Grand Central Market…

Grand Central Market
Grand Central Market

Celebrating Easter Sunday in Los Angeles is a religious experience for all. Our lord and savior has divined no traffic before 1pm.

Like Jesus we rose from a dead sleep and were out the door by 7:30am.

We cruised to downtown Los Angeles without any stoppage and made the journey in 25 glorious minutes.

Hallelujah. We even found parking steps away from the Grand Central Market.

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photo:grandcentralmarket.com

Here’s the back story. The Grand Central Market was established in 1917 and has been in continuous operation since.

One hundred years ago, Broadway was the principal commercial and entertainment corridor of downtown Los Angeles. Bunker Hill, to the west, was covered with stately Victorian mansions and the area’s stylish residents rode down on Angels Flight to shop for groceries in the Market’s open air arcade.

In 1984, Ira Yellin, a successful developer with an academic interest in urban planning and historical preservation, bought Grand Central Market and adjacent properties including the Million Dollar Theater, as well as the landmark Bradbury Building across the street.

Ira passed away in 2002. Adele Yellin continues to champion his vision that Los Angeles needs a vibrant downtown.

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Lately, the market has undergone another transformation and is again a very popular place to mingle and indulge in some very tasty and diverse food.

We were headed to Egg Slut which is supposed to serve up a delish egg sandwich for $6, but, alas, it was closed on Easter Sunday.

Wexler's Deli
Wexler’s Deli

After making the rounds we settled on Wexler’s Deli and nothing could have been finer. They make their own bagels, albeit off campus, but they really do rival NYC bagels…crisp, not doughy and flavorful.

Egg Sandwich
Egg Sandwich

We ordered the home cured sturgeon sandwich ($11) with cream cheese, capers and onions and the fried egg sandwich ($11) with a dab of cream cheese, making is creamy and delectable.

Smoked Sturgeon Sandwich
Smoked Sturgeon Sandwich

Mr. Devil still had a hankering for more and ordered the smoke salmon (home cured) on a sesame bagel and it did not disappoint.

Smoked Salmon Sandwich
Smoked Salmon Sandwich

While our food was being prepped, David headed to G&B coffee and ordered potent and satisfying cappuccinos. The stand faces the main thoroughfare and miraculously has a free 5 minute parking spot right in front which provides an easy in and out for all passerby’s.

G&B Cappuccino
G&B Cappuccino

It turns out that Wexler’s is about to celebrate their first anniversary and it was doing a bang up business. They also have pastrami and corn beef sandwiches which I am eager to sample. Unfortunately, they do not have deli meat or smoked fish by the pound to go, only in sandwich form.

Press Brothers Juicery
Press Brothers Juicery

We strolled the market taking in the produce stand, jewelry repair, Press Brothers Juicery, McConnell’s ice cream which was just starting to open when we were heading out at 10am along with Olio Wood Fired Pizza and Sticky Rice Thai cuisine stands.

BelCampo
BelCampo

BelCampo is definitely on my list. They are supposed to have an amazing hamburger ($12) and select organic, prime meats at their full-service butcher shop.

China Cafe
China Cafe

Believe it or not, the China Cafe was packed at 9am. Soups, ramen, chop mein, you name it it was being consumed.

Clark Street Bread
Clark Street Bread

We picked up a loaf of organic, handcrafted Clark Street Bread. It was hot and right out of the oven.

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There are also a plethora of Mexican restaurants offering traditional fare…heavy on the pork. Breakfast tacos are a popular item. Ana Marie’s is one of the favorite stalls.

Horse Thief Texas Barbecue
Horse Thief Texas Barbecue

Another popular dining spot located just outside the market is Horse Thief Texas barbecue.

Angels Flight
Angels Flight

We decided to explore the area a bit more extensively after seeing Angels Flight across the street. For just 50 cents (or 25 cents for holders of valid Metro Passes) you can board one of the two orange and black incline railway cars and ride, “The Shortest Railway in the World.”

Angels Flight
Angels Flight

The funicular dates back to 1901 when Bunker Hill was one of the most fashionable neighborhoods in Los Angeles and the cars ferried prominent citizens up and down the steep slope between Hill and Olive streets.

The beloved landmark was dismantled for urban renewal of the area in 1969. In the early 1990s, the Railway was refurbished and relocated a half-block south, reopening adjacent to California Plaza in 1996. As short as it is (298 feet), Angels Flight is a Los Angeles experience, although pending resolution of a regulatory issue, Angels Flight is presently on hiatus.

Louise Nevison Sculpture 1985
Louise Nevison Sculpture 1985

We climbed the 200 or so steps up to Bunker Hill and took in the water garden and the Louise Nevison sculpture at the Wells Fargo Center.

Broad Museum
Broad Museum

Down the street is the Museum of Contemporary Art. The latest addition is the Broad Museum which is due to open September 20th, 2015 and will exhibit 2,000 contemporary pieces of artwork.

Architects Diller Scofidio + Renfro designed the exterior honeycomb veil (now known as “The Cheese Grater”) and will offer free admission to all.

Disney Concert Hall
Disney Concert Hall

The Walt Disney Concert Hall designed by Frank Gehry and the Los Angeles Music Center complex are also on Grand.

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What a pleasure to discover and explore downtown Los Angeles without pedestrian or street traffic. We headed back down the Angels Flight stairs, through the market and were at the beach in under 30 minutes.

Grand Central Market 317 South Broadway, Downtown Los Angeles. www.grandcentralmarket.com.

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