LA might be one of the food capitals of the country, but it can be daunting to try and dine around the massive metropolis, especially for college students and recent transplants. LA takes pride in its wide variety of cuisines from all around the world. It’s a food lover’s mecca, but dining out can be tough on the wallet. Thankfully, there are plenty of fantastic restaurants delivering quality cuisine at an affordable price. Here now, 10 starter restaurants for college students, recent transplants, and anyone looking to get well acquainted with the food scene at an entry-level price.Read More
10 Affordable Entry-Level Restaurants to Try in Los Angeles
Approachable, easy-going, and reasonably-priced places to eat around town
1. La Casita Mexicana
Everyone needs a quality Mexican restaurant when they first enter Los Angeles. Bell’s award-winning La Casita Mexicana consistently turns out some of the best Mexican plates in the city. With mole as good as a grandmother’s and truly legit dishes like “chiles en nogada,”one can really can taste the love that went into the cooking.
2. Night + Market Song
Crowds gather to dine at Kris Yenbamroong’s colorful Night + Market Song in Silver Lake. His spicy and flavorful Thai dishes go above and beyond the traditional take, manifesting the lively flavors of the culture. Try the pork toro, a perfectly grilled piece of fatty pig neck, or pretty much anything on the menu.
3. Marugame Monzo
Little Tokyo’s Marugame Monzo has some of the best and most affordable udon in all of Los Angeles. Watch the chefs hand pull and cut noodles in the front of the kitchen. Make a trip to try the udon gratin or sea urchin udon and see what the hype is all about.
4. Luv2eat Thai Bistro
Only great things can be said about this hole-in-the-wall Thai shop that has been dishing out some serious good eats since it first opened. The signature crab curry is one of the many dishes loaded up with fresh ingredients that will make one feel like they’re dining in Phuket.
Located in a tiny strip mall two blocks from Hollywood Forever Cemetary, Baroo consistently dishes out modern Korean plates with a fine-dining level of execution. The flavors at Baroo are prepared using ingredients that are fermented in the chef’s own kitchen. Everything from the kimchi fried rice to the oxtail ragu will surely impress without breaking the bank.
6. Mh Zh
Los Angeles, CA 90026
Mh Zh (pronounced mah-zeh) is one of the best places to up one’s food game in LA. With rustic outdoor seating and greasy paper bag menus, this Mediterranean mecca dishes out beautiful and delicious fare that’s a must try when in Silver Lake.
7. Sun Nong Dan
Open 24 hours a day, Sun Nong Dan is the perfect gateway to seriously good Korean food. This small-scale restaurant serves spicy beef stews. Filled to the brim with tender short ribs and a spicy sauce, there’s no wonder why David Chang ordered this dish twice on his last visit to LA. The endless banchan side dishes and huge portions make it easy to share this meal with a group of friends.
Los Angeles, CA 90039
Tucked away in Silver Lake, Salazar might be the perfect place to impress a promising food lover. Not only is the food unique and affordable, the atmosphere is basically an enchanting oasis in a neighborhood called Frogtown. It’s like stepping out of LA and onto some hideaway in the Sonoran desert.
9. Little Beast Restaurant
Little Beast in Eagle Rock is a good place to expand beyond the basics. It’s traditional American fare with a twist, drawing a busy crowd almost every night. The romantic restaurant is actually a small converted craftsman, making it a solid weeknight date spot. Make sure to order the decadent Little Beast burger or the duck liver mousse.
10. Hinano Cafe
Just steps away from the Venice shore, Hinano Cafe dishes out ridiculous old-school bar food classics for a considerably cheap price (21 and over only, FYI). For example, the burgers cost just $7 and are covered with a dose of mustard. There’s bar games and billiards for anyone looking to hang over a few beers.