Saturday, June 27, 2015


It’s ten o’clock and Grand Central Market in Los Angeles is crowded. I’ve been here during the week a couple of times a few years ago before the downtown area drew in hipsters and creative types to fill in the old bank buildings and offices in their newly designed loft apartments. It’s Saturday and business is moving.
            There’s a seat at the counter at Wexler’s Deli and I order a bagel with cream cheese and lox and they do it with capers and thin sliced red onion.
Next to me is a young couple having the smoked fish plate and a photographer and his wife on my other side. He’s shooting black and white, he says, so his flash won’t go off. The server checks on me once and smiles while two cooks slap cheese and slices of fish on bagels before ringing the bell for the pickup.
            The Market is a landmark in Los Angeles but often overlooked for the larger and more tourist-targeted Farmer’s Market on Fairfax next to CBS Studios. 
Fans whirl overhead and neon blurs above counters of steaming beans and rice, The China Café serving old school Chinese-American, stylish servers at Egg Slut where the line snakes all the way around the counter and the tables. Too crowded for me. 

At Bel Campo Meat I watch the butcher put a filet knife to a stack of short ribs and I give her a thumbs-up and say, ‘Nice looking shorties’, and she says, ‘They’re tasty too’. Solid, I’m thinking, this knife-slicing chick doing justice to a pile of beef bones, all of her cuts under glass looking Q-worthy. Sirloins, strip steaks, rib eyes. Juicy. 
            Outside two dudes smoking cigarettes ask how I’m doing, drinking coffee from paper cups they place on top of the news rack and I cross over to Ross Cutlery and roam the counters of Kershaws, Pro Tech, Zero Tolerance, talking to the counter man who has the best knife selection in Los Angeles for production and factory made blades.

Get an edge on.

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