Downtown L.A. has Grand Central Market, San Francisco has the Ferry Building, and now, Santa Ana has 4th Street Market. The 30,000-square-foot complex houses a coffee shop, multiple food vendors, a market, bar and plenty of indoor and outdoor seating.
And if you're looking for tater tots topped with Swiss cheese mornay, pickled onions, carnitas, cilantro and a fried egg, this is the spot.
On Thursday around noon, it was hard to find a seat, with men in suits, women in pencil skirts and twenty- and thirtysomethings in plaid shirts rushing around with trays of everything from fried chicken to paper bowls of steaming khao soi and plates of Vietnamese pork tacos.
The market, which opened Feb. 16, includes Dos Chinos, a brick-and-mortar version of the food truck, popular for its Asian fusion tacos; KTCHN DTSA, Felix Barron's Santa Ana version of his Pasadena and downtown L.A. brunch pop-ups; Mar, a seafood spot by Jon Melendez of Santa Ana's Civic Restaurant; Stockyard Sandwiches, where you will find tater tot poutine; Ink Waffles, with waffle sandwiches by Danny Godinez (Anepalco Cafes); Wagyu chuck, where it's nothing but gourmet burgers by Jason Quinn (Playground); Noodle Tramp, serving up khao soi and crispy rice salad by Jason Quinn; and PFC, where you'll find fried chicken topped with sticky agave, jalapeno and lime zest, also by Quinn.
For dessert, Front Porch Pops and Torch S'more Company serving s'mores and dessert pops; and Chunk-N-Chip, with its ice cream sandwiches. There's also Radical Botanicals, which has a variety of juices, aguas frescas, alkaline water and smoothies from bartender Izumi Hamagaki; and Recess Libations, where you can find craft cocktails, beer and wine, all on tap.
If you're wearing a plaid shirt and you're rocking a weeklong beard, chances are you're grabbing a coffee from Portola coffee, located directly inside the market's main entrance. It's a sprawling coffee bar serving coffee, tea and coffee tastings.
There's also an actual market, called Honor Roll Community Market, inside the market, with baked goods from Dough Exchange Bakery, wine and craft beer, produce, and a selection of artisanal hot sauce, olive oil and more. It's also where you'll find Electric City Butcher by Michael Puglisi (formerly of Picnik).
On one side of the market, across from Portola coffee, there's a series of individual kitchens behind a glass window. That's the East End Incubator Kitchens, where small-batch food makers can rent fully self-contained kitchen spaces.
And if cocktails on tap, khao soi, fried chicken and s'mores under one roof weren't enough to get you excited, there's plenty of parking in a large lot adjacent to the market.
The market is open daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
201 E. 4th St., Santa Ana, (714) 486-0700, www.4thstreetmarket.com.
Tots should be their own food group. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_