Monday, September 26, 2016

SUPER KING: THE GLORY OF L.A.'S MIDDLE EASTERN MARKETS

ADVERTISEMENT FOR JONS MARKETPLACE

This week's arts and culture piece is about one of my--and I'll wager your--all-time favorite subjects: food.

Here's how it begins:

One of the greatest discoveries of my early years in L.A. was the Jons Market on Hobart and Santa Monica Boulevards in East Hollywood.

Jons was my introduction to the culinary wonders of the Middle East. Cartons of sour cherry and black currant juice. Kefir, smoked herring, eight kinds of feta. Sugared almonds, sheets of apricot paste, rounds of dried figs. Rustic blocks of deep brown-green olive oil soap. And $6.99-a-pound loose tea in a box of cheap pink cardboard with Arabic lettering, strong pots of which saw me through several winters and the writing of at least two books.

Later I would discover the mom-and-pop markets all up and down Santa Monica Boulevard in that part of town: holes-in-the-wall with fresh lamejun, dirt-cheap produce, haughty cashiers and deliriously crabby customers.

But who cared? Attending 5:30 p.m. Mass at Immaculate Heart of Mary, then getting my shins barked in the couscous aisle by an impatient, cart-wheeling fellow shopper (often a guy with a three-day beard and a pack of Ararats sticking out of his shirt pocket) was part of the fun.

READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE. 


PART OF THE SPICE RACK AT SUPER KING


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