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Hawaiian/Caribbean Cheap Eats
Sattdown Jamaican Grill. Photograph courtesy sattdownjamaicangrill.com
The gravy in the loco moco is just like Aunt-ie Nene used to make. The lau lau is the best of any available at L.A.’s Hawaiian outposts, its pork fork-tender inside a taro leaf casing. We rejoiced in the Filipino-inflected inihaw na baboy (grilled pork with a soy-vinegar sauce) and reveled in the macaroni salad with all the bells and whistles: carrots, egg, and potato in creamy pasta. » 1033 W. Gardena Blvd., Gardena, 310-323-9112.
Flavors of Belize
The only Belizean restaurant north of the 10 delivers the coastal nation’s Mayan and Kriol cooking in a casual setting. Paprika-infused tortillas topped with canned tuna (panades) are a steal at around $2 apiece, and the braised chicken (“stew chicken”)—with rice and beans or a dukunu (like a tamale)—recalls an evening on San Pedro Island. » 1271 S. La Brea Ave., Mid City, 323-937-7710.
Sattdown Jamaican Grill
“Once you sattdown, u be back” is the slogan here, and in our case at least, these words proved prophetic. Tony Hyde whips up the island nation’s classics, including conch fritters, shrimp patties, festival patties, salt fish, spicy goat curry, and of course, jerk chicken. The ginger drink infused with sorrel leaves is as refreshing as a sea breeze, mon. » 11320 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 818-766-3696.