Grand Central Market | Press Coverage | Los Angeles Times | By Willy Blackmore Since he was about 8 years old, Victor Salgado has been going to Grand Central Market almost every week.
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Los Angeles Times
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Grand Central Market favorite China Café (the won ton soup place) gets an upgrade
May 23, 2017

By Willy Blackmore

Since he was about 8 years old, Victor Salgado has been going to Grand Central Market almost every week. Thirty years ago, his mother would take him to downtown Los Angeles from their home in Hollywood to go shopping for vegetables at the market, where the prices were low and the produce was fresh. A live mariachi band would play every weekend, the floor was strewn with sawdust, and there were dozens of food stalls to pick from for lunch. Salgado would only eat at one of the market's many restaurants, China Café.

These days, he makes the 70-mile trek from Palmdale with his wife and 1-year-old daughter, usually on a Sunday. They meet up with Salgado's parents and his sister and sometimes his 18-year-old son. After hunting around for four empty metal tables to push together, they sit as a family for a couple of hours, eating seafood noodle soup, fried rice with shrimp, won ton soup and fried dumplings.

While nearly everything else has changed over the course of the last three decades, the same servers and cooks are still working at China Café as when Salgado, 38, was a kid. "I guess that's the beauty of it. It's still the same, and the same food," he said.

But four years after Grand Central Market was reborn as a foodie destination, China Café is now changing too. The restaurant's many loyal customers — the swing-shift workers, the construction guys, the Deloitte accountants, the City Hall and court house employees — have had to eat elsewhere since late November when China Café closed for the first time in 40 years for an extensive remodel. It will reopen in April.

317 S. Broadway, Los Angeles, (213) 624-2378,

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