These days, there are at least half a dozen Tumblrs dedicated to revamping the pathetic state of affairs that is the office lunch. So in the name of our collective sanity, let’s try and make it out of the building at least a couple times a week, shall we? In an effort to make things a little easier, LAC rounded up our favorite spots to get a real meal for a steal—and to revive this often overlooked food hour du jour. The criteria? Convenient, siesta-proof, and affordable (under $20), so you can lunch like a boss every week.
SILVERLAKE | Gingergrass
LUNCH BUZZ | Coconut Curry Cod
The names says it all (destination + dish). No fluff. Let’s be honest: pho fans and curry critics are hard to impress. But this spicy nuoc cham paired with rice noodles and a lunch-friendly line is worth trying, even for the most fastidious foodies. Go ahead and top it off with the Bia Hoi to ring in at a wallet-friendly $19.
SANTA MONICA | Bay Cities
LUNCH BUZZ | The Godmother
Synonymous with sinful, this locale is the epicenter of Italian in America (or, if we’re being geographically accurate, at least of LA’s Westside). Creamy burrata, upscale meats, and can we talk about this fresh bread? Bay Cities is deli done right. If you’re lucky enough to be a regular at this joint, revel in your good fortune. As for the rest of us, it’s worth taking the afternoon off to make the trek. So get in your car and get it done…then roll up your sleeves and savor.
K-TOWN | Kogi
LUNCH BUZZ | All things “taco”
As if a street taco in LA wasn’t scrumptious enough, the folks at Kogi had to up the ante with a totally addictive Korean twist. From one-man stand to renowned brick and mortar, Kogi has evolved into a K-Town must. Extend that 2PM by 30 to engage with this hotness under 20.
LOS FELIZ | Yuca’s
LUNCH BUZZ | Carne Asada Burrito
Any LA native will tell you not to mess around when it comes to Mexican food. Thankfully, in a city dotted with taco spots, it’s hard go wrong. But if there’s one spot you can only go right, it’s Yuca’s. Their signature burrito say “food coma” all over the wrapper…but it’s oh so worth it. So plan ahead, skip breakfast, and hit Yuca’s on a Friday. With ingredients and service this good, it’s no wonder that Yuca’s is a city staple.
HOLLYWOOD | Greenleaf
LUNCH BUZZ | Turkey Melt on Pretzel Bread
Finding yourself on Hollywood Blvd. around lunchtime doesn’t mean you’re sentenced to either greasy bar food or an exorbitant bill—nope, not anymore. With the strip’s latest addition, Greenleaf Gourmet Chopshop, you can grab a delicious, healthy lunch for under $20. The restaurant’s stunning design was helmed by Stephen Francis Jones (the brilliant architect behind Spago Beverly Hills and the Wolfgang Puck establishments) and bodes vivid hues, exposed wooden beams, and a gorgeous outdoor patio with an herb garden, working fire place, and generous seating. This is chef and restauranteur Jonathan Rollo’s 5th location, and just like it’s predescors, Greenleaf is the perfect spot to impress a client or to treat yourself to a mid-day breather.