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THE POP FIX Eats: Top 7 L.A. Restaraunts On A Budget

by Joyce Chen 6 March 2009 277 views 3 Comments E-mail Joyce Chen

History has this irritating tendency of repeating itself. Mom pants, horrible rom-coms, and even the economic recession have seeped their way back into the cultural mainstream. And of the three, it’s probably best to guess that the recession is the biggest disaster, though mom pants veer in at a close second.

But leave it to Angelenos to find a way to bend the rules and rewrite history with a flourish and a twist: in response to increasingly shallow wallets, trendy L.A. bars and eateries are offering up prime deals with reduced prices and recession-themed specials throughout the week. Foodies of Los Angeles, rejoice!

THE POP FIX scoured the city for the best recession concessions and chanced upon these crème de le crème finds. No need to sacrifice the ole’ wine and dine with a pub and grub - just be on the lookout for these L.A. hot spots and you can break bread without breaking the bank. Now that’s a fashion statement we dig.

Top 7 Los Angeles Restaurants On A Budget

1. “Mozzarella Mondays” at Jar

photo courtesy of www.thejar.com

Image via Jar

Feeling cheesy? Kick off the week at Jar, L.A.’s answer to an upscale 1940s American Supper Club (complete with lounge music and comfortably chic booths), where chef Suzanne Tracht’s extensive mozzarella menu hits just the right spot with dishes between $9 and $12. Try the fresh buratta (a blend of mozzarella and cream) with pesto, or the toasted burrata and meatball sandwich. The apple, bacon and burrata plate is to die for in its sweet-and-salty flavor explosion.

8225 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048

(323) 655-6566


Mon-Thu. 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Fri-Sat. 5:30 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Sun. 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Sun. 5:30 p.m. - 10 p.m.

2. $12 Tuesdays at Murano

photo courtesy of Citysearch

Image via Citysearch

Recession doesn’t always have to equal ramen - why settle for soggy noodles when quality pasta and pizza can be found just down the street in WeHo’s chandelier-draped Murano? The trendy restaurant channels Old Hollywood, not old money, and the only colors you’ll need to worry about are the interior decor’s red, black and white, not your wallet’s green. Every Tuesday, diners can expect to choose from a wide selection of avant-garde Italian fare, from linguine with Kobe beef meatballs in a luxurious cherry tomato sauce to a pesto pizza drenched with mozzarella, fresh tomato and artichokes.

9010 Melrose Ave., West Hollywood, CA 90046

(310) 246-9118


Tue-Wed. 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.

Thu. 6 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Fri-Sat. 6 p.m. - 11 p.m.

Sun. 11:30 a.m. - 7 p.m.

3. Wednesday Pajama Night at Cafe 50’s

photo courtesy of yelp

Image via Yelp

No need to dress to the nines for a free meal and a night out on the town. Every last Wednesday of the month, Cafe 50’s, a fun throwback to the heyday of malt milkshakes and pop, offers a free meal to anyone wearing their finest two-piece, button-down PJs (leave your skimpy lingerie and heart-covered tighty whities at home) with the purchase of a beverage off their special menu. Make sure to have your jammies approved by the Pajama Judge before chowing down on scrumptious burgers, omelets and sandwiches. And you thought rolling out of bed and heading out was just something you did for class back in college.

11623 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025

(310) 479-1955


Every last Wednesday of the month 6 p.m. - 10 p.m.

4. “Recession Thursdays” at South

photo courtesy of southsantamonica.com

photo courtesy of southsantamonica.com

Go south and wind down toward the end of the week with this special blend of Southern hospitality and SoCal style. This upscale sports bar offers $1 grilled cheese sandwiches and $2 pulled pork, chicken or beef brisket sandwiches every Thursday night from 5 p.m. to midnight. Catch the game inside or chill out on the huge outdoor balcony with a drink in hand. For the adventurous, Happy Hour also includes $2 “mystery shots.”

3001 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90403

(310) 828-9988


Mon-Sat. 12 a.m. - 2 a.m. Sun. 9 a.m. - 2 a.m.

Mon-Fri. Happy Hour 3 p.m. - 8 p.m.

5. Soup Kitchen Fridays at The Edison

photo courtesy of yelp.com

photo courtesy of yelp

Leave it to slinky downtown lounge The Edison to take the recession by the horns and bring much-needed respite to weary working Angelenos at the end of the week. The 1920s-style speakeasy offers free grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup every Friday night from 5 to 7 p.m., along with a selection of Depression-era cocktails (bourbon, anyone?) at fantastically Depression-era prices. Think 35-cent scotch on the rocks. And to make a good thing better, 25 percent of the proceeds are donated directly to local food banks and charities. Give and let give.

108 W. 2nd St. #101, Los Angeles, CA 90012

(213) 613-0000


Wed-Fri. 5 p.m. - 2 a.m.

Sat. 8 p.m. - 2 a.m.

6. “Party Like a Rock Star Dinner and a Bottle” at One Sunset

photo courtesy of yelp

photo courtesy of yelp

Always expect the best down at One Sunset every Saturday night, where you can rub elbows with Hollywood hotshots without having to spend like one. Shoot for the three-course $35 prix-fixe menu to start off the night and opt for a bottle of half-price Belvedere vodka for an evening that will burst with flavor (and I don’t just mean Flava Flav, who’s been known to drop in). Get there early in the night to enjoy dinner, though, because once the lounge and nightclub crowd starts to trickle in, you’ll have to get off your booty and shake it with the celebs. If you don’t mind.

8730 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90069

(310) 657-0111


Mon-Sat. 5:30 p.m. - 2 a.m.

7. Pot Roast Sundays at Tender Greens

photo courtesy of yelp

photo courtesy of yelp

Nothing says hearty home-style cooking like pot roast, and the chefs at Tender Greens get it right - quality product (a Coleman Farms beef short rib) with simple preparation (braised in a red wine sauce) for an even more delicious price ($10). The dish comes with Yukon gold mashed potatoes and a choice of either completely organic salads or vegetables, proof that you don’t have to turn to fatty fast foods in dire financial times. Snag a table in the homey eatery and catch up with friends and family before the start of another long week back in the grind.

9523 Culver Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232

(310) 842-8300


Mon-Thu. 11:30 a.m. - 9 p.m

Fri-Sat. 11:30 a.m. - 10 p.m.

Sun. 11:30 a.m. - 9 p.m.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
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  • RANIA said:

    yummm murano looks so good and pretty! i want to go! do i need reservations?

  • Erin said:

    Nice article! I’m always going out to eat at the same places…you’ve inspired me, Joyce!

  • big mamma said:

    my mouth is watering, to heck with my diet.

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