This list of restaurants were places that I wanted to eat at time and time again. Whether it was so celebrate a special occasion or to take a break from the studio, these were the chosen few I’d go to.

The Vegan Mushroom Confit from the Winter Menu at Mendocino Farms. One of the best things I've ever eaten.

Mendocino Farms • 444 S. Flower Street •

My favorite sandwiches here have been the best versions I’ve had of a turkey and mushroom sandwich, and I don’t even particularly like those foods. That’s how good their sandwiches are.

Kachi Deli Cafe • 1001 Wilshire Blvd • On Yelp

Had to include a place that was in my old neighborhood of City West. After Moxie closed down, there weren’t too many lunch spots on my side of the 110. Kachi opened earlier last year, and it soon became a weekly spot for a lunchtime sandwich.

Wurstkuche 800 E. 3rd Street

An unusual but crave-worthy assortment of gourmet hot dogs found in the artsy-industrial Arts District. Anything goes from alligator to rabbit, but the menu doesn’t forget about vegetarians. Their Italian veggie + truffle fries was my last meal as a downtown dweller. I took friends from New York here, and even they think it’s something special. (See previous post here)

The chicken pot pie at Wood Spoon

Wood Spoon • 107 W. 9th Street •

Made famous by a Giada mention on the Food Network, but has been serving Downtowners with solid Brazilian dishes for a few years now. I do love their well-known chicken pot pie. (See previous post here)

Blossom • 426 S. Main Street •

Simple, fresh Vietnamese fare. Vietnamese restaurants are quite the trend in Los Angeles, but this place has always been solidly delicious and no-nonsense. I come here in the summer, I come here in the winter, I come here once a week.

Tiara Cafe

Tiara Cafe • 127 W. 9th Street •

They had the best brunches that I’d get with seitan instead of bacon back in the pre-Bottega Louie days. Now I think they are only open for weekday lunches, but this place is pink, pretty, sparkly, and plays musicbox tunes!!

Casa • 350 S. Grand Avenue •

The food is not necessarily amazing, but it’s good. Their downtown patio served as a favorite gathering place in the summer. You’re surrounded by all the skyscrapers and it’s a wonderfully satisfying city feeling to be outdoors, drinking margaritas, and looking up at buildings. (See previous post here)

Colori Kitchen • 439W. 8th Street •

Comforting Italian food in a tiny but romantic family-run restaurant. I may have to stop in for their gnocchi before I take off.

Komasa Sushi

Komasa • 351 E 2nd Street • On Yelp

Their sushi is my favorite in downtown, and it’s also reasonably priced. Get there by 5 pm to reserve a spot in the tiny joint, and don’t forget to order the soft shell crab.

Honda-Ya • 333 S. Alameda #314 •

They do all-around Japanese food, but they do it well, and at good prices. We’d come here at an almost weekly basis, trying their udon, sushi, grilled plates, and have never been unhappy with the food.

Honorable Mentions

Saffron‘s pretty damn good Indian fast food as my 505 Flower lunchtime pick; R23 for an artsy-hip sushi experience; The Lazy Ox Canteen for the new, hot restaurant in 2010; Raku for okinomiyaki; First & Hope for their fried chicken; L.A. Cafe for being probably the only 24-hour restaurant that delivers to the City West.