA was a sure cure for last week's jury duty depression. As I sunk into a leather armchair, inside a repurposed furnace bathed in a h.. >

Spring Street BBQ
640 N Spring St

$$$$$

1

1

Photos Only.. >

Bar 107
107 4th Street

$$$$$

1

Downtown LA has been the mecca of gentrification for the past few years. New bars, lofts and restaurants have been opening every week with many more to come... >

Qué Ricos
1000 N Soto St

$$$$$

3

1

If it’s friday night and you find yourself at Qué Ricos on Vermont and Melrose there is a chance you will run into the cholo, the caballero, the punk, the transient, the transvesti.. >

The Jonathan Club
545 S Figueroa St

$$$$$

1

The other day my friend was generous enough to take me along in as a guest of hers at The Jonathan Club on PCH after work for drinks and snacks. The food was just plain o' bar food.. >

410 Boyd
410 Boyd St.
at San Pedro St.

$$$$$

A Thousand Cranes
120 S Los Angeles St.
at E 1st St.

$$$$$

ABC Seafood
205 Ord St.
at N Spring St.

$$$$$

Afshan
106 W 9th St.
at S Main St.

$$$$$

2.5

Anson's Eatery
126 W 9th St.
at S Main St.

$$$$$

Ardas Cafe
418 W 6th St.
b/w S Olive & S Hill St.

$$$$$

4.8

Ay Caramba
714 Traction Ave.
at E 3rd St.

$$$$$

Back Porch Restaurant
333 S Figueroa St.
b/w W 3rd & W 4th St.

$$$$$

Bagetelle
112 W 9th St.
at S Main St.

$$$$$

BCD Tofu House
1201 S Los Angeles St.
at E 12th St.

$$$$$

Bento Ya
317 S Broadway, Grand Central Market,
at W 3rd St.

$$$$$

Big Mama's & Papa's Pizzeria
657 S Flower St.
at Wilshire Blvd.

$$$$$

Bocata Yes
836 S Grand Ave.
b/w W 8th & W 9th St.

$$$$$

Bonaventure Brewing Co
404 S Figueroa St., #418A
at W 4th St.

$$$$$

Cafe Aly
310 E Pico Blvd.
b/w Snates & Maple

$$$$$

Cafe Current
111 S Hope St.
at W 1st St.

$$$$$

Cafe Delight
444 S Flower St.
b/w W 4th & W 5th St.

$$$$$

Cafe Italiano
113 E 9th St.
at Werdin PI

$$$$$

Cafe Pinot
700 W 5th St.
b/w S Flower St. & S Grand Ave.

$$$$$

3

Cafe Rossino
543 S Olive St.
b/w W 5th St. & W 6th St.

$$$$$

Cafe Zen
110 E 9th St., #AL 004
b/w S Main St. & Werdin Pl

$$$$$

California Crisp
401 S Hope St.
at W 4th St.

$$$$$

California Crisp
725 S Figueroa St., #121 Citicorp Plaza
at W 8th St.

$$$$$

California Pizza Kitchen
330 S Hope St.
btwn W 3rd & W 4th St.

$$$$$