In case you need an excuse to consume more avocados, it’s avocado season and June is California Avocado Month. To celebrate, the California Avocado Commission has teamed up with Grand Central Market — a place that screams L.A. almost as much as avocados do — to offer specials featuring the fatty fruit.
Southern California’s love affair with avocados is no accident — or is it? The Hass avocado variety that makes up the majority of avocados eaten across the world was discovered accidentally in La Habra Heights after a gardening mailman planted a stubborn Guatemalan seed in 1925. All Hass avocados can be traced back to the Hass Avocado mother tree in this city, which appropriately holds an annual avocado festival.
If you’re looking for more ways to get your avocado fix, here are seven diverse Grand Central Market dishes being served during California Avocado Month — and not an avocado toast among them.
California avocado green gazpacho, DTLA Cheese
Summer’s around the corner and what better way to celebrate than with a bright, refreshing bowl of gazpacho. DTLA Cheese combines grapes, avocado and almonds for its well-balanced, light green version ($7) garnished with chili pepper, pickled cabbage, pepitas, tomatillo, cilantro and Capriole goat cheese.
Chicken adobo and California avocado fried rice, Sari Sari Store
Marinated in soy sauce, vinegar, garlic and black peppercorns, chicken adobo ($12) is a national dish of the Philippines. But avocado “brings it to another level” and “pumps up the flavors,” says Sari Sari Store head and James Beard–nominated pastry chef Margarita Manzke. Throughout the summer they’re serving something sweet too, of course — an avocado slush that’s basically an epic avocado milkshake.
Shakshuka bialy pizza with California avocado, Olio Wood Fired Pizzeria
Inspired by a Turkish pasta, this ain’t your average pizza. Organic bialy dough is topped with shakshuka sauce (tomatoes, red pepper, cumin, paprika and cayenne), garlic yogurt, avocado, pine nuts, sumac, freeze-dried mint and Aleppo chilis from Turkey ($8.49).
Spicy California avocado beet crisps, Ramen Hood
Korean-Indian chef Rahul Khopkar based this inventive vegan, gluten-free dish on Indian street food pani puri. Crispy hollowed rice flour shells are filled with steamed seasoned beets that taste insanely similar to spicy tuna and topped with an avocado mousse ($5 for four).
Brisket sandwich with smoked California avocado relish, Horse Thief BBQ
Not for the faint of heart, this rich sandwich ($16) includes several soft, fattier elements. Brisket, smoked California avocado relish, avocado with creme fraiche and cotija cheese are piled high on a bun.
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California Avocado shrimp cocktail, Prawn Coastal
Mark Peel’s seafood stall is serving up an elevated shrimp cocktail ($6.50) with California avocados, shrimp, pickled carrots and onions, scallions and oregano vinaigrette plus Napa cabbage for crunch. Their Cleveland rub (salt, pepper, chipotle, paprika, allspice and touch of clove) gives it a kick.
California Avocado Mashed Potato Skins, Golden Road Brewing Company
Not content with one potato comfort food, Golden Road combines two. Mashed potatoes sit atop cheesy potato skins ($8 for four) loaded with smashed avocado, tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, bacon and white cheddar. You say “potato,” I say “delicious.”
317 S. Broadway, downtown; (213) 624-2378, grandcentralmarket.com