Last year it was the experimental restaurant Alma that was honored by Bon Appetit as the best new restaurant in America. This year, the magazine went in an entirely different direction, naming the Grand Central Market as one of its Hot 10 — the best new restaurants of 2014.
At Alma, chef Ari Taymor is turning out dishes that push the envelope when it comes to advanced modernist techniques. But at Grand Central Market, something different is going on — a modern take on the old-fashioned food court.
Rather than ordering from a single menu, at Grand Central you can choose old-school tacos from Tacos Tumbras a Tomas, polished Thai street food from Sticky Rice, adventurous egg dishes from Egg Slut, a great cheeseburger at the nation’s first completely vertically integrated meat market from Belcampo, great cheeses from DTLA Cheese, Texas barbecue from Horse Thief and much more.
“What in the world is a 97-year-old food court doing on this list?” asks Bon Ap restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton. “Let me explain. Over the past year, Grand Central Market, much like the rest of downtown L.A., has seen a remarkable renaissance.
“When I first started going to GCM a decade ago, it was for tacos and a glimpse into a world much different than what you’d find in, say, Malibu. It was authentic, if a bit gritty. Some of the food was good; much of it wasn’t. But now, with new stands joining the fray, it’s great.”
This year’s winner of the best new restaurant is Washington, D.C’s Rose’s Luxury, followed by Philadelphia’s High Street on Market, New York’s Estela, San Francisco’s Tosca and Seattle’s Westward. Rounding out the top 10: Portland, Maine's Central Provisions, San Antonio’s Hot Joy, Austin, Texas’ Thai-Kun and Portland, Ore.’s, Maurice.
Four other Southern California restaurants were finalists for the awards: Josef Centeno’s new Orsa & Winston, Q sushi, Ludo Lefebvre’s Trois Mec, and Kris Yenbamroong’s Night + Market Song
317 S Broadway, Los Angeles, (213) 624-2378, www.grandcentralmarket.com/.