10 Restaurants Off the 10 Between Downtown and Santa Monica Where You Can Escape Traffic and Regain Your Sanity

10 Restaurants Off the 10 Between Downtown and Santa Monica Where You Can Escape Traffic and Regain Your Sanity

We've been there. It's rush hour. Or, Obama's in town. Or, there's a terrible hip-hop band on the freeway. Or, everyone decided to leave work at the same time. Whatever the reason, the Google Map's all red, you're not going anywhere, and you want out of your car. In other words, you may as well eat.

To tide you over while you're stuck in traffic, we'll be periodically rounding up tasty spots right along your freeway commute where you can calm your aggravation and wait out the bottleneck. Today, we focus on the stretch of the 10 between Downtown and Santa Monica.

10. Dino's Burgers (Vermont Exit). At Dino's, the half roasted chicken plate comes with tortillas and fries sogged from sitting under chicken's juices and marinade. This is probably not the best roast chicken you've ever had, but it's most probably the best roast chicken plate you've ever had for a Lincoln and some change. 2575 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles; (213) 380-3554; Monday - Thursday 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday - Saturday 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.

9. Papa Cristo's (Normandie Exit). Papa Cristo's is both a Greek restaurant and a market, so you can easily pass the time by ordering a gyro or falafel plate or by perusing the aisles and admiring the countless varieties of olive oils and vinegars. On your way out, pick up a few goodies from the bakery counter for the rest of your commute. 2771 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 737-2970; Tuesday - Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Sunday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

8. The Natraliart (Arlington Exit). Any restaurant that quotes Marcus Garvey on its homepage deserves at least one visit. The Natraliart serves a flavorful, hearty jerk chicken, as well as other homey Jamaican fare. If you're not feeling too jerk-y, the vegetable and beef patties (savory pastries somewhat like empanadas) and freshly squeezed juice make for a delicious snack. 3426 W. Washington Blvd.., Los Angeles; (323) 737-9277; Tuesday - Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

7. Phillips' BBQ (Crenshaw Exit). Along with JNJ Burger Shack, Phillips also can lay legitimate claim to having the best spareribs in LA. In fact, the brisket here might be better than JNJ's, and its restaurant signage definitely is one of the best in the city. 2619 S. Crenshaw Blvd. Los Angeles; (323) 731-4772; Tuesday - Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday - Saturday 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

6. Vees Cafe (La Brea Exit on the 10 W / Fairfax Exit on the 10 E). The cozy Vees Cafe almost is too cute for its location right off the freeway in the middle of an otherwise drab section of West Adams. The cafe serves coffee and paninis, so if you just need a quick bite and caffeine jolt, this will hit the spot. 5418 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 931-8337; Monday - Friday, 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Saturday - Sunday 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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