One of the biggest perks of being a blogger is that we've had the distinct pleasure of dining at some of LA's best restaurants. But we understand that for those who don't write about food or have the kind of disposable income that allows for dining out 3-4 times a week, this lifestyle isn't exactly realistic. Even for us, there are plenty of times that we've had a long day and just want to grab a quick bite that doesn't cost the day's pay. Especially during those times when our finances are a bit strained, we're always hunting for the best cheap eats in LA that will provide us a satisfying meal without the weeping wallets. This task is admittedly not that difficult in this city, where you can stumble onto a fantastic taco joint in any neighborhood that costs $8-$12 for a full, satisfying, and delicious meal. Which brings us to our first option for where to get a quick, low-key, inexpensive bite:
1. Pretty Much Any Taco Place
We already put together a pretty handy guide on where to get the best tacos in LA; the options are endless. Of course, Ricky's Fish Tacos in Silverlake was the overall winner for the day. For $3 a pop, you can get one of their delicious fried shrimp or fish tacos, meaning you can fill up on dinner for $6-$9 total. If you're looking for something a bit more West, then look no further than the Tacos El Gallito truck. Yes, that's the one that's perpetually parked at the car wash on the corner of Santa Monica and Westwood. For $1.50 for a taco, you can get a selection of pollo, carne asada, lengua, cabeza, pastor, carnitas, etc that come with limes, cilantro, diced onions, radishes, and different types of salsa.
2. Seoul Sausage
One of our favorite spots along Sawtelle (they also have a location in Little Toyko), Seoul Sausage specializes in Korean BBQ and street food. Offering unique bites like a Kalbi sausage ($8), a spicy pork burger ($7), and kimchi fried rice balls ($3) for affordable prices, Seoul Sausage is definitely an upgrade to your standard burger and hot dog joint.
3. Kaya Street Kitchen
If you're looking for something a bit healthier, than we recommend checking out Kaya Street Kitchen on Fairfax in the Beverly Grove area. For $7-$9, you can get one of their signature bowls, which are surprisingly filling. Our favorite, The California Bowl, comes with chicken, garlic kale, Southeast Asian salsa, avocado, and honey ginger vinaigrette; for the choice of base, we usually get the Coconut Lime rice, which is amazingly fluffy and flavorful.
4. Jojo's Mediterranean Grill
Don't worry, Valley-dwellers...we haven't forgotten about you. Something the Valley does really well (ok, along with strip mall sushi joints) is Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food. A great new spot along Ventura in Tarzana (YES. Tarzana.), Jojo's Grill consistently serves delicious, fresh Mediterranean food that rivals some of the best places in the city. For $15, their meat combo easily feeds two and includes 1 shish kafta, meat shawarma, meat grape leaves and fried kibbeh and is served with soup or salad and rice or fries. If you're willing to shell out a few more bucks, definitely get some pita and hummus; their pita is some of the most fluffy, fresh, and flavorful we've ever had.
Though Kazunori is certainly pricier than the rest of the spots on this list, it's one of the best values for sushi in the city. By the brilliant minds of Sugarfish and Nozawa Bar, Kazunori is made for a quick and dirty meal. The sushi-bar only set-up, disposable everything, and simple menu make for an in-and-out experience that will cost you $18 for a filling 5 hand rolls. If that doesn't sound like much, keep in mind that these hand rolls feature the freshest fish, warm rice, and crisp seaweed. The trust-me style menus provide a few different set menu options, with a few a la carte options as well. If schlepping Downtown for a casual meal isn't exactly feasible, don't fret; Kazunori Westwood is coming soon!