Wilshire and Crescent Heights: Rice Bowls, Healthful Mexican + Hip Hop Thai Food
More than just a bastion for forgotten eateries, strip malls often serve a vital purpose as an easy lunch options for droves of office workers. That's certainly the case for the Wilshire Crescent strip mall, on the southeast corner of (you guessed it) Wilshire Boulevard and Crescent Heights. The long, single story run of storefronts and restaurants is perfect for all of your quick business options: there's a mailing center on one end, a fast food 'healthy Mex' chain on the other, and all of your dry cleaning needs right in the middle. And with options ranging from falafel to rice bowls, there's plenty of variation to keep the office drones happy.
Noam Bleiweiss Spicy Eggplant from Tawanna Thai
Wahoo's Fish Tacos
Farley Elliott Wahoo's Fish Tacos
Beginning at the western edge, you'll find Wahoo's. The Hawaiian fusion Mexican spot offers lighter-side tacos, burritos and a few rice bowls. It's entirely possible that you've succumbed to the grilled fish tacos or Kalua Pig Bowl once or twice, but for the uninitiated, just know this: Wahoo's Fish Tacos is basically not Mexican food. There are tortillas and pico de gallo, but don't expect the quality carne asada or braised carnitas that you're used to in Los Angeles. This is fast casual healthful food (salads, lots of options that involve something known as Banzai Veggies) masquerading around in a plastic sombrero. Still, the surf vibe and cheap beers on hand appeals to a very specific lunch time crowd -- if that's you, enjoy. Wahoo's Fish Tacos is open daily from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and will happily take your credit card. 6258 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-933-2480.
Noam Bleiweiss Falafel at Chapa Grill
Touting themselves as being "under new management," Chapa Grill still manages to look and feel like almost every other quick service Mediterranean spot in Los Angeles. There's certainly more space to breathe than last week's Pita on Vine, but the vibe is mostly the same. There's a large hanging menu for you to choose your fate, complete with a variety of wraps and plates to choose from. The biggest plates come with two sides and a stack of pita bread, while the lesser options only involve a diced tomato and cucumber salad, plus a thick plateful of hummus. Plenty of folks like to give the chicken shawarma a shot, thanks to its ample piling on the plate and crispy edges in your wrap. Vegetarians will obviously push for the falafel, served six to a plate in thickly fried balls. The Jerusalem mix is a gigantic hybrid plate of chicken, beef and lamb, all for $15, which could easily feed your entire outdoor table. But with that much sun, car exhaust and meat at one time, you might not feel up to going back to work. Chapa Grill is open daily from 11 a.m. to midnight and accepts credit cards. 6256 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-936-2460.
Noam Bleiweiss Omelette from Caffe Latte
With surprisingly ample seating inside the long wooden room, Caffee Latte is more than just a quick service lunch option. In fact, their "breakfast all day" menu is probably the biggest draw, offering a swath of omelets and hash browns to eaters any time they want it. The other surprising thing about Caffe Latte? Their built-in coffee roaster, a looming metal tower that stands between the front door and the bakery case like a caffeinated sentinel. The coffee drinks at Caffe Latte are all pretty special, if a bit sugary at times, but they're also meant for lingering. Come lunchtime, diners can nosh on a simple selection of salads and sandwiches, but don't expect much of a crowd. This is a breakfast spot, after all. Caffe Latte is open weekdays from 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and weekends from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. 6254 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles; 323-936-5213.
6258 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA