Good food on the go in LA?
January 27, 2010 4:21 PM   Subscribe

How can I eat healthy on the go in Los Angeles?

I spend a lot of my time on-the-go in LA. After work I'll drive to a movie, or band practice, or to a friend's house. I often want to grab something to eat that's quick, relatively healthy, can be eaten sitting down over a copy of LA Weekly.

I moved from London a few years ago. In London I'd pop into M&S or Pret a Manger and grab a sandwich. The only equivalent option in LA seems to be Subway or Quiznos, neither of which appeal to me. Other options seem to be fast but unhealthy - burgers etc.

Any ideas, LA residents? What do you do?
posted by Conductor71 to Food & Drink (20 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I'm a big fan of Fresh and Easy. They are in quite a few places. It's primarily a grocery store, but they have a lot of "ready to go" type items that are good for you and pretty tasty: sandwiches, fruits and vegis, yogurt, spring rolls, that kind of thing. Actually, lots of grocery stores have these kinds of options, and although it might be a little more expensive to buy healthy stuff "ready to go," it's still cheaper than buying fast food, IMO.
posted by SpacemanStix at 4:29 PM on January 27, 2010

Best answer: I run into a large grocery store. Most of the better ones have healthy sandwiches, sushi, premade salads, all in one area that you can grab, go to the express line with, and be done with it.

Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, Ralphs, Pavillions (?).
posted by Vaike at 4:30 PM on January 27, 2010

Best answer: What part(s) of L.A. are your work/band practice/friends located in?

Every Whole Foods Market I've been to in the L.A. area (Pasadena native here) has had a wonderful deli/eat-in section. The selection is diverse, healthy, and pricey, but definitely worth it. And unlike most mainstream supermarket delis, Whole Foods provides seating (may or may not be crowded, depending on time, location, etc.) I think it's a wonderful option to grab a bite, and kick back with a newspaper.

If you're ever in the downtown area, I heartily recommend Mendocino Farms.
posted by invisible ink at 4:35 PM on January 27, 2010

What part of town are you in? In my experience, LA chains suck for this experience, but there are lots of great local businesses that should fit the bill. Westside, Eastside, The Valley -- where you are makes a big difference!
posted by pazazygeek at 4:35 PM on January 27, 2010

Best answer: Have you tried Famima?
posted by scody at 4:40 PM on January 27, 2010

Response by poster: Good point re. where I live.

Westside - Venice. Travel most frequently to Westwood, but also to Hollywood/Los Feliz/Silver Lake a fair bit.
posted by Conductor71 at 4:40 PM on January 27, 2010

Best answer: I am not a vegan/vegetarian, but I LOVED Native Foods while I was living in SoCal.
posted by invisible ink at 4:50 PM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There's a Whole Foods right in Westwood Village. Also, there's a Ralph's with a decent deli counter. You can go in there and grab a pre-made sandwich or have them make you one. They have a good number of self-checkout cashiers to make the whole thing even faster. The Ralph's has a parking lot (Ralph's validates so it'll be free) so you don't have to deal with the crappy Westwood streetparking situation.
posted by rio at 4:51 PM on January 27, 2010

Best answer: I work in Venice and often go to the Gaby's drive thru on Washington just west of Lincoln. You can get some healthy food on the go there-a chicken kabob pita wrap for about $5 and it's pretty delicious.
posted by parkerposey at 4:53 PM on January 27, 2010

Best answer: The Whole Foods also has a parking lot, it's a bit tighter/more annoying so there's that to deal with. Both places also have outdoor seating: Whole Foods has a roof over the outdoor area, Ralph's has large umbrella'd patio tables.
posted by rio at 4:53 PM on January 27, 2010

Best answer: man, i miss california chicken!
posted by violetk at 4:58 PM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Try the rose cafe on rose & main street, on the border of santa monica and venice. Also, there is a great Argentinian bakery in Culver City on main street called Gran Casino. Incredible milanese sandwiches and great coffee. Amazing burgers at the Apple Pan on Pico on the border of Westwood (across from the Westside Pavilion). All of these places have counter ordering, great food, and are usually pretty quick. Rose may be closed in the evenings, though, and sometimes the apple pan gets crowded.
posted by pazazygeek at 5:23 PM on January 27, 2010

Best answer: Oh, and to chime back in: for very L.A. and very addictive, there's always Zankou Chicken.
posted by scody at 5:25 PM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

ps. I am aware burgers are in no way healthy, but its on your route if you are in a hurry and feeling splurgy!
posted by pazazygeek at 5:26 PM on January 27, 2010

Best answer: Zankou Chicken is the middle eastern equivalent of In-N-Out Burger (in a good way!) and has a fairly healthy and damned delicious chicken schwarma pita sandwich which will make you weep with joy.
posted by mullingitover at 5:26 PM on January 27, 2010 [1 favorite]

Best answer: violetk: "man, i miss california chicken!"

2nding California Chicken Cafe. If you're in Westwood, there's one in Santa Monica on Wilshire Blvd. Added benefit: it's 1 block from the Santa Monica Whole Foods, so you pick up stuff for later.
posted by sharkfu at 5:45 PM on January 27, 2010

Best answer: There is a pretty good raw foods place near you on Washington, Leaf Cuisine. Also there is a Whole Foods at National and Barrington and there are Trader Joes all over the place (Palms and Sepulveda, National and Overland). In My vegetarian days I found numerous places to eat out at in that area. There are also quite a few good noodle places over on Sawtelle between Pico and Santa Monica. All of these places will have something that is pretty healthy and tastes pretty damn good.

*I used to live in that area and really miss it now that I'm in Mississippi.
posted by anansi at 6:06 PM on January 27, 2010

Best answer: Seconding the Venice Whole Foods and the Rose Cafe (although understand that it is overpriced and overrated - nontheless, it is healthier than average). The Venice whole foods is the only whole foods I have ever been to that has a selection of sandwiches they can make you. They are quite good.


Down Main street from The Rose there is a place on the right side (if you're going towards Santa Monica) called "One Life Natural Foods" - this is a great little health food store that has a deli WAY in the back. They make healthy sandwiches very quickly. Love this place.

On the Corner of Abbot Kinney and Venice...there is a new placed called "Lemonade" - the food is SUPER healthy and you can get in and out really quick (buffet style).

I think most people are on track with higher tier grocery stores though...whole foods is usually the thought that pops into my mind when I'm on the go and want a healthy meal.
posted by jnnla at 12:17 AM on January 28, 2010

Best answer: Have you been to food co-op ay Broadway and 15th in Santa Monica? The take out items were a bit pricey, but tasty and definitely on the healthy side of things.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 1:28 PM on January 28, 2010

Aw crap, I fucked up the link. Food co-op in Santa Monica!
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 1:29 PM on January 28, 2010

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