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LA’s Colorful Outdoor Mercado Olympic Is a Downtown Food Paradise

Plus help for Olsons Scandinavian Deli, and new bar owners Downtown

Mercado Olympic
Mercado Olympic
Paul Bartunek
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.

Mercado love

The LA Times has put together a big new feature on the Piñata District’s longtime outdoor market, known to many as Mercado Olympic. The blocks-long streetscape features everything from vendors selling toys, trinkets, and dried chiles to one-off food stands hawking churros, tacos, drinks, and just about anything else under the sun. Go give the in-depth piece a read.

Coming up

The former 213 Hospitality (now Pouring With Heart) has taken over a couple of prominent Downtown LA bars, including the Fountain and Spring Street Bar. That company purchased both from the ABC group of restaurants and bars.

Smoke for a cause

Maple Block Meat Co. is hosting a big outdoor cookout on August 11 to benefit the Los Angeles Food Bank, and Billy Harris and Phil Rosenthal will be in attendance. For $145, expect drinks as well as sausages, smoked short ribs, chicken, pork ribs, and a whole lot more.

Roll on in

Dunkin Donuts has opened a new location in Compton. The outlet at 2232 S. Central Avenue includes a drive-thru, and keeps daily hours from early AM through evening.

Raising funds

Olsons Scandinavian Deli is hoping to raise some much-needed money to stay open along Pico Boulevard. The restaurant has been a staple for Mid-City for more than 70 years, but with flagging business and rising costs, the owners are seeking $50,000 to make some changes, including adding beer, wine, and brunch.

Rumor has it

Both Philz and Sweetgreen are reportedly taking to the Valley, landing at the former Marrakesh restaurant development space on Ventura Boulevard, west of Coldwater Canyon.

Open for business

The Santa Monica Proper Hotel’s rooftop restaurant Calabra is now open. Expect chef Kaleo Adams to pull together lounge-y fare from across the Mediterranean.