This question isn't to find the "spot". really, i just want to ask if there is a small place in your neighborhood that you enjoy going to. not the most popular, maybe not even the best food--but its got the neighborhood vibe and you keep going back?
for me it is this little corner restaurant on Figueroa and Ave 37 in Highland Park called La Abeja. it's not the snazziest diner, the hours are modest, just breakfast and lunch, but the waiter is attentive and generous with coffee, the food is made to order, the food is always solid---their carne en mole rojo is just fantastic, they run out of their specialty friday soups by lunchtime, the prices are always really so refreshing, and best of all, just a walk across the street from my home.
do you have a neighborhood joint you love that isn't overrun by crowds and zagat postings?