Lunch at Osteria La Buca

Just the teensy weensiest bit hungover from last night’s fireworks filled booze fest?

Why on earth companies think its wise to schedule a work day, post a traditionally beer+brat filled, late night fireworks watching, celebration of America’s greatness, is beyond us. Today should be a holiday too, really. But it’s not, so you’re at work, and in pain, and in need of a greasy meal with a little hair of the dog. Oh, and its gotta be cheap cuz you spent all your money on parking to see the fireworks last night.

 

Osteria La Buca Lunch Special

When: Tuesdays – Fridays, 11:30am – 2:30pm

What: $20 Lunch Special (Includes: Pizette, Vino & Tiramisu)

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You might walk in dragging your feet and just barely capable of keeping your head off the table, but you’ll leave with a slight buzz from the vino and a full stomach from the pizza and dessert. And its only $20. And its in an adorable spot near Paramount Pictures, so you can make moves to sell that killer script you’re working on while you recoop. The perfect lunch for a less than perfect day back at work.

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Osteria La Buca / 5210 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles / 323.462.1900 / www.osterialabuca.com/

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Bar Pintxo Lunch Special (+ HH deals!)

Even though the workweek just began yesterday, I’m already feeling the hump day blues.  Warm weather makes everyday at the office a little depressing since we’d rather be frolicking in the sunshine and enjoying some drinks on a patio somewhere.  If you share our sentiments, and work in Santa Monica, take a break from your workday for a leisurely summer lunch at Bar Pintxo.

Bar Pintxo recently began their lunch service and are offering a 3-course lunch deal for just $15/person everyday from noon to 4pm.   When’s the last time you treated yourself to a 3-course lunch?  Answer: Not often enough. 

Start off with your choice of a soup, salad or croquettes.  Then dive into a variety of entrees for your main course, including a burger, fish of the day, sandwich or tortilla espanola. Finish off your meal on a sweet note with your choice of either flan, sweet rice or granita with fruit.

If you can’t make it there for lunch, Bar Pintxo also has a great happy hour daily from 4:00-6:30pm – 6 selected tapas for $6 each, plus $4 sangria and $1.50 half-pints of Stella!

 

Bar Pintxo. 109 Santa Monica Blvd. (310) 458.2012.  www.barpintxo.com

Tacos at Plancha

In our neighborhood we’re constantly plagued by the search for a delicious, yet inexpensive, lunch. There’s some amazing stuff around our MidCity/WeHo hood, but most of it is simply out of our budgets, forcing us to hit up Subway a few days too often. (Its $6 for a sandwich, chips, and soda. SO AFFORDABLE!)

Luckily, just happened upon Plancha Tacos on 3rd and Sweetzer and will now be adding a new spot to the weekday lunch rotation.

Chips + Salsa Verde, Salsa Roja, and Pico De Gallo

Everything on the menu is pretty moderately priced, but I’d say the best deal is the $6.50 2Tacos Special (with rice, beans, and chips.) It’s an incredible amount of food, and the tacos are really really really good. The chicken is incredibly moist and really flavorful. The beef was also really juicy and tasty. Normally the tacos are pretty basic, just meat, onions, and cilantro, but I forked over the extra .45/taco to upgrade them to Plancha style (cojito cheese, salsa roja & guac). Extra delicious this way. (For those carb averse, or looking for something a bit lighter, Plancha also offers its tacos in a lettuce shell.)

 

Plancha Style Chicken & Beef Street Tacos

I also had the opportunity to try a few bites of Mike’s ‘Con Todo’ Chicken Burrito – really really good. Because its light on the cheese/sour cream, its less like a heavy weight to the gut than the burritos he usually orders from Baja Fresh, but still incredibly flavorful and delicious. The burrito was gigantic though, and definitely could have been split by both of us (a steal for 2 people at just $6.99)

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Note: Plancha doesn’t have many tables, but it does have a large long window of bar stools facing the street, making it the perfect spot for a solo lunch and some people watching. Its delicious, the service is great, and its really affordable for this neck of the woods. In fact, I think I need to chuck this dry organic cheese stick I’m eating (blegh) and head there now…

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Plancha – a Taco Joint

8250 W. 3rd Street

323.951.9911

Open: 8am – Midnight, Sun-Thu + 8am – 1am Fri & Sat
Plancha Taco on Urbanspoon

$20 Dinner+Dessert+Drink at Mozza

As far as great deals on superb food+booze in LA are concerned, it really doesn’t get much better than this:

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Yes. Dinner, Dessert, and Booze for just $20 at one of the best pizza spots in town and one of the harder LA spots to get a reservation. Granted the deal is only valid Monday – Thursday, from Noon til 5pm (so not a happy hour spot), but it’s a great late lunch option, or the perfect way to end your night with the most delicious of 4th meals, 11pm – 12am.

We typically spend more than $20 anyway on most happy hours and only get some sliders and glass of wine. Shit, just last weekend I had just 2 pieces of pepperoni pizza, a small unexciting side Caesar and a soda at Mulberry and it put me back $16. I’d much rather spend $4 more and get an entire pie, covered in delicious Fontina, Mozzarella, Sottocenere, and sage (the Bianca, normally $18) with their famous and outstandingly delicious Butterscotch Bundino ($9), and a glass wine. MUCH PREFERRED.

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A very classy, and thrifty, way to get drunk & fat indeed.

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Pizzeria Mozza

614 N. Highland Ave, Los Angeles

323.297.0101

 

$11 Lunches at STREET

*4/6/11: STREET has brought back $11 lunches this month in honor of Tax Day. Take advantage while you can!*

We are huge fans of Susan Feniger’s STREET. They have a great happy hour ($5 drinks + food), the bartenders are really personable and informative, and on occasion we even get to see Susan herself back in the kitchen.

Image from Gourmet magazine

STREET is one of those places you want to (and are encouraged to) try nearly everything on the menu, which can get pricey. So, because our budgets are limited, we typically stick to Happy Hour only.

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But this month we’ll be there for lunch:

For ALL of January, the ENTIRE lunch menu at STREET will be $11 or LESS.

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The lunch menu, which normally runs between $8-$16, includes really delicious (and worldly) items like Malaysian Black Pepper Clams, Lebanese Za’atar Chicken Wraps, Black and Gold Ceviche, and a Viatamese Pulled Pork Sandwich (which we’ve had numerous times from the happy hour menu and typically scarf down in seconds flat.)

Plus, unlike the shitty parking situation found around STREET during the evenings (we typically must resort to the $8 valet), parking on Highland at a meter during the lunch hour is actually do-able!

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We’re thinking this perfect spot for a schmoozing business lunch (and if your job allows it – the cocktails are great too!)

Taco Wednesday?

Yep. Screw alliteration, Don Antonio’s on Pico serves up awesome deals on tacos on WEDNESDAYS.

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Every Wednesday, 5pm – Close, you can get your choice of chicken, asada, carnitas (thanx AB!), potato, or bean tacos for just $1 each.

Sure, parking around this spot might suck. And yes, the lines to get a table will be infinitely long. But shit – tacos are just $1, and their chips and salsa are pretty good too.

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Prefer to avoid the crowds? Hit up Don Antonio’s for lunch! They have daily lunch specials ($5.75/ea) served from 10am – 3pm, and parking is MUCH easier at this time of day.

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Don Antonio’s

11755 West Pico

(310) 312-2090

Cheap (and Delicious) Indian Eats

Seeing as one half of Finer Things LA is Indian, it’s about time that I posted something about Indian food. If you follow us on Twitter, then you may remember a little over a week ago when I decided to check out a fairly new Indian spot near my apartment: Saffron.  I must have sent out like 5 tweets in a row raving about the food, and since I have been thinking about going back ever since, I decided that Saffron was worthy of a post.

There aren’t that many places to get good, quick, and cheap Indian eats in LA without driving down to Cerritos (the hub of all things Indian).   I had heard about Saffron opening up on Beverly Drive a few months ago and had been meaning to check it out ever since.  So, on a gloomy Friday the other week I stopped by after work to pick up some dinner to go before heading out.

Saffron is like a semi-fast food version of an Indian restaurant – think Baja Fresh style:  minimal seating, order at the counter, get a reciept, wait for your food.  As I held my reciept and listened in on the convo of some high schoolers from Beverly (which was pretty interesting, actually), I wondered how good this quick Indian food could actually be.

I watched them make my naan order right in front of me so at least I knew the food was going to be fresh.  Anyways, when I finally got home and dug in, I was in heaven, it was SO good.  Seriously.

And now on to the part that makes Saffron get the Finer Things stamp of approval – how inexpensive it is! I got a chicken tikka masala bowl, which was definitely filling (I couldn’t even finish the whole thing in one sitting..), and it was only $5.95.  All of their bowls are $5.95 and come with your choice of curry served on top of basmati rice.  And if you are feeling a little hungrier they have 2 item combo (served w rice and salad) for just $7.95. Naans are just $0.95 and a samosa will only cost you $1.95.

Basically you can get your fill of Indian food for $10 or less.  Saffron has got you covered on the getting fat part, now if only they had some Kingfisher beers to take care of the drunk part as well 🙂

Saffron. 230 S Beverly Dr. (310) 248.5211. www.saffronindia.com

Saffron on Urbanspoon

WeHo Lunch Special @ Sur!

If you are lucky enough to work in WeHo (instead of stuck in the truck filled area of east LA like myself….tragic), check out this lunch special at Sur to score some good eats on the cheap.  Sur is a great spot on Robertson past all the crazy paparazzi lingering at The Ivy, near Fat Fish and Bossa Nova (and the log cabin, where most all of the readers of this blog will probably end up one day).  And although I think of Sur more as a dinner spot, if I was in the area for lunch hour would definitely want to check this out.

Daily from 11:30-3:00pm, Sur offers an amaaaazing lunch special for just $10.  Yes, $10!!  They have a lunch menu with a variety of choices including: tuna salad sandwich + mixed greens salad, penne + gazpacho, omelet + mixed green salad, and meatloaf sandwich + salad.  I’m not really sure about eating an omelet for lunch with salad but whatever.  AND if you are in the mood for a boozy lunch – I, for one, cannot function at work if I booze during lunch, I just get the urge to booze more or sleep under my desk – but if you have more self control than me, then you can also enjoy a glass of red or white sangria for just $5.  And, trust me, the sangria at Sur is phenomenal.

So head there for lunch this week to check this special out – especially if you have been wanting to try Sur but not drop the $$, this will definitely leave your wallet happier than a dinner at Sur.  Although after trying the lunch you will probably want to come back for dinner anyhow.  Also side notes: deals and coupons do not apply to the lunch special (i.e. no groupons, social buys or any of the like), and the valet will make your lunch pricier so walk there if you can or find a meter down Robertson.

Sur. 606 N Robertson. (310) 289.2824.  www.surrestaurantandbar.com

$20.10 3-Course Lunch at Philippe

Summer 2012: Not gonna say we are surprised or even sad to hear this one: Philippe has left its Melrose location this summer for new digs on Wilshire. Anyone know what’s going to replace it?

I park my car on the street nightly so I get a lot of crap brochures and flyers my car windshield every morning. $5 Psychic readings, $30 Massages (possibly with a happy ending), cheap/shady looking sushi menus, hilariously cartoon-ish kabob menus, etc… In fact, last week I even found a hand written note to call Jesus if I want to sell my car (wonder what our lord and savior wants with my 2002 Infiniti…. I suppose the lord works in mysterious ways…)

These flyers are usually all junk that I quickly drop off in the recycle bin (i.e. trash).

But yesterday I was shocked to find a flyer on nice, thick, card stock advertising a lunch deal at Philippe. Yes, the high end Chinese restaurant by Philippe Chow (aka the ‘name stealer‘ Chak Yam Chau) is leaving flyers on cars. Is this a Chinese restaurant thing? Is it an unwritten rule that all Chinese restaurants advertise via car brochure, no matter how fancy or expensive their establishments are? One can only wonder…

Nevertheless, despite the ever-so-tacky advertising technique, the information on the flyer was enticing, and the paper too nice to simply chuck:

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Philippe $20.10 3-Course Lunch Special

M-Sat, 12pm – 4pm

Classy Windshield Flyer

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I’ve heard so many mixed reviews of this place but even if it’s just 3 out of 5 stars its still a pretty good deal. Plus, Philippe has also recently added some strangely placed tables outside, along the West side of their building, so that diners can enjoy the Summer sunshine and view (i.e. homeless people, empty real estate, & trendy Melrose shoppers) while they lunch.

Might be the first windshield flier I’ve ever appreciated/used – but seems like a worthwhile deal to check out. However, I would still recommend Philippe get some Twitter/FB presence, the flyers just seem so declasse…

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UPDATE: Just got ANOTHER flyer on my car. This one for Philippe’s Happy Hour. Here are the details:

* Daily, Until 8pm (Not sure when it starts though….)

* $5 Drink Specials & $7 Appetizers

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ANNNNNND: Philippe is listed on Restaurant.com w/ 50% off certificates available. Use code CLEARANCE through 8/31/10 and get an additional 80% off (i.e. your $40 cert worth $100 will only cost you $8!!!!!)

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Philippe LA

8284 Melrose Avenue / West Hollywood, CA 90046

(323) 951-1100


Desert Rose Happy Hour

I love Mediterranean food.

Last week I finished a tub of TJs hummus all on my own. I ate it with bread, I ate it with veggies, I smeared it on my chicken breast, I ate it with pizza for 4th meal after the bars. When the hummus was gone I made a batch of tzatziki sauce. I ate that on everything too.

Most the time when I want my Mediterranean fix I’ll drop by Beverly Falafel. Their ‘plates’ are big enough to feed two people and around $10-$12/ea for your choice of meat+rice+hummus+greek salad+soup+pita. Its a great deal but, unfortunately, Beverly Falafel doesn’t serve booze.

Finding booze+schwarma has been my goal for some time now. More accurately, I’ve been looking for a Mediterranean spot with Happy Hour. Damnit, I just want a glass (or two) of cheap vino with my gryo!

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Problem Solved:

DESERT ROSE

Happy Hour Every Day!

1700 N. Hillhurst Ave, Los Feliz Village

323.666.1166

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I know we don’t report much on Hipsterville, in fact most of the time we just mock the area. But now that I’ve found the Desert Rose happy hour you can bet I’ll be heading to Los Feliz soon, donning my best flannel, rocking my grey skinny jeans, wearing some ironic sunglasses, and maybe even pulling out the purple converse all-stars I wore in middle school. Yes, this probably makes me no better than the hipsters I so love to mock, but I LOVE Meditteranean food and I LOVE happy hour ($4 Falafal Sliders?! $3 hummus?! $3 Beers?!)

Plus – stop by Desert Rose for lunch and you can enjoy their $10 express lunch combo, which includes the food + drink (non alcoholic). The menu changes daily so call before to find out each day’s featured lunch item.

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This find just makes me so happy…. Hipsterville here we come!!

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….. Honestly, Zohan and I should be best buds because I pretty much could put hummus on anything.