People choose to travel in ways that reflect their values. We know a well-heeled dentist who refuses to pay for a hotel in Los Angeles because his daughter has a comfortable couch. We know threadbare food fanatics who splurge on Korean barbecue blow-outs. We know people willing to subsist on — no lie — potato chip sandwiches in order to afford to rent a nice car. Last week, New York Times Frugal Traveler writer Seth Kugel tackled our city with only $100 to spend each day and — gasp — no car with which to ferry himself to and fro.
To the couch-surfer with a borrowed whip, $100 a day is a royal sum, but when you factor in accommodations and transportation, those bills disappear faster than Kobe into the locker room after a loss. In choosing to bike instead of drive — and electing to post up in a $28-a-night Santa Monica hostel — Kugel was able to free up funds for a ticket to a UCLA football game. And order enough tacos to fill a swimming pool. Let's break down the highlights:
1. Carnitas, goat, and al pastor tacos at the Cactus stand on Vine.
2. Chilaquiles, scones, and fresh grapefruit juice at the Beverly Hills Farmers Market.
3. Crispy morning glory salad and pork kua kling at Jitlada.
4. Chile verde burrito with pork at El Burrito Jr. in Redondo Beach.
5. Asparagus and pozole at Traxx in Union Station.
6. Pork buns and pastries from the Wonder Bakery in Chinatown.
7. Chorizo taco and torta de milanesa de res from Taco Móvil.
8. Short ribs and tofu stew at Beverly Soon Tofu.
9. Sourdough French toast with strawberries and coffee at Marston's Restaurant in Pasadena.
10. Pork bánh mì from Nom Nom food truck outside of the Rose Bowl.
Kugel appeared happy enough with what he ate, but only you can levy an authoritative judgment. He was guided along by a cadre of local experts, food writers and old college friends. Did they steer his two wheels in the right direction?