Of all the neighborhoods in LA, Downtown remains my favorite in terms of interesting new restaurants and unique food experiences. With Smorgasburg now happening every Sunday in the Arts District, Downtown has gotten even cooler.
A spinoff of Brooklyn’s outdoor foodie market of the same name, Smorgasburg in LA has something for everyone and, for someone like me, it requires a lot of tough decisions. Do I go for a Peruvian Pomegranate-glazed Pork Belly Taco or a giant Korean Shrimp Mandoo Dumpling with Carrot Juice Dough? Should I satisfy my sweet tooth with a Filipino Blue Velvet Butterscotch Ensaymada or a Donut stuffed with speculoos (Belgian cookie butter), glazed with chocolate and topped with sea salt. Usually my answer to these dilemmas is “all of the above,” but with the large amount of excellent vendors each week curated by expert food blogger/podcaster Zach Brooks, choices unfortunately need to be made.
Of course there are some easy calls. The insanely amazing sliced-to-order Pastrami on Rye Sandwich from Ugly Drum is an absolute must-have, as are the BBQ Pork Ribs from Black Sugar Rib Company. Fresh Uni in the Shell from Jolly Oyster is also something not to be missed. Besides all of the food options, Smorgasburg has live music, craft vendors, a beer garden and picnic benches to eat on. It’s all located in an outdoor section of an exciting and newly gentrifying mixed-use warehouse complex called ROW DTLA, which has a few really cool high-end shops already open and and will add many more unique shops, as well as restaurants, in the next several months.
Smorgasburg is located in ROW DTLA at 777 S. Alameda St, Los Angeles and happens every Sunday between 10am and 4pm.