Hi LA CH-ers -- New Englander here, coming out for a convention in late May. I've been to Los Angeles a few times but always get stuck at expensive, somewhat stuffy and "safe" travel guidebook business dinners, and while that food has been amazing at times, I'd love to branch out on my own on this trip, CH-style. But I could really use some help.
Could you recommend some unpretentious spots with great food that aren't too terrible of a cab ride from downtown...staying at the Westin Bonaventure. Priorities are quality food, no uncomfortable "scene," inexpensive or moderate. Anything goes in terms of cuisine, good Mexican would be a particular treat, but Korean, Southwestern, Vietnamese, *real* "California," anything else special to the region would be much appreciated. (We can't get banh mi around here, for example. Or In-n-Out burgers, for that matter.) I'd also splurge on excellent West Coast sushi. Thanks so much, and I'd be happy to reciprocate if you ever drop by the NE board. :)