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Sprawling New Food Hall Promises Big Things For Changing Fashion District

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Santee Passage arrives next year

Behind the lofts at Santee Court
Santee Court
Farley Elliott is the Senior Editor at Eater LA and the author of Los Angeles Street Food: A History From Tamaleros to Taco Trucks. He covers restaurants in every form, from breaking news to the culture, people, and history that surrounds LA's dining landscape.

Another day, another food hall for Los Angeles. This one is called Santee Passage, and it lands in the bustling Fashion District in Downtown sometime early next year. Unlike some of the other lesser projects LA is being populated with of late, this one comes with some of the most experienced food hall curators in the business.

Residents affected by the first-floor food hall plans were notified just this morning of the upcoming build-out, which spans some 20,000 square feet across two different adjacent buildings. There’s a pedestrian walkway connecting the two, and a semi-hidden courtyard that will be used for outdoor dining and live events.

Perhaps most interesting to the project so far is the talent behind it, including two particular names: Joseph Shuldiner and Kevin West. They’re the ones largely responsible for the complete overhaul at Grand Central Market, bringing in varied vendors and winning awards along the way. Those two will be responsible for leasing at the new Santee Passage property, and lease negotiations are reportedly underway already.

It will be interesting to see what comes of the ultimate property, given how much more saturated the food hall market is in Los Angeles compared to 2015. There are several multi-unit projects now in greater Downtown, from the Corporation Food Hall just blocks away to an incoming Korean grocery store that will offer in-building dining as well. That’s to say nothing of projects coming online or already open in Hollywood, Koreatown, Whittier, Glendora, Rancho Cucamonga, and well beyond.

That said, the area is already undergoing plenty of change. There’s a Stumptown Coffee coming right around the corner, and Sonoratown is already winning awards and turning heads with their northern-Mexico style tacos from a tiny storefront on 8th Street. It’s also worth noting that, while the names are similar, this Santee Passage project is in no way connected to Santee Alley, a long-running outdoor bazaar in the same Fashion District area. The Passage project is a couple of blocks to the north, and won’t open until sometime early next year.

Santee Passage. 700 S. Los Angeles, St., Los Angeles, CA.