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There’s a $1 Food ‘Festival’ Taking Place in Downtown LA Until March 22

It’s more like a promotion through a mobile app

Poke bowl from Sweetfin
Alex Krohn
Mona Holmes is a reporter for Eater Los Angeles and a regular contributor to KCRW radio. She has covered restaurants, dining, and food culture since 2016. In 2022, the James Beard Foundation nominated her for a Jonathan Gold Local Voice Award.

It’s nearly impossible to find dishes for $1. If any low cost items are featured, it’s usually by a fast food chain with a sad dollar menu. And though it’s labeling itself as a food festival, the $1 Food Festival is simply a promotion where Angelenos can order $1 dishes from Downtown LA restaurants through an app called Ritual. The promo started yesterday and runs until March 22.

While the bulk of participating restaurants leans towards the corporate chain side, many are still a pretty solid selection, and especially for $1. The list includes Pitchoun, Border Grill, Cognoscenti Coffee, Golden Road Grand Central Market, HATCH Yakitori + Bar, and Knead & Co. Pasta Bar + Market.

But what’s available for one dollar? Two Guns Espresso is offering a lunch combo, Sweetfin Poke will make yuzu salmon, and Indian eatery Saffron will prepare a chicken tikka masala bowl.

The promotion lasts for eleven days and only within Downtown Los Angeles. Ritual’s promotion has been making the same run through other US cities, including New York, San Francisco, and Boston.