Have eaten lately at several decent places in that very interesting area between downtown LA and Interstate 5, here's my 2 cents...
Barbara's at the Brewery near Main and 1-5 - have seen some bad raps of this place on this site, but I thought the food was pretty good, had grilled salmon, quiche and nachos and it was all well done. Can't beat the former Pabst brewery/artist colony location for unique atmosphere. Although my highest praise is for the Craftsman Orange Grove Ale on tap, the best beer I've had in quite a while, Craftsman is brewed in Pasadena and only available in a few bars around town. Drink it if you find it. Caution night owls: only open until 9.
Cafe Metropol on Traction near R-23 - industrial/trendy atmosphere, had a very good hamburger + salad, apparently doesn't have a liquor license so it offers soju cocktails that are
guaranteed to send you buzzing.
Weiland Brewery at 1st and Alameda- Quite good buffalo burger w/blue cheese and cayenne pepper sauce, the pale ale needs more flavor but the wheat beer was good