DMV Survival Guide: South Central Edition

Where to find sustenance before you take a number

The DMV is not open on weekends. For some, this means taking vacation time to stand in line. Luckily, we’ve concocted a special list of restaurants that serve comfort food Monday through Friday (with a weekday happy hour thrown in for good measure). In this DMV Neighborhood Survival Guide series, we’ll show you how and where to enjoy yourself, before or after your visit to that special section of Hades called the Department of Motor Vehicles. This week, we’ll explore South Central:

DMV Field Office: 3615 S. Hope Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Photograph courtesy Yelp

Seree’s Coffee Shop || 2800 S Grand Ave at 28th Street
Seree’s Coffee Shop does breakfast right. Swing by before heading down to the DMV, as it’s just too far away to walk.  The Bacon Breakfast Sandwich with everything truly has everything—fried eggs, bacon, lettuce, onion, cheese, avocado—and all for a measly $3.95. Lunch offerings include Thai soups, fried rice, and noodle plates. Everything we’ve tried here has made our taste buds sing.

Chichen Itza || Inside Mercado La Paloma, 3655 S Grand Ave
Mercado La Paloma is a food court tucked inside the Esperanza Community Housing Corporation. When entering its wealth of world cuisine offerings wrapped around a central dining area, you’ll feel that you’ve been invited in on a very special secret. Specializing in Yucatecan Food, Chichen Itza has been recommended by food critic Jonathan Gold, and its reputation draws a half-hour long line every afternoon. Our favorite entrée is the Papadzules, flour tortillas stuffed with hard boiled egg and topped with ground roasted pumpkin seed and epazote sauce. Rich, creamy, and delectable.

Photograph courtesy Yelp

Volcano Sushi and Grill and Boba || 3019 S. Figueroa St.
There may be no better time for a boba tea than before or after the DMV. The House Milk Tea with Boba (large pearls of black tapioca) is excellent. For more frill, get the Red Bean Smoothie. Sweet and oddly savory, with red beans on top and boba at the bottom. Don’t ask how many calories it contains; we don’t know and we don’t care.

Chick-Fil-A || 3758 S. Figueroa St.
There’s no secret here. Chick-Fil-A is tasty. The standard chicken sandwich will run you under $4. For 35 cents more, we opt for the spicy chicken sandwich. No need to go all out here: the fries, nuggets, and sides are unimpressive. Just grab a sandwich when you need a quick and satisfactory bite. It’ll do the trick.

Happy Hour
The Lab Gastropub || 3500 S. Figueroa Blvd
Join the college kids of fresh drinking age and toss back a beer at USC’s mainstay, The Lab Gastropub. On Mondays, happy hour runs 3pm to close. Different alcohol and food specials are offered every weekday. A glass of wine for four dollars, a beer sampler for eight, a plate of calamari for five? Good enough to make you feel a little classier, after having just wolfed down that Chick-fil-A sandwich.