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5 Hot Lunch Spots on the Westside

When high school student, food connoisseur, and fledgling chef Josh Fried recommends an eatery or a dish, it’s bound to deliver the highest culinary satisfaction. Check out his five latest finds for fast, affordable, and delectable lunches around Santa Monica and West Los Angeles:

Good Stuff
Good Stuff serves simple and delicious food that is both quick and affordable. Their main focus is fresh sandwiches using good ingredients. The place is comfortable but sparse with only a mural on the wall that depicts the original location. Service is fast and friendly. I get the California Wrapp ($8), which is fresh roasted turkey, avocado, bacon, Swiss cheese, with lettuce & tomato wrapped in a gourmet spinach herb tortilla. For a side, their fries are made using canola oil ($3) or you can go for the sweet potato fries ($4) that never disappoint. The menu also includes a fan favorite called stuffies: whole wheat pita bread stuffed with cheese and shredded lettuce and your choice of sliced turkey, veggie patty, or white ground turkey patty ($7). More healthy options include the Chinese Chicken Salad, Ground Turkey Salad, Southwestern Salad (all around $10), and daily lunch specials.
Tip: The soup specials are worth a try and if you’re feeling daring, check out the grass-fed buffalo burgers served on a whole wheat or potato bun.
Good Stuff is located at:
11903 W Olympic Blvd, West Los Angeles
Open 7AM to 9PM for breakfast, lunch and dinner

Roc is on Sawtelle’s Little Osaka’s restaurant row. It is a fun little dim sum place that has amazing soup dumplings that I can’t help but to think of as savory gushers! The setup is a huge industrial space that combines two store fronts. You order by filling out what you want on a card and give the card to your server. You can get a great meal for around $15, such as one order of pork dumplings ($8), which are juicy flavor bombs; 1 scallion pancake ($5), which is a must-order in my opinion; and one steamed bun ($2.50), which is hearty and filling, and a great way to complete your meal. If you go with a friend you can easily try 5-6 items on the menu. And go hungry because you will leave stuffed!
Tip: Traditionally dim sum is brought in order of what is steamed. If you ask them to bring all of your food at once, they will.
Roc is located at:
2049 Sawtelle Blvd, West Los Angeles
Open 11AM to 10PM for lunch and dinner


Tatsu Ramen with a Soul
Known to some as the “iPad ramen place,” Tatsu Ramen is an innovative and fun approach to the ramen craze of West LA. One of the coolest things about Tatsu is the way you order. When you enter, before you take a seat, you place your order on one of the iPads. Doing this allows you to customize your order! Like extra spice? You can do that! Want chicken instead of pork shoulder? Absolutely! Vegan ramen? Yup, you heard that right! Once you order, take a seat at the long bar and watch the cooks work like sushi chefs to prepare the perfect soups. I tried the restaurant’s signature soul ramen ($11), which uses a special black garlic oil to add another level of savory depth. While the ramen is great, there was one item that surprised and delighted me, and that I kept thinking about all day. That item was the juicy pork bun ($3.50). The steamed bun is overflowing with juicy pork belly, which is dressed with chive and their umami sweet sauce.
Tip: For a really fun experience, sit at the bar. It is like going to a sushi restaurant, except with ramen.
Tatsu Ramen with a Soul is located at:
2123 Sawtelle Blvd, West Los Angeles
Open 11 AM to 2 AM for lunch and dinner and late night dining

Lemon Moon
Lemon Moon is a cool little cafe that uses fresh ingredients to spruce up everyday favorites. Located in the bottom of one of the entertainment buildings on Olympic near Bundy, it is a very cool and spacious place. There is ample outdoor seating which is perfect on most days. The food is cafeteria-style but with a gourmet edge to it. I got the chef’s special($12), which was a grilled cheese with mushroom and four types of cheese. There are also many freshly made salads to choose from.
Tip: Get the chefs special, it is very likely be delicious.
Lemon Moon is located at:
12200 W Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles
Open 8-10:30AM for breakfast and 11-2:30PM for lunch

Mondo Taco
Tacos are generally thought of as a tortilla with some meat filling. But what if I were to tell you that not all tacos are that simple? Mondo Taco offers a twist on tacos that fulfills all your international food desires. You start with a homemade tortilla and choose from over 30 original recipes that might be Indian, Cajun, Italian or Japanese. They offer crazy creations. I tried the Angry Bird ($3.75), a taco with crispy chicken, hot sauce and blue cheese; the Southern Decadence ($3.75)-fried chicken, sweet barbecue sauce, ranch dressing, and diced tomato; and The French Kiss ($3.50) with slow-roasted shredded pork and Dijon mushroom cream. While all three are great, The French Kiss was AMAZING. I could have eaten ten! They also offer taco combinations like Thailicious (chicken, cilantro, and peanut sauce), Tokyo Shrimp (tempura shrimp, avocado, spicy mayo), and El Greco (grilled lamb, tzatziki and diced tomato).
Tip: Gluten-free tortillas are available for 50 cents extra, or you can get your taco as a bowl without a tortilla.
Mondo Taco is located at:
2200 Colorado Ave, Santa Monica
Open 11 AM to 10 PM for lunch and dinner

Article Name
5 hot lunch spots in Santa Monica and West Los Angeles
Our high school food reporter uncovers five more delectable and affordable lunch spots in Santa Monica and West Los Angeles.

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2 Responses to 5 Hot Lunch Spots on the Westside

  1. Mindy March 6, 2015 at 6:59 am #

    Great photos and very comprehensive reviews of restaurants off my radar. Josh’s descriptive and passionate style makes me want to visit them all!

    • j po March 6, 2015 at 12:18 pm #

      Making me hungry and adventurous !!! Great article

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