Sure, downtown L.A. could use more grocery stores. But it already has the best of the best. Little Tokyo Market Place is prepared for every craving, with a sushi stand, noodle kiosks, ready-to-eat roasted mackerel and kimchi pancakes, not to mention wells of pre-marinated bulgogi. In the mood for salty Japanese snack chips and a tallboy of Yebisu? Yep, got that. What about tea time with sweet-potato pastries and soft donuts stuffed with blueberry cream? On it. Plates of sashimi and salmon eggs? Um, duh. Unlike most specialized Asian groceries, Little Tokyo Market Place also stocks all the essentials, and even hipster nonessentials — DTLA health nuts will be happy to find a full shelf of kombucha. The first thing you see when you enter is a sprawling produce section with every vegetable you'll need for whatever cuisine you're fancying. And if you arrive on the right day, wander toward the tank of live crabs and you might find a butcher slicing up a 4-foot-long tuna.
Credit: Amy Nicholson