What is your favorite lunch bargain in downtown LA? I've worked here several years now, and I'm always on the hunt. By bargain, I don't mean just the cheapest thing you can find. I mean, value for your money in terms of quantity and quality. Here are my top three:
1. Marugame Monzo. Here, with the order of any udon dish, you get a reduced price rice bowl on the side. Yesterday I had the oroshi soy sauce udon (which is spectacular) with a kariage don rice bowl (rice with assorted vegetable tempura, shrimp, and scallops). Together, this very filling and outstanding meal was $9.95 + tax and tip. Other rice bowls include negitoro bowl ($4 supplement to any udon), thin sliced pork belly bowl ($3 supplement) and a few others.
2. Tacos Tumbras a Tomas. What I usually do here is just order a single taco for my entire meal, which is $3. They serve it with a ridiculous amount of meat and extra tortillas, enabling the creation of multiple tortillas. I've always found the meat here to be more flavorful than the meat at its rivals in the market, but opinions vary. Another good option is the $4 gordita.
3. Kazunori. I admit to being smitten with this new place. The quality of the hand rolls is just so high given the relatively modest pricing. Is $17.50 a lot for lunch? Sure. It's not a daily lunch routine. But I think it would be very hard to find sushi of this quality at this price. And frankly I've been full each time after 5 handrolls. Also, for those of us that need to get back to work quickly, I enjoy the no-nonsense approach.