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Restaurants near USC

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Restaurants near USC

Angelinos and Angelinas:

We're coming to USC for parents' weekend. Our son and his roommate are tired of dorm food. Where should we head for a fun place to catch up, tasty food, good service, not too loud or expensive??? Is our best bet to head toward downtown on Figueroa????

West Hollywood...
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1. Re: Restaurants near USC

You could drive into downtown but if you want to make it special, I'd drive to the Town Center area in Burbank. CA. It's a 20-25 minute drive to an area with lots of restaurants, movies, shops and pedestrian traffic and lots and lots of free parking (provided by the city of Burbank). I am especially partial to a restaurant called ELEPHANT BAR which is a chain you may be familiar with.

The food is the OPPOSITE of dorm food. It's very unique and they have a huge menu. The selections tend to lean toward seafood with an Asian twist but it's not like any Chinese restaurant you've ever been to. Here's a link to their website (click on the buttons in the left column to look at the various parts of their menu).

http://www.elephantbar.com/default.htm

You'll see that they are reasonably priced and have an extensive selection.

The decor of the restaurant is a lot of fine -- a kind of jungle motif.

As far as loudness, it's not the quietest place you've ever been to but I don't think you'll have any problem talking to one another as long as you make sure that they don't sit you in the BAR AREA -- which for some reason has really bad acoustics and everything is loud there.

The restaurant has a full bar (for Mom and Dad) and they also sell non-alcoholic drinks that are quite tasty -- along the lines of a smoothie (as well as standard beverages).

If Elephant Bar isn't "your thing", there are lots and lots of other restaurants within a couple of blocks. Another favorite of mine is the MARKET CITY CAFFE Here's a menu:

http://tinyurl.com/36v8th

The drive from USC to Burbank is here:

http://tinyurl.com/ytbdtb

(It's a simple "all freeway" route). What's nice about this neighborhood is that after eating, you can stroll around the area, especially along San Fernando Blvd, grab an ice cone at Ben & Jerry's, catch a movie at one of the multiplexes, etc. It's a min-getaway.

Have fun!

West Hollywood...
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2. Re: Restaurants near USC

P.S. Ve sure to use Mapquest to find the route back from Burbank to the campus. The entrance to the freeway (for the return trip) is a little bit hidden so I don't want you to drive around for 20 minutes looking for it!

Hollywood, ca
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3. Re: Restaurants near USC

I don't think you need to head all the way over to Burbank for a good meal. There are lots of great new restaurants opening in downtown, plus Little Tokyo is very close to USC as well. Izayoi and Haru Ulala have izakaya (Japanese small plates, kinda like tapas). Or you could head over to Lawry's Prime Rib. Maybe not the absolute cheapest,but it will fill up hungry college boys and you get a lot of bang for the buck.

Ask on chowhound.com for restaurant recommendations.

Santa Monica...
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4. Re: Restaurants near USC

There are so many great restaurants downtown! I definitely would not drive to Burbank (sorry HSJ).

Ciudad is part of the Border Grill group (you may know the famous chefs), and is a fun Mexican fusion restaurant. For some of the best Mexican in town, though, there's La Serenata de Girabaldi, also downtown. In Chinatown, I recommend Yang Chow

Koreatown is filled with fantastic Korean bar-b-que - can give suggestions if you're interested. Also, there's a great steakhouse, Taylor's, just near USC, in Koreatown.

West Hollywood...
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5. Re: Restaurants near USC

I chose Burbank because the kids can go into downtown (10 minutes from campus) any old time. This would be something different.

New York City, New...
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6. Re: Restaurants near USC

I think you need to decide on the type of food first. Los Angeles has everything. I would go somewhere in Hollywood or West Hollywood. Will you have a car?

Check out yelp.com for reviews of restaurants. You can search by area.

Santa Monica...
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7. Re: Restaurants near USC

But I bet they don't go, or necessarily know about, some of the restaurants I listed, HSJ. And the poster says they live on dorm food. I definitely wouldn't send them to Burbank, with so many fantastic restaurants near USC.

Definitely go to La Serenata, and also to Taylor's.

If you want to venture further away, then the above advice to go to Hollywood or West Hollywood is also a good idea.

New York City, New...
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8. Re: Restaurants near USC

I think the question for the parents is if they have been to LA before or if they want to combine this with going to a more interesting area than downtown LA where USC is (which isn't a very popular area in LA). Downtown in LA is not what downtown means in other cities. So, this could be a good opportunity to venture out to one of the happening areas with good restaurants.

Also, if you're not from somewhere where there is good Mexican food and you like it, I would choose a Mexican restaurant. There are several good ones in Silverlake and West Hollywood that have a good atmosphere for what you're looking for.

Southern California
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9. Re: Restaurants near USC

Since your son and his roommate dorm at USC, they should know where to go!!

But if not, then as mentioned, does it have to some place be near USC?? Will you have a car?? The choices are endless depending on how far you're willing to go!!

Topanga, California
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10. Re: Restaurants near USC

Let's be real here. Driving from USC to Burbank to eat at a chain restaurant is just plain silly advice.

There are literally hundreds of amazing restaurants you'd pass on the way to a pedestrian place such as the Elephant Bar.

Here's an idea, ask the foodies at Chowhound:

http://www.chowhound.com/boards/2