Tacos Tumbras a Tomas opened in 1995 and serves up flavors reminiscent of the market’s early days, when it was heavy on taco stands. Tomas Martinez and brothers Manuel and Jesus run the shop, arriving for work at four a.m. to make Michoacán-style carnitas, cooked in lard and a secret mix of seasonings over low heat for close to four hours. Food truck tacos tend to be tiny, but Tacos Tumbras heaps two corn tortillas with enough meat for four tacos. Topped simply with salsa, cilantro, onion and a squeeze of lime, these authentic tacos draw about 1,000 diners daily.
A newcomer to Grand Central Market, Belcampo Meat Company is a butcher shop and a great place to get a gourmet burger. The butcher shop sells quality, pricey meats (think $35/lb. for steak) that enable diners to enjoy the moral high ground. Belcampo sources all of its meat from the restaurant’s own farm, where animals are treated humanely and fed organically. Favorites from the restaurant include the classic Belcampo burger, smothered with caramelized onions and served on a soft bun, and fantastic beef tallow fries cooked in animal fats the way nature intended.
Grand Central Market appeals to the country mouse in every Los Angeles city-dweller. Packed with fresh produce and featuring specialty restaurants of every ilk, even the most urbane downtown resident may wander in for fresh local peaches, a juicy, ethically prepared burger, or hearty carnitas tacos.