Food in Los Angeles: A USC Student’s Guide to Off-Campus Eateries (Part 3)

Alex-2016 Alex, Food Leave a Comment

Welcome back to my five-part blog series Food in Los Angeles! As we move on to Part 3, don’t forget to check out Part 2 here: Part 2. Part 2 details Maccheroni Republic, a cute Italian restaurant located in Downtown LA by the Bradbury Building and Grand Central Market. In Part 3, I’ll look at fancier restaurants in LA’s downtown and arts district. Make a note of these restaurants; these eateries are where you want your parents taking you during the upcoming Trojan Family Weekend!

The first part of our culinary journey takes us to Flower Street in Downtown LA, immediately east of LA Live. There, you can find Broken Spanish, one of the best, in my opinion, modern Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles. Broken Spanish is unique among Mexican restaurants; you will not find burritos on the menu, and chips and guacamole do not come with the meal. Instead, Broken Spanish crafts delicious dishes that are a spin on your favorites. For example, I love the oxtail quesadilla; where else can you get a quesadilla with oxtail? I would also recommend the corn polenta, which comes served with warm tortillas. For dessert, the chocolate lava cake, while a common dessert, is to die for. While slightly expensive for a college student, Broken Spanish is a great treat if you enjoy Mexican food and is only a five-minute LA Metro ride away from campus.

A twist on traditional Mexican food.

A twist on traditional Mexican food.

The second and third stops on the culinary adventure move us into Los Angeles’ arts district, which is home to many hip and upcoming restaurants and only a quick Uber ride from USC. In Part 1 of this series, I highlighted Wurstkuche, which is located in the arts district. This time around, I’ll highlight two fancier establishments: Church and State and Bestia.

When eating at Church and State, I felt like I had been transported to a small French restaurant on the banks of the Seine. The oyster shooters to start were suburb, and I followed the shooters with bone marrow (which was still in the bone) and escargot. With barely any room left in my stomach, I enjoyed pork belly as my entree. The pork belly was both rich and tender and coated in a sauce that enhanced, but did not overwhelm, the flavor of the pork. Dessert was the last straw; I ordered chocolate pudding for the little room I had left in my stomach. The pudding turned out to be more of a mousse and was nearly too rich to finish (I finished it anyways). Church and State was delicious and a definite recommendation to anyone, especially those who have not had the pleasure of experiencing French food before.

Almost like stepping into a French cafe.

Almost like stepping into a French cafe.

Moving to southern Europe’s most famous peninsula, our culinary adventure finishes at Bestia, home to delicious Italian food re-imagined for the modern American foodie. Like at Church and State, I started with the bone marrow. At Bestia, the bone marrow was more of a paste, artfully crafted onto a slice of toasted bread. Needless to say, the bone marrow was fantastic. The bone marrow was followed by a salami plate. The fresh meats and cheeses reminded me of small meat shops in the Travastere section of Rome, where I stayed during my summer abroad in Italy. For dinner, I split a burrata pizza with a friend; the pizza’s taste closely mirrored the pizzas of Italy and was much better than the pizza offerings at other Italian-American restaurants. If you love Italian food, Bestia is a must.

The famous salami plate I enjoyed.

The famous salami plate I enjoyed.

Later this week, I will be going to Red Bird on a date. Red Bird is one of the top restaurants in downtown, and I will surely let you know how I liked Red Bird in Part 4 of this installment.

Thank you for reading, and remember, these restaurants are always better with a few friends. So, gather up a few Trojans, and explore the world of food!




Astronautical Engineering, Class of 2016, Learn more on his profile here!

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