Grand Central Market Downtown – Is Change Good or Bad?

Recently I have been hearing a lot of chatter about Grand Central Market which is located in downtown LA. To be perfectly honest, I’ve never been and I know that’s an absolute shame! I hear there are amazing food stalls filled with authentic international fare at a very affordable price.

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The market was built to service the people in the neighborhood – produce and food stalls, but with the demographics of downtown changing, the owners are trying to move the market forward with the times and some people aren’t too happy about it – thinking it may change the inherent character of the place. Change is going to occur with some newer vendors, new design and of course added wifi. Personally, I think there’s a way to do both – keep the character and create some new commerce and increase the users. Believe me, our Downtown needs all the help in can get. I just completed a Sotheby’s Global Networking conference that was held at LA Live. People from all over the world came and none of them were impressed by our Downtown. It’s just not user friendly once you leave the complex. Of course there are amazing restaurants popping up down there, but it’s still a serious work in progress as the Downtown of a major Metropolis.

If I were they owners I would take a page from the renovation of Mercado San Miguel in Madrid. I visited a couple years ago and found it fabulous. It had an amazing energy and it was so fun to hang out there, taste the food and people watch.

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Who knows what will ultimately happen to Grand Central Market, but I plan on visiting soon either way. Why, because the food sounds amazing!  And for that I’ll usually go anywhere….Chowhound summarized a few of the stalls for us – see below. I know I’ll be heading down there soon for some papusas!

• Piles of slow-cooked meats lure market-goers to the counter of Tacos Tumbras a Thomas,where tacos and tortas brim with goat, tongue, carnitas, and other traditional fillings. There’s so much meat in each taco that a fork is necessary—not bad for $2.50 a pop. 317 S. Broadway, Suite A-5, Los Angeles; 213-620-1071.

• Sticky Rice is one of the newest vendors here, offering Thai street food dishes like penang curry with beef and a version of Hainan chicken with garlic rice. Of course there’s mango sticky rice as well. 317 S. Broadway, Suite C-4-5, Los Angeles; 626-872-0353.

• When the market’s renovation was first announced, food writer Jonathan Gold spoke for many fans when he tweeted, “If they touch Roast to Go, I will be down there with a machete.” The counter’s carnitas dishes are particularly Chowhound-worthy, and this is one of the only places in the market where you can get a fish taco or burrito. 317 S. Broadway, Suite C-7-8, Los Angeles; 213-625-1385.

• For Salvadoran pupusas stuffed with chicharron, mushroom and cheese, beans, and more, head to Sarita’s Pupuseria. The goods are made to order, and go great with the stand’s pickled-cabbage slaw. 317 S. Broadway, Suite E-5-6, Los Angeles; 213-626-6320.

• The carnitas and machaca from Ana Maria’s are great, but ‘hound Ernie can’t resist the chile relleno burrito—the beans and chile relleno are made fresh daily. 317 S. Broadway, Suite C-9-10, Los Angeles; 213-620-0477.

 

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