8.72: An Introduction

by Dan Johnson

Downtown Los Angeles is a culinary destination.

A vast array of unique food experiences ranging in ambience, location and style, and emblazoned by countless glowing reviews and properly filtered instagram humble brags, have established LA’s city center as a veritable hub of gastro-obsession. Ours is truly a magical time to be a foodie. For the myriad tastes of our chefs’ handiwork are a spiritual fabric that unites an entire city behind the joyous concept that food embodies cultural consciousness.

That’s a nice idea. Truly. I celebrate you all. But I’m hungry – hungry and tired of paying fifteen dollars for an aesthetically pleasing sandwich half as big as my fist. Some nights, I wander the streets of Downtown, hangry and belligerent, howling at the moon and cursing the fates because I only have nine dollars in my pocket and that used to buy a man something.

While I thank the countless Yelpers, amateur food critics and Jonathan Gold for scouting out the best new holes in the wall where I can sit beneath swinging Edison bulbs and enjoy a superlative, farm-to-table Punjabi pupusa garnished with fair trade octopus testacles served hot on a plate made entirely from the carefully stretched skins of virgin goats slaughtered humanely in exotic countries, I just want to get full for eight dollars.

This is not an absurd request. One should be able to eat an astounding amount for eight dollars. If I told my grandmother that I was having a problem eating lunch out for less than ocho greenbacks she would have experienced sharp pains in her left arm, instinctively called her cardiologist to give him a heads up and swallowed her rings while waiting for the paramedics to arrive.

8.72 is a new approach to food coverage for savages, ingrates, troglodytes, taste fakers, rubes, cash poor, big-stomached, low blood sugar coping beasts such as myself. For everyone who sunk their last sweet dime into living in a fancy pants loft or is holding out for that check to clear, 8.72 reviews, promotes and celebrates inexpensive food options in Downtown Los Angeles.

The standard is simple: how can you get full Downtown for eight dollars with 9% tax slapped on?

We’re not just going on price point here. Other questions beg to be answered. How is the people watching? Does approaching the location require years of martial arts training? Are the establishment’s hours impressively broad or a pitifully narrow window of time that makes you wonder what sort of grimy stuff the proprietors are getting into during the rest of the day? How does the food taste? Is there a specific dish that is particularly cheap and delicious? Finally, what if any are the lasting effects—will my bowels work overtime or cease working altogether?

Did we miss something? Is your restaurant worthy of mention? Did I offend your every sensibility?


Forward all recommendations and hate mail to Dan Johnson - yankeejim519@gmail.com.