Cheap Eats are Getting Harder to Find

Today, we talk about a few good places to eat when you have a big appetite to sate on a slim budget.
Talk about staying power! The Original Pantry Café has been cooking at 9th Street and Figueroa for nearly all of its 85 year history. And it is going strong around the clock, 365 days, grilling steaks and chops, and serving mammoth flapjacks with eggs and thick slabs of ham anytime day or night. The waiters are venerable but speedy and efficient. They don‘t even write down the orders, though almost never get it wrong. The American comfort food is good and the prices are right. There’s a long counter in addition to table seating. Now owned by former L.A. Mayor Richard Reardon, the OP is one-of-a-kind and will surely celebrate its Centennial come 2024.
Thai specialty $2.99 ‘small plates’ attract a largely ethnic clientele and other daring palates to Sua Siam on Sherman Way in NoHo. The food is traditional Thai – hot and spicy – so timid tongues should approach with caution (and maybe with bottled water).
When in Eagle Rock, keep an eagle eye open for Rambo’s Taco Truck for good Mexican treats, but be forewarned that the freshly-made habenero salsa is outrageously hot. Rambo’s parks on Eagle Rock Blvd.
Also in Eagle Rock on Eagle Rock Blvd., but of a very different persuasion, is about the best nearby Filipino café extant – Fiesta Sa Barrio. Try the calderetto, a Euro-style beef stew.
Pricier than my other choices, but prominent on the new dining scene, is Little Dom’s, an intimate Los Feliz spin-off of Dominick’s, that is paying off on Hillhurst Ave. Here, tasty dishes include Dom’s Spaghetti and Meatballs, with a wine list leaning towards Italian vintages but with a Cal flair, well presented in a subtle setting that appears to have been there awhile, plus a full bar and valet parking.

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