Ten years ago you wouldn’t have thought of visiting Downtown LA for a food fix. Tourists tended not to bother going there. Today, however, after a decade of gentrification, this one-time culinary desert has become something of a hot spot.
Nowhere is this plainer than at Grand Central Market, Downtown’s beating heart. Following its recent refurbishment, modern cafés now abut traditional food stalls, Hispanic cafés sit next to oyster bars, and Texan BBQ joints neighbour legendary Eggslut, a food truck turned cult breakfast stall.
Order the slut, a coddled egg with mashed potato in a jar before buying Mexican dried chillies and fresh mole pastes from Chiles Secos. Grab a cold beer and head to Las Morelianas for Michoachan barbecue – the whole pig’s on offer here, from pulled pork carnitas to liver, kidney, snout and crackling, served on corn tortillas with fiery salsas. And finish off with one of Valerie Confections’ bittersweet, truffle-studded chocolate market cakes.
Elsewhere in Downtown, stalwarts Philippe’s, home of the French-dipped sandwich (roasted meat served between soft white French rolls and dipped in the roasting jus), and Nick’s Café, a diner serving the best ham and eggs in town, have survived since 1908 and 1948, respectively, in the main because they’re simply very good at what they do.
But for modern Angeleno food head to Faith and Flower, a gilded age-style stunner plying a popular line in craft cocktails and a witty menu from chef Michael Hung. Try the devilled jidori eggs garnished with kimchi, Filippino-style longanisa sausage with a tart-but-earthy blood and vinegar dressing, or kanpachi ceviche, bright and fresh, made with ginger beer. Order a sensational English milk punch, but steady yourself – this 1862 blend of bourbon, rum, absinthe and clarified milk has a kick.
Double rooms at Hotel Figueroa start at $141, room only. Return flights from London to LA start at £459. More info: discoverlosangeles.com.
Photo credits: Jakob N Layman, Getty Images
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