This post comes to us from KCRW’s Program Director for News, Gary Scott.

Back in late August, I got roped into a jury trial that I knew would never end. And it almost didn’t. Fourteen days of testimony and six days of deliberations. That’s a lot of lunches.

Because L.A. Superior Court is surrounded by big cultural institutions (MOCA, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the street vendor across from the Walt Disney Concert Hall, etc.) it takes time to walk to affordable and interesting places to eat. And I made that walk more than a few times, but there were other times when the courthouse cafeteria was the best option. That’s because I was making near daily phones calls to my colleagues at KCRW, where I’d gotten a promotion only a few weeks before being sucked into the civic void of jury service, and I needed to stay in touch.

Overpriced short ribs, strange sushi-langistino combinations aside, and chance encounters with defendants aside, the courthouse cafeteria was the best alternative to an interesting lunch. It had two distinct and rare advantages over the competition: a beautiful view of downtown Los Angeles and good cell phone reception.

The cafeteria was nice, as far as things go. The salad choices were spare, the grub uninspiring, and the lunch lines unusually long. Nothing like a captive audience, I guess. I’ve had worse food – everything was digestible, although I broke a plastic knife trying to saw into the rib meat. The salad ingredients were fresh; it was the clumpy dressing that left scored low. And the makeshift tables made for private, if not ergonomically perfect, accommodations. Please enjoy the pictures and hope that when you’re number gets called, it’s not a 20 day sentence.

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  • vickie said:

    oh my, when i did jury duty in la i met some awesome folks and every day we checked out new places, we did olvera street taquitos and J town and had sushi then red bean buns after, i wish i could point you more directly but that was a few places we hit. it was the best!!

  • Lee said:

    Too bad. Lots to do downtown. You can walk, take the DASH, or use a taxi. Most people are not aware of LA's taxi policy that is very cheap for multiple people. Try: Homegirl Cafe, Fish Market on Alameda, classic Phillipe's, Lemonade at MOCA, Monterey Farms, and best tacos in the world at King Taco in Grand Central Market.

  • Lee said:

    Don't forget UMAMIcatessen at 852 S Broadway. Just reviewed by Johnathan Gold

  • Hannah said:

    If you get down to Alameda St. (Phillipe's), across the street in the California Endowment building is a wonderful and really really cheap cafe available to the public: healthy hot foods, great salads, and sandwiches.

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  • michelle moss said:

    I hate jury service. Trying to get a decent lunch just adds to the burden !
    michelle moss

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