Move over, Grand Central Market — there’s a mellower, more manageable food court downtown in the Fashion District with a comfortable urban feel. Corporation Food Hall is an indoor/outdoor assembly of seven vendors including South City Fried Chicken, Pig Pen Delicacy, Soom Soom and Funculo. Think Pine Street Market in Portland.
At the end of the yellow chicken footprints on the Spring Street sidewalk, South City Fried Chicken owner Joshua Kopel and chef Sammy Monsour have brought their Southern roots to the entrance of the hall and represent eight cities in their sandwiches.
Each one begins with Jidori chicken in marinade and buttermilk brine, marinating together for a minimum of 24 hours. It’s then dredged in “stay crispy batter” before getting fried and seasoned in custom spice blends according to each sandwich’s destination.
The spicy Austin is a stack of rojo bean hummus, burrata, pickled radish, heirloom tomato and blue corn tortilla crumble basted with South City's signature hot sauce. The New Orleans is a classic, with creole remoulade cajun spice, Thai basil, a fried Chino Valley dark egg and collard green kimchi, topped with ginger-miso BBQ sauce.
South City’s Pineapple Dole Whip is addictive and can be topped with coconut, pecans or chocolate — it's the same recipe that you will find in the Happiest Place on Earth.
Funculo's "free-style pasta" makes lunch or dinner a made-to-order three-step process. Choose your shape from a case filled with at least a dozen handmade pastas, including artichoke ravioli and mushroom tortellini. Next, pick from one of the six sauces (pink vodka!). Finally, decide on a topping — onions, mushrooms, jalapeño, bacon, salmon, meatballs and more are available.
Soom Soom offers falafel, shwarma, kebabs and other Mediterranean fare, while the Bardonna outpost is good for breakfast, coffee and iced hibiscus tea. In addition to its pastrami burrito and crispy pork belly KBBQ tacos, Chiquitita is pouring a cool black rice horchata and other aguas frescas. You can also grab a pork belly rice bowl at Buddha Belly.
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Corporation Food Hall, 724 S. Spring St., downtown; corporationfoodhall.com.