Because every Angeleno loves to eat, even if he has to valet, we bring you Table Stakes: a series that answers man’s eternally recurring question (“Uh, what’s new?”), and recurs once every lunar cycle or so. Bon appétit.
Hot Hot Food
You’re here for: Lunch or a healthy, booze-free dinner; ‘80s-themed ambience.
You’re dining on: Rice dishes served with your choice of meat or tofu. Yeah, we went tofu, fight us. We also had their vegan chocolate milkshake, and it was Daddy-Warbucks-rich.
You’re here for: A protein-rich lunch in a clean, well-lit space.
You’re dining on: The bone broth soups at Master Ha are very clean thanks to the absence of MSG or cream. Add the lean brisket sullungtang with some soy-jalapeño dipping sauce — it comes with the standard kimchi and kkakdugi for the perfect lunch portion.
Sari Sari Store
You’re here for: Casual dining at a new stand in the Grand Central Market from Republique chef Walter Manzke and his wife, Margarita.
You’re dining on: A savory bowl of arroz caldo porridge with chicken, scallions and a fried egg.
You’re here for: A greasy, fast casual lunch or dinner.
You’re dining on: The famed Ojai concern packed it up and moved to Santa Monica, bringing with it a Wagyu chuck patty double-stacked and encased in cheddar cheese, and then dressed in onion jam, lettuce, pickles and ketchup. It’s delicious.
You’re here for: The most delicious healthy lunch you’ll have outside of your kitchen
You’re dining on: The gazpacho with peaches is a must get on a hot day. If you’re there for dinner, the chicken with apricots will melt in your mouth. For lunch, the nicoise salad is made with a smoked tuna, giving it a light feel that won’t drag you down.
You’re here for: A wine-fueled casual business lunch
You’re dining on: Raw oysters, biscuits and banana bread with the same simple, spicy flavors you’d find in the Low Country around Charleston, SC. Also, a great wine list.