I'm just back from a convention and here's the quick report. I had a terrific lunch at Carmo, which another thread recommended as a healthy option. The Esmerelda Salad with quinoa, black beans, and corn was tasty & refreshing. This place has a casual vibe--order at the counter and take a seat. Good service, though it gets crowded at peak hours.
I also had lunch at Cochon and loved the wood-fired oyster roast and kale salad. As you can imagine from the name, this place is heavy on pork, also on fried foods & it all looked original, though that's not in my diet these days. Very nice, clean, modern space with a lot of light. Seems like it would be great for a business lunch.
I had dinner the first night at A Mano. Solid A. Simple, traditional interior, good service, great modern Italian.
Root is also an A and seemed to be more of a hipster's night-out sort of place, with a striking modern look -- white leather banquets &c. -- and a big wine & cocktail list. I had the Lebanese Tea Brined Gulf Fish (with lychee pine quinoa, salsify purée & dehydrated wakame) and the Smoked Cornmeal Encrusted Louisiana Oysters (with sweet corn spoon bread, 'hoppin' john" pan jus, mustard green foam). Outstanding.
All these places are a short walk from the convention center.
I know Al di La and Bonnie's, am looking for other great finds within walking distance (say, under 15 minutes), especially good and surprising ethnic eats. Thanks.