Exploring local markets, carefully selecting souvenirs and nibbling from stall to stall, is one of my all-time favorite things to do while on the road.
Reflecting on recent trips, my mind drifts to the sunny afternoon The Astronomer and I spent picnicking outside Valencia’s Mercado Central (those strawberries!), and the lovely walk along the canals of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue at the Sunday market in Provence (those sausages!).
While in Chengdu, we made equally splendid memories at Yulin Comprehensive Market, which was tucked behind an extensive housing complex and surrounded by a bustling park.
Just outside the market’s entrance were clusters of local folks sipping tea, chatting, and gambling. Chengdu residents are famous for their laid back lifestyle.
Our first snack of the day was freshly fried and served up warm…
Continue reading ‘Yulin Comprehensive Market – Chengdu’
My Besh friend alerted me to the awesomeness of Yama Seafood in her recent write up, “Yama Seafood L.A. Fish Market is a Godsend for the Sushi Addict” on L.A. Weekly’s Squid Ink blog.
While The Astronomer was away for an out-of-town wedding this past weekend, I made elaborate plans to finally watch Jiro Dreams of Sushi while indulging in pristine sashimi from Yama. What better way to spend a lazy Sunday, right?
Yama ain’t much to look at from the outside, or the inside for that matter, but the people who run the three-decade-old market are super-sweet, and the fishes are as fresh as billed.
I made my way to the fish counter upon arriving at Yama. Three people were ahead of me in line, and it took a solid 20 minutes before I was served because the sashimi here is sliced and assembled to order.
There’s no menu, little signage, and just a bit of English spoken at the market, so I gestured and nodded to indicate the type and size of fish that I desired. I was only buying sushi for one, so two small fillets of salmon and yellowtail were more than enough to satisfy.
Continue reading ‘Yama Seafood – San Gabriel’
On our final day in Provence, we perused the Sunday market at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue. Located 23 kilometers from Avignon, this small Provençal town is famous for its Venice-like canals, working water wheels, and sprawling Sunday market. As we crisscrossed our way along the waterways, we found hundreds of vendors selling everything from local produce to soaps to espadrilles. I bought some of each.
First, cherries and cantaloupes were procured for a light breakfast. The vendor was nice enough to slice our melon into manageable pieces.
With our fingers sticky with fruit juice, we moseyed over to the sausage vendor, where we purchased three beautiful links for lunch. The Astronomer chose an herb-crusted sausage, while Mom chose a smoked variety. I settled on one made with figs. All three were seriously amazing. The vendor was nice enough to slice our sausages into manageable pieces.
Continue reading ‘Sunday Market at L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue’
The weather in Los Angeles was even more gorgeous than usual this past weekend, so The Astronomer and I spent much of it outside soaking in the sunshine. On Saturday afternoon, I curated an urban hike through downtown that included plenty to see and eat.
Our first stop was at Grand Central Market, a bustling place where people gather to eat, meet, and shop. The energy inside was palpable, and everything gleamed with deliciousness.
After perusing the aisles, hemming, hawing, and gawking, we finally chose to sit down for a bite at Sarita’s Pupuseria. Here, the Salvadoran specialty made of thick corn tortillas stuffed with cheeses and meats is made from scratch and griddled to order.
Our pork- and cheese-stuffed pupusa ($2.50) arrived after a ten minute wait. A watery tomato salsa and curtido, a lightly fermented cabbage slaw with red chilies and vinegar, were available at the counter for us to garnish as we pleased.
The warm pupusa was crisp and golden on the outside and oozed with cheese and shredded pork within. Even with the curtido and salsa curbing the pupusa’s richness, one was more than enough for the two of us. It was muy rico!
Continue reading ‘Discovering Downtown One Bite at a Time: Grand Central Market, Chinatown, and Olvera Street’