By Jeff Daar –

The first time I visited Lazy Ox Canteen it became one of my new favorite places in downtown Los Angeles. It has the feel of a neighborhood place in Little Tokyo and there is plenty to entice you with its small plate theme. The variety of tempting dishes is more than sufficient to make each visit as exciting as your first visit.

Definitely start with the assorted house seasonal pickles with dill. What the chef pickles changes frequently. One night we had exquisite pickled whole okras along with delicious cucumber pickles.

In addition to the menu, there are numerous chalkboard specials, including a nightly dinner special for two. My daughter and I shared the 18 ounce pork porterhouse. This was possibly the best pork I have ever had. It came in a bowl slow cooked with black lentils, peas and potatoes. The pork literally melted in my mouth. Wow. It was just simply amazing. The dinner also came with a large salad to share — a true bargain for $28.

Plates include cheese selections from the excellent Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes, lamb cheeks, quick fried smelt, charred octopus, and too many tempting unusual dishes to list. The burger also looks fantastic. Lazy Ox also has a small, but eclectic list of wines and beers on tap and in bottle.

Lazy Ox Canteen is located at 241 S. San Pedro St., Los Angeles. Phone number is (213) 626-5299. Web site is

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