Now that most of us have already abandoned our New Years diet resolutions, it’s time to once again enjoy our meals. But one meal that is one of the hardest to enjoy? The work lunch: a typically rushed affair that is also probably taking place in front of your computer screen with your headphones still on. There’s also the added bonus of restaurant fatigue; you’ve probably eaten at every restaurant near your office a thousand times, and you’re tired of taking the same sad paper bag lunch to work everyday. So why not change up your routine with a few fresh lunch options?
Tsujita on Fairfax
With all this rainy weather drenching the city, I suspect LA’s ramen restaurants have been very busy. For me, as soon as the temps dip below 65, I start to crave a hot bowl of noodles and pork in a salty sauce. And does anyone do that better than local powerhouse Tsujita? The constantly slammed ramen hotspot on Sawtelle has graced the city with another storefront, serving up bowls of their famous ramen on Fairfax and Beverly. Personally, I’m a big fan of their Charsiu Tsukemen, which comes with noodles served separately from the rich chicken, pork, and chicken broth; dipping the noodles and pork belly in the broth is a bit more work, but so worth it for the depth of flavor.
The Waterfront in Venice
As much as I love the Venice neighborhood, I probably hadn’t ventured onto the boardwalk in at least a decade before coming to The Waterfront. Which is really a shame, because the amazing beach views are now only enjoyed by tourists. But thanks to The Waterfront, there is finally a cool spot on the boardwalk that locals actually want to check out! To be fair, The Waterfront has sort of existed for 23 years, and was known as “On The Waterfront Cafe” before it closed last year. That closure prompted new developers to come in and turn the space around, flipping it into a beautiful, sunny, modern oasis with very Venice-y, bohemian vibes. There’s a beer garden, an all-day cafe with coffee, a large back patio, and full service restaurant. They also just introduced a sunset happy hour from 3-6pm, as well as all-day brunch and bottomless mimosas— so pretty much everything Angelenos want from an oceanside restaurant in Venice. I came by for a few bites, including excellent chips and guac and some very satisfying fried egg breakfast tacos.
Inko Nito on W. 3rd St.
Alright, so technically this spot is only open for lunch on the weekends so far, but its still definitely worth a visit on your day off. You may have already heard of Inko Nito because of their slick Downtown location, but did you know they recently opened a new spot in Beverly Grove on W. 3rd? And by recently, I mean August…which is practically 10 years ago in the world of restaurant openings. Anyways, Inko Nito specializes in robatayaki—flame-grilled skewers— but also serves everything from fresh salads to panko fried chicken, baked sweet potatoes, and more. They also have LA-friendly gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options, making it a great spot for meeting up with friends with different diet preferences/restrictions.