A passion for food + fashion

Lunch for $15 or Less: Grand Central Market

In Food, On Location: Out and About in L.A. on April 10, 2009 at 5:39 pm

The latest in my quest for lunch under $15 while I’m on jury duty downtown…


The other day I asked a couple friends for their favorite food stalls at Grand Central Market, a Los Angeles fixture since 1917. The first to respond was my friend Alec, who said “the one where Joey Pants meets DeNiro in Midnight Run.” (One of my all-time favorite movies.) I think DeNiro and Pantoliano meet at China Cafe inside Grand Central, does anyone know?

grand central

I wasn’t in the mood for Chinese, besides which, I was particularly taken with the suggestion from Pat Saperstein of EatingLA.com to check out Maria’s Fresh Seafood, specifically the shrimp tostada and fresh scallop taco. I ordered as directed, adding on a tamarindo (tamarind and Sprite – love), the grand total for which was $7! Given the generous portions and reasonable prices, I was pleasantly surprised at how fresh the fish was. And I love the crispy batter on the scallops in the soft taco. 

shrimptostadascallop taco

Checking out my fellow diners, it seems like the thing to get, and next time I will, is the seafood cocktail served in a cup. After lunch I wandered around and made a note to come back the next time I need dried chiles. Look at this stand:


Also, I was glad to see that Tumbras a Tomas, my favorite place for tortas, is still doing a mean business—standing room only. If jury duty lasts long enough last week (and I pray that it doesn’t), I’ll be back to order a goat torta, or else lengua and cabeza tacos. 


  1. Thats thr place! Cabeza tacos – yu mmmy.

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