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FutureStarrAA El Mercadito Los Angeles
Location is great. Parking is your only option as the city is not designed for it. Atmosphere is mostly upbeat and not too catered to the old, but there is a great music selection of classic and contemporary Latin music. The food selection is huge and varied, the wait times vary with the day of the week, the tiempos are always interesting.
Although El Mercado has become strongly identified with the Latinx community, the space was originally a multiethnic market. Founded in 1968 by Art Chaya on the former site of the Boyle Heights Lumber Company, the two-story stucco building served the local Mexican, Japanese, and Italian communities. The variety of cultures, products, and foods boosted its appeal to outside visitors. Though the building has evolved over time, its original spirit and purpose have sustained.
“When I was a kid, I used to come here with a tía who made dresses and she would sell them to some vendors in the market and we would hang out on a regular Sunday,” says Boyle Heights native and local chef JR Warren. “She'd drop off the dresses and we would eat the food and meet friends. People would see each other here. It was really vibrant at the time.”
At “El Mercadito”, many of the food vendors are located on the market's second floor. Some specialize in a variety of hot chiles, spices, and moles. Huge buckets of mole paste come from México to be sold at the market. Mole verde and rojo from Guerrero, mole negro or colorado from Oaxaca, mole poblano, and many others. You can buy mole here by weight, add some broth and a protein to it, and you’ve got an entire meal.
Rich In Culture, Art & Food SITREP The El Mercadito Mariachi Restaurant is an East L.A. institution that abounds in the traditions of Mexico and is a fantastic place to come and commune, and to celebrate this rich culture. REVERENCE In the parking lot itself is are absolutely gorgeous shrines to the Madonna herself. That's right: not just one, but TWO. yelp.com/biz_photos/el-m… yelp.com/biz_photos/el-m… DECOR In the restaurant complex, various designs are artistic works are present on all the walls. * Mariachi themselves yelp.com/biz_photos/el-m… * And several variations on the colorful wall designs yelp.com/biz_photos/el-m… FOOD VENDING The restaurants are also supported by a network of eateries right in proximity. Very helpful, especially if the rush is on because then an associated eatery can still provide an excellent meal when your time is crunched. Some of it is QUITE enticing! ;) yelp.com/biz_photos/el-m… THE LOWDOWN Take a walk down the aisles and across the floors as if you were walking in one of the most colorful plazas of Mother Mexico herself....