Location #27:

The Food Hall
( Scene #3 of the Summer Musical Montage  )


(B.)  59:59:  We see Mia & Sebastian sitting on stools, enjoying a meal in a spacious food hall, adorned with neon signs.

This is Grand Central Market, at 317 S, Broadway, in downtown L.A.

That is just south of W. 3rd Street, between Hill Street (on its west side) and Broadway (on its east side).

It's a large, cavernous (almost warehouse-like) space, filled with a variety of 37 food and produce stalls.

I suppose that the best way to describe it would be to compare it to a mostly-Hispanic version of L.A.'s Original Farmers Market, in an urban/downtown setting, except that there's less emphasis on produce and more emphasis on prepared foods.  And lots of neon.

You will find fresh produce here, but it's dominated by a variety of international food stalls vending Mexican tacos, Jewish deli, ramen noodles, German currywurst, chow mein...  plus newer (more gentrified) additions such as the popular "Eggslut", and "Horse Thief" BBQ..  Basically, something for everyone, in an open, working-class environment.  Don't bother getting dressed up.  This is a come-as-you-are place.


Here is a Google 360° panorama of the interior of the market:




The exact counter where Mia & Seb are sitting in the scene (with the blue neon) is called "Sarita's Pupuseria" (stall E-5) .  For those who don't know, a pupusa is an El Salvadorian snack consisting of thick, flat cornmeal (masa) discs stuffed with a your choice of fillings, including meats, rice and cheeses.

Here's a photo of Sarita's:



Grand Central Market began 100 years ago, in 1917.  ( As such, it is considerably older than Farmers Market, which opened during the Great Depression. )

And back then, it wasn't the ethnic hub it is today.  Instead, it catered to L.A.'s wealthy, who used Angels Flight to descend from their Victorian homes atop Bunker Hill to shop at the Market – back when Bunker Hill was an exclusive residential neighborhood, long before those homes were leveled to make way for today's collection of skyscrapers .


But later years saw waves of immigration change the character of downtown L.A., and the Market changed with it.  And it's still changing, including a major renovation a few years ago.  It's becoming more gentrified today than it was back in the '80's when I first visited it.

Grand Central Market is right across the street from (west of) the landmark Bradbury Building (at 304 Broadway), built in 1893, which was made famous in movies like 1982's "Blade Runner", where it played a key role.

This is particularly moteworthy, since Ryan Gosling, who plays Sebastian in "La La Land", is the star of the 2017 remake of "Blade Runner" (titled "Blade Runner 2049"), which is a more-than-interesting coincidence.

( Here's a 360°  panorama of the Bradbury Building's spectacular architecture.)

It's also right across the street from (east of) Angels Flight, which we will see later in this film.

( You can literally walk through one side of the market and out the other, so you could take Angels Flight down to Hill Street, walk across to the west door of the Market, walk out the east side, and across to the Bradbury Building, and wind up with three Gosling-related locations in a row. )


Lines are long at lunchtime, so try to come at a earlier (they open at 10 AM).

And exercise reasonable caution.  Despite improvements, downtown L.A. (like the urban center of any big city) can still be a somewhat risky place to visit.



Here is a Google StreetView of the east side of the market, on Broadway:




Here is that very short scene from the montage:





Here is a link to a Google Earth 3-D view
of Grand Central Market






    

Move on to the next movie location seen in "La La Land".

    

"La La Land" and its images are copyright Summit Entertainment
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