I am addicted to food markets.
Which is funny, considering my entire family used to think I was the pickiest eater in the world. Turns out I’m just a natural-born pescatarian & fresh-food eater. Which makes food markets the perfect place for me. Find a delicious curry-potato side from this stall and an egg-covered salad in that stall…
And now that we’re all hungry – you know why I was excited to try Los Angeles’s Grand Central Market when I went to visit a West-coast friend.
Grand Central Market opened in 1917, and has been open ever since! The vendors have changed a bit over the years, but it stills has some grocers and other staples. Now, of course, it is a celebration of the diverse food landscape that LA has to offer. The atmosphere of a food market is also an unmistakable draw for me. The loud hum of conversations, the energy of hungry people deciding which line to stand in, and the slight chaos of finding a place to sit are all a part of food market charm.
It only took me walking one round to decide what I was going to order. A hot & fresh gourmet grilled cheese with avocado from one vendor…. and SWEET THAI COCONUT PANCAKES from another. Somebody hold me, because I could eat Thai coconut pancakes every day if I knew where to find them.
I first discovered these delicious coconut-milk-based pancakes in London. They’re made in a specific, indented pan, so they’re all perfectly round and identical. The shape of the pan also allows them to be delicately crispy on the outside, and delightfully creamy on the inside.
Everything in the market was delicious, of course, but I honestly can’t remember much else than being reunited with a coconut pancake vendor. Seriously… it had been over a year since I last enjoyed some!
My other tasty LA food experience was in NoHo. Since it seems like half of my university moved to Los Angeles after graduation, the friend I was staying with drove us to meet up with another of our friends for brunch.
It was an overcast day right before Spring felt like hitting California. So we walked to The Fat Dog. For me, simple is best when it comes to brunch. So I ordered eggs with maple sausage, toast, and potatoes. And since I was on vacation and it WAS BRUNCH, I decided to try the champear – some bubbly with pear cognac and garnished with a pear slice.
If you ever see champear on a menu – order it and thank me later.
I have officially brunched in NoHo, which I believe means my hipster cred is now permanently established.