When I think of the Los Angeles food scene, I immediately think of a city full of people live on a diet of air heavily mingled with ice cream, donuts and burgers. If you watch food tourism shows you know that you’ve thought the same thing. Truly, the L.A. food scene is very interesting, especially when it comes mix of flavors that proliferate the city’s plates. This is the place where a fusion of Mexican and Korean food was born, plus they also make some amazing ice cream and doughnuts. There’s no better place in L.A. to find the fusion of authentic Mexican and crazy donuts than at Grand Central Market. And in The Grand Central Market Cookbook: Cuisine and Culture from Downtown Los Angeles (by Adele Yellin and Kevin West; published by Clarkson Potter) the reader gets their foodie passport stamped with a variety of Grand Central Market’s finest food.
I love the cover of the book; with it’s retro of fruits and woven cloth print background. The Grand Central Market Cookbook is full of beautiful, edgy photos, funky fonts and bright colors. This is not a cookbook that will lull you to sleep; it will pump your adrenaline just by leafing through the pages.
While I usually don’t like to focus too much on Mexican cooking (because of my allergies), I have to say that the two pages of detailed instructions on how to create nearly a dozen condiments from salsas made reading the book worth it. I feel like I can now create these sauces in a way that I can eat and enjoy them. Other standout recipes include Chicken Flautas from Roast to Go, Artichoke Hot Wings from Golden Road Brewing and Salted Caramel Bread Pudding from Valerie Confections Bakery & Café. I did love the condiments and some of the recipes, but if you don’t have an adventurous palate or are someone, who like me suffers from many food allergies, you might have a hard time using The Grand Central Market Cookbook. Or skip it if you can never imagine cooking octopus or frying doughnuts.
My biggest peeve with this book is the inclusion of the “Slut” recipe from popular restaurant Eggslut. I get that the restaurant is popular and understand why that would make them want to include them in the book. But, I can’t stand that name. The owner claims it’s because of his love for eggs, but frankly unless he’s had some sort of sexual interaction with someone for eggs, he’s just being crude and lying. Rape culture has gotten so bad in this country that some people can’t even see it. I am raising two little baby boys who will someday be men and I want them to understand that calling someone that word is never okay. When you use that word you are both demeaning a person and making light of the terrible predicaments that some women find themselves in due to prostitution. Nothing to laugh about, nothing for children to here bandied about and nothing to be glib about.
If you are a fan of food markets you should definitely check out The Grand Central Market Cookbook for the history and great foodie talk. If you or someone you love is an adventurous eater then this book could be a great gift. I know I’ll be utilizing the sauces pages from some the finest stalls in Grand Central Market.
Kari Liked: Some of the recipes are interesting and two pages of salsa recipes are worth reading the whole book.
Kari Didn’t Like: I also found one of the featured restaurants name to be highly offensive. Some of the recipes are things I couldn’t eat or wouldn’t imagine making at home.
( I received a copy of this from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.)