Sunday, September 22, 2013

Where to Eat: Global Cuisine @ Grand Central Market

The Eats: An array of foods, products and beverages from around the world

The Location: Downtown L.A.

The Vibes: Lively, crowded, colorful, intriguing, authentic, historic

Good for: To try something new

When-To-Go: Although open daily 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., lunchtime is a great time to go because that's when the market is the most animated

The $ Factor: All depends on which food stand you order from

The 4-1-1:
1 hour free parking, with $10 min. purchase

I’ll Be Back…: To try one of the food vendors I haven’t tried yet 

Fresh produce, spices, specialty drinks, international dishes, a liquor store and even a jewelry stand…Chinese, Indian, Thai, Mexican, Japanese and Hawaiian cuisine…It might be hard to believe, but all of these aforementioned items share something in common: they’re all housed in downtown’s Grand Central Market.

Proudly claiming to be Los Angeles’ oldest and largest open-air market, in business since 1917, GCM is a reflection of the many cultures that exist in L.A., a true example of why this city is arguably the most diverse city in our nation.

Weaving in and out of the stands, you’ll notice many sights, smells, sounds and tastes: the sizzling, crackling pop of pupusas being made…the butchers selecting, cutting and packaging fresh fish…frothy smoothies and boba juices being blended…decadent desserts staring at you from behind glass fixtures. Taking the time to wander and get lost within the maze of aisles upon aisles of GCM is truly a sensory delight.

For the most part, everything is reasonably priced. A well-proportioned lunch shouldn’t cost more than $10 and the prices for produce (pictured below) are well below the norm than from your typical chain grocery store. Now don’t go expecting gourmet food served up on the finest china, with crisp white linen tables and beautifully folded napkins. But what you lack in high prices and a fine dining atmosphere, you make up in originality, character and simply put, amazing out-of-the-box food options.

There’s also plenty of seating areas to choose from—both inside and outside. The hardest part will be choosing where to go and where to sit, but fortunately, you can always come back!

So the next time you find yourself interested in being immersed in LA’s cultural food scene, I highly recommend that you head to the Grand Central Market to do so. Grab lunch and also a few seasonal fruits for later.

See you there soon!

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