Photograph by Cedric Angeles
Sri Windsor Café
Sure, the pad thai is commendable, but it’s the bite-size cake balls called kanom krok that slip their way into our Sunday-morning dreams. A cousin of the Danish ebelskiver (also available at the Hollywood market), the pastries have a creamy coconut milk center.
Markets: Atwater Village, El Segundo, Sherman Oaks, Torrance
Wherever pitmaster Neil Strawder fires up his custom-built, four-rack smoker, tasty things follow: meaty racks of ribs, tender pulled pork, and smoked greens cooked, like all good things, barbecue style, low and slow. Orders are wrapped in butcher paper to take home, but they rarely make it out of the parking lot.
Markets: Atwater Village, Hollywood, Torrance
Listen for the pat-pat sound of pupusas being shaped by hand. These griddled rounds of masa are stuffed with a molten mixture of beans, cheese, and pork, then covered in a pickled slaw called curtido, El Salvador’s answer to sauerkraut. Watermelon agua fresca should tame the heat of the salsa rojo.
Dave’s Gourmet Korean Food
Markets: Culver City, Echo Park, Hollywood, Mar Vista, Silver Lake, South Pasadena, Studio City
Dave’s may be best known for its Korean-inspired vegetarian products, like soy-free tempeh and spicy daikon kimchi. But this small tent also doles out lunch-ready dishes. The veggie bibimbap—Korea’s version of a rice bowl—comes topped with bean sprouts, cucumbers, daikon, cabbage, bellflower root, and carrots.
Gourmet Grill Masters
Markets: Echo Park, Hollywood, Larchmont, Manhattan Beach, South Pasadena, West Hollywood
It’s hard to miss the big red trailer with a dozen chickens turning on a spit, especially when the birds smell even better than they look. Herb roasted, crisp skinned, and juicy, this rotisserie poultry requires no accompaniments other than a few napkins.
Market: Silver Lake
Want to sample what’s in season? The salads being tossed at BOMB! Foods are made from the same produce that’s for sale at the market. The combination of purple cabbage, dinosaur kale, and shredded Japanese yam—all mixed in a tangy balsamic fig vinaigrette—is packed with as much flavor as antioxidants.