A brace of local eateries made it onto the December-issue rundown of 2009's “most democratically priced restaurant dishes.” LA was the only city in the nation to score two mentions–the major metropolises of New York, San Francisco and Chicago each appear once, along with Cambridge, Austin, Atlanta, Portland [Oregon] and Providence.

The duo couldn't be further apart in terms of lavishness. First up: The kogi truck–specifically, the raved-about blackjack quesadilla ($7), crammed with marinated pork belly and Jack cheese and slathered in salsa verde.

Blackjack quesadilla; Credit: Eric Shin

Blackjack quesadilla; Credit: Eric Shin

The other dish is found on the menu at The Bazaar by José Andrés. Here, the Philly cheesesteak ($8), described by our very own Mr Gold as an “airy, inverted Hot Pocket,” is reconfigured in the Spanish chef's incurably playful way. (Wagyu beef and cheese foam, anyone?)

Tracking down the Kogi truck–not to mention parking then waiting in line to be fed–may seem like an exercise in futility at times, but I know which one of the two bargain meals I'd rather spend my last tenner on.

LA Weekly