7. Texas sampler at Bludso's BBQ, $25.50: The Texas truism that everything is bigger in the Lone Star State has taken root at Bludso's in Compton. The restaurant brings that big-waisted wisdom home with its Texas sampler, a combination plate of every tender, slow-smoked meat on the menu -- plus two sides. That adds up to pork ribs, beef ribs, rib tips, chicken, chicken links, beef links, pork shoulder and the restaurant's expert brisket. It can easily feed five. 811 S. Long Beach Blvd., Compton, (310) 637-1342.
8. Torpedo sub sandwich at Angelo's Italian Deli, $8.99: Don't even try to face down the Torpedo all by yourself. This foot-long monster sub sold at Angelo's, located just off 2nd Street in Belmont Shore, starts with chewy, crusty Italian bread and piles on imported cold cuts, provolone cheese and all the trimmings. But it's the herb-garlic spread that really makes this sandwich stand out. Share it -- and the $8.99 price tag -- with a friend. 190 La Verne Ave., Long Beach, (562) 434-1977. There's also a Seal Beach location: 133 1/2 Main St., Seal Beach, (562) 431-1113.
Burger and a shake
9. Burger at Golden State, $10: There may be less-expensive burgers, sure, but in the $10-burger category, Golden State's is hard to beat. It's a juicy, meaty, fatty 6-ounce patty of prime beef on a Rockenwagner brioche bun ("We tried 8 billion different buns," says co-owner Jason Bernstein), with house-made aioli, ketchup, Fiscalini cheddar and bacon. And it comes with fries too. 426 N. Fairfax Ave., (323) 782-8331, www.the goldenstatecafe.com.
10. Milkshakes at Rowdy Red Wine & Burger Bar, $3: For towering milkshakes at a not-so-steep price, head to the underground food court at the corner of 5th and Flower streets in downtown L.A. The cold, thick milkshakes come in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, Oreo, chocolate peanut butter and Peet's coffee. 515 S. Flower St., L.A. (213) 627-5511.
Coffee and some pastries
11. Cafecito Organico coffee, $10 for 12 ounces: For your next coffee fix, Cafecito Organico is the local bargain. The L.A.-based company specializes in sustainably grown beans, which it roasts locally and in small batches. A 12-ounce bag will set you back only about $10 for most varieties, including single-origin, espresso and decaf coffees. Silver Lake farmers market on Saturday and Hollywood farmers market on Sunday, online at www.coffeecellar.com.
12. Apple-walnut strudel at Mishi's Strudel, $4.15: Mishi's in downtown San Pedro has a seemingly endless supply of the flaky pastry, fresh and frozen strudel (the latter for take-home baking) stuffed with apricots, blueberries, sour cherries, even savory spiced beef. A seasonal pumpkin variety is coming soon, but until then, keep it classic with the apple-walnut strudel. Encased in a crisp filo shell, diced apples are mixed with hunks of walnuts as well as lemon zest, golden raisins and cinnamon. Enjoy it at the Hungarian cafe with a cup of tea or after a steaming bowl of goulash. 309 W. 7th St., San Pedro, (310) 832-6474, www.mishisstrudel.com.
13. Maghreb tart at Blackmarket Bakery, $4.50: Built as it was from a farmers market operation, Blackmarket Bakery is well-practiced in diminutive desserts. Melt-away cookies, little loaves of cinnamon-currant brioche and flourless macaroons all tempt at the bakery's business park headquarters, but its tarts are some of the more cost-effective treats. Order the not-too-sweet Maghreb tart, a rich, buttery crust loaded with dates, toasted pistachios and almonds all set in a rosewater caramel -- it's like a North African pecan pie. 17941 Sky Park Circle, Suite E, Irvine, (949) 852-4609, www.blackmarket bakery.com.
Cocktails and wine
14. Cocktails at Copa d'Oro happy hour, $5: What better way to spend happy hour than in Santa Monica at Copa d'Oro, where bartender extraordinaire Vincenzo Marianella will make you any of 12 classic cocktails from the "Happy Depression Menu": Aviation, Ward Eight, Dark & Stormy -- they all go down especially easy for five bucks. And happy hour is all night on Monday, 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 217 Broadway, Santa Monica, (310) 576-3030, www.copa doro.com.
15. Half-off wine at Akasha, Itacho and Wilshire: If one of your favorite restaurants is offering bottles of wine at a 50% discount on certain weeknights, then why not plan accordingly? Akasha in Culver City offers half-off bottles of wine on Wednesdays, and so does Itacho, the popular izakaya next to Angelini Osteria on Beverly Boulevard. At Wilshire in Santa Monica, which has a wine list more than 20 pages long, 50%-off night is Monday; get a bottle of Torrontes for $16.50 or that '86 Chateau Margaux for $414. Akasha, 9543 Culver Blvd., Los Angeles, (310) 845-1700, www .akasharestaurant.com; Itacho, 7311 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 938-9009; Wilshire, 2454 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, (310) 586-1707, www.wilshirerestaurant .com.
Lobster and crab