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Ramen and dumplings from Afuri in Arts District.
Ramen and dumplings from Afuri in LA’s Arts District.
Wonho Frank Lee

10 Stellar Lunch Deals to Check Out During DineLA, Spring 2022

Affordable daytime meals during LA’s twice-a-year restaurant week

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Ramen and dumplings from Afuri in LA’s Arts District.
| Wonho Frank Lee

With pandemic restrictions almost completely lifted at this point, the dining scene in Los Angeles seems to be nearly back in full swing, at least from a demand perspective. Lingering issues like rent, wages, and food costs remain, though there’s reason to feel good around things like DineLA restaurant week, which offers the opportunity for diners to get a little more access to places that might otherwise feel out of reach. From an amazing two-course pasta lunch for $25 to a more decadent steak feast in Century City, here are the places to check out during DineLA for lunch, which started April 1 and runs through April 15.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; the latest data about the delta variant indicates that it may pose a low-to-moderate risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial transmission. The latest CDC guidance is here; find a COVID-19 vaccination site here.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.
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Gasolina

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Woodland Hills’ Spanish restaurant does a three-course lunch for $35, including a tomato gazpacho, mojo rojo chicken, nicoise salad, plus chocolate mousse or flan for dessert. Available for dine-in or takeout.

Plates from Gasolina Cafe’s new dinner menu
Dishes from Gasolina Cafe.
Gasolina Cafe

Venice’s casual Italian resaturant has a very approachable $25 lunch special that includes the restaurant’s terrific Japanese eggplant or neapolitan meatball appetizer, plus a wide array of entrees like spicy rigatoni, margherita pizza, or chicken caesar salad.

A quarter angle of a restaurant with non-pandemic-distanced tables, and a glass area in the back for pasta making.
Ospi Venice.
Wonho Frank Lee

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse

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True, $65 isn’t a modest amount for a lunch, but for what Del Frisco’s is offering in Century City, it’s actually really good. There’s a choice of salad, like Caesar or wedge, or a lobster bisque. Entrees are roasted chicken, filet mignon medallions, or salmon. The move here, however, is to get a prime ribeye upgrade for $25, which does bring the meal to $90. But remember the steak alone is usually $65 on the regular menu. There’s a choice of dessert too, like buttercake.

Steak from Del Frisco’s Double Eagle steakhouse on a plate.
Steak from Del Frisco’s Double Eagle steakhouse
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle

Enduring Mexican-influenced restaurant Sausal in El Segundo has an incredible $15 lunch deal with an agua fresca, soda, or iced tea, plus a taco lunch that starts with guac, chips, and salsa, a choice of taco, choice of soup (like pozole), and salad.

Sausal, El Segundo’s Hottest New Grillhouse Opening Tonight
Sausal, El Segundo.
Wonho Frank Lee

Uovo | Studio City

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The lunch situation at Uovo during DineLA is dead simple: Two pastas of Ragu with tagliatelle and ravioli di rocotta in a pomodoro sauce, for $25. A great deal for fresh pasta made by hand in Italy.

Ragú at Uovo.
Ragú at Uovo.
Wonho Frank Lee

Wolfgang Puck’s destination-worthy Merois upstairs at the Pendry hotel in West Hollywood has its own DineLA lunch deal, but the ground floor Ospero is more of an everyday occasion. A choice of starters includes roasted cauliflower, charred eggplant tip, or burrata stracciatella. From there, diners can pick between rigatoni with spicy turkey bolognese, smoked salmon pizza, or grilled prime skirt steak, all for $45.

Ospero’s dining area with tables and green chairs.
Dining room at Ospero in West Hollywood.
Wonho Frank Lee

Badmaash Fairfax

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A mere $15 lunch at this Fairfax District Indian restaurant means a choice of bowls like Goan pork curry, channa masala, or chicken tikka poutine, plus an ice cream sandwich or coconut rice pudding, for one of DineLA’s best overall lunch deals.

Chicken tikka poutine from Badmaash Fairfax
Chicken tikka poutine from Badmaash Fairfax.
Wonho Frank Lee

Cafe Fig

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This easygoing hotel restaurant on the ground floor of the Hotel Figueroa is decidedly underrated, a place for Downtowners to take in a three-course lunch for $45, with a choice of Caesar salad, tuna tartare tostadas, or cauliflower bites to start. Mains include roasted salmon, grilled chicken gyro, or a mean cheeseburger on a brioche bun. Cheesecake or chocolate bourbon pecan pie offers a sweet finish.

Caesar salad from Cafe Fig inside the Hotel Figueroa in a speckled plate.
Caesar salad from Cafe Fig inside the Hotel Figueroa.
Matthew Kang

Tokyo transplant Afuri Ramen is one of the top noodle shops in town, and there’s a handy $25 lunch special with a choice of yuzu shio, tantan mazeman, or hazelnut tantanmen (that’s fully plant-based), plus karaage or gyoza and a soda. Upgrade to a cocktail for just $10 more.

Yuzu ratan ramen from Afuri in Los Angeles in a blue and white bowl over birch table.
Spicy ramen from Afuri in LA’s Arts District.
Wonho Frank Lee

For $35, Pasadena diners can get a three-course lunch that includes a tahini green goddess-dressed salad, crispy porchetta or eggplant cutlet sandwich, and a Meyer lemon tart or soft-serve ice cream. Start with a choice of grapefruit or rhubarb spritzer. The rest of the menu, like cheese and charcuterie boards, is available too.

A round wooden board of meat and cheese with a collection of jams and spreads as well.
Charcuterie and cheese from Agnes.
Wonho Frank Lee

Gasolina

Plates from Gasolina Cafe’s new dinner menu
Dishes from Gasolina Cafe.
Gasolina Cafe

Woodland Hills’ Spanish restaurant does a three-course lunch for $35, including a tomato gazpacho, mojo rojo chicken, nicoise salad, plus chocolate mousse or flan for dessert. Available for dine-in or takeout.

Plates from Gasolina Cafe’s new dinner menu
Dishes from Gasolina Cafe.
Gasolina Cafe

Ospi

A quarter angle of a restaurant with non-pandemic-distanced tables, and a glass area in the back for pasta making.
Ospi Venice.
Wonho Frank Lee

Venice’s casual Italian resaturant has a very approachable $25 lunch special that includes the restaurant’s terrific Japanese eggplant or neapolitan meatball appetizer, plus a wide array of entrees like spicy rigatoni, margherita pizza, or chicken caesar salad.

A quarter angle of a restaurant with non-pandemic-distanced tables, and a glass area in the back for pasta making.
Ospi Venice.
Wonho Frank Lee

Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse

Steak from Del Frisco’s Double Eagle steakhouse on a plate.
Steak from Del Frisco’s Double Eagle steakhouse
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle

True, $65 isn’t a modest amount for a lunch, but for what Del Frisco’s is offering in Century City, it’s actually really good. There’s a choice of salad, like Caesar or wedge, or a lobster bisque. Entrees are roasted chicken, filet mignon medallions, or salmon. The move here, however, is to get a prime ribeye upgrade for $25, which does bring the meal to $90. But remember the steak alone is usually $65 on the regular menu. There’s a choice of dessert too, like buttercake.

Steak from Del Frisco’s Double Eagle steakhouse on a plate.
Steak from Del Frisco’s Double Eagle steakhouse
Del Frisco’s Double Eagle

Sausal

Sausal, El Segundo’s Hottest New Grillhouse Opening Tonight
Sausal, El Segundo.
Wonho Frank Lee

Enduring Mexican-influenced restaurant Sausal in El Segundo has an incredible $15 lunch deal with an agua fresca, soda, or iced tea, plus a taco lunch that starts with guac, chips, and salsa, a choice of taco, choice of soup (like pozole), and salad.

Sausal, El Segundo’s Hottest New Grillhouse Opening Tonight
Sausal, El Segundo.
Wonho Frank Lee

Uovo | Studio City

Ragú at Uovo.
Ragú at Uovo.
Wonho Frank Lee

The lunch situation at Uovo during DineLA is dead simple: Two pastas of Ragu with tagliatelle and ravioli di rocotta in a pomodoro sauce, for $25. A great deal for fresh pasta made by hand in Italy.

Ragú at Uovo.
Ragú at Uovo.
Wonho Frank Lee

Ospero

Ospero’s dining area with tables and green chairs.
Dining room at Ospero in West Hollywood.
Wonho Frank Lee

Wolfgang Puck’s destination-worthy Merois upstairs at the Pendry hotel in West Hollywood has its own DineLA lunch deal, but the ground floor Ospero is more of an everyday occasion. A choice of starters includes roasted cauliflower, charred eggplant tip, or burrata stracciatella. From there, diners can pick between rigatoni with spicy turkey bolognese, smoked salmon pizza, or grilled prime skirt steak, all for $45.

Ospero’s dining area with tables and green chairs.
Dining room at Ospero in West Hollywood.
Wonho Frank Lee

Badmaash Fairfax

Chicken tikka poutine from Badmaash Fairfax
Chicken tikka poutine from Badmaash Fairfax.
Wonho Frank Lee

A mere $15 lunch at this Fairfax District Indian restaurant means a choice of bowls like Goan pork curry, channa masala, or chicken tikka poutine, plus an ice cream sandwich or coconut rice pudding, for one of DineLA’s best overall lunch deals.

Chicken tikka poutine from Badmaash Fairfax
Chicken tikka poutine from Badmaash Fairfax.
Wonho Frank Lee

Cafe Fig

Caesar salad from Cafe Fig inside the Hotel Figueroa in a speckled plate.
Caesar salad from Cafe Fig inside the Hotel Figueroa.
Matthew Kang

This easygoing hotel restaurant on the ground floor of the Hotel Figueroa is decidedly underrated, a place for Downtowners to take in a three-course lunch for $45, with a choice of Caesar salad, tuna tartare tostadas, or cauliflower bites to start. Mains include roasted salmon, grilled chicken gyro, or a mean cheeseburger on a brioche bun. Cheesecake or chocolate bourbon pecan pie offers a sweet finish.

Caesar salad from Cafe Fig inside the Hotel Figueroa in a speckled plate.
Caesar salad from Cafe Fig inside the Hotel Figueroa.
Matthew Kang

Afuri

Yuzu ratan ramen from Afuri in Los Angeles in a blue and white bowl over birch table.
Spicy ramen from Afuri in LA’s Arts District.
Wonho Frank Lee

Tokyo transplant Afuri Ramen is one of the top noodle shops in town, and there’s a handy $25 lunch special with a choice of yuzu shio, tantan mazeman, or hazelnut tantanmen (that’s fully plant-based), plus karaage or gyoza and a soda. Upgrade to a cocktail for just $10 more.

Yuzu ratan ramen from Afuri in Los Angeles in a blue and white bowl over birch table.
Spicy ramen from Afuri in LA’s Arts District.
Wonho Frank Lee

Agnes

A round wooden board of meat and cheese with a collection of jams and spreads as well.
Charcuterie and cheese from Agnes.
Wonho Frank Lee

For $35, Pasadena diners can get a three-course lunch that includes a tahini green goddess-dressed salad, crispy porchetta or eggplant cutlet sandwich, and a Meyer lemon tart or soft-serve ice cream. Start with a choice of grapefruit or rhubarb spritzer. The rest of the menu, like cheese and charcuterie boards, is available too.

A round wooden board of meat and cheese with a collection of jams and spreads as well.
Charcuterie and cheese from Agnes.
Wonho Frank Lee

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