NFT Los Angeles South Central East

South Central East

South LA. Once known as South Central LA. Perhaps you've heard of it. Crime and poverty persist here, next door to one of the nation's most high-status universities. Still home to a predominantly African-American and Latino population, this area has nevertheless felt downtown's encroaching development, and the uneasiness of shifting demographics. Watch your back after dark, but give it up for the charities and activists working to make things more peaceful.

The 29th Street Café is an adorable and slightly vanilla nod to the neighborhood's history, housed in the Davis House, which was built in 1896. Kids and grown-ups can test their skateboarding skills at the Gilbert Lindsay Skate Park on 42nd Place. The Shrine Auditorium sees its fair share of awards events, concerts, and celebrities. And during the off-season, the See more.

>Coliseum and Sports Arena act as venues for some of the city's biggest concerts and sports events.


On Our Radar:

Posted By:  Noah Albert
Photo:  Noah Albert

University Village Food Court
Any food court is good news to me so I am don't mind venturing into this USC world to enjoy eclectic international food. There really is a wide variety of cuisine here including Thai, Korean, Mexican, Italian, Indian, Middle-Eastern, and more. Many of the stalls open around 9 or 10 in the morning and close around 8 pm, so its not just a lunch place. If you are looking for a sandwich (for lunch or dinner) I recommend a trip to Sandwich Island!. The things I like about this food court are the bustle (its always crowded when I've been here), the spacious high ceilings, and the affordable prices at some of the vendors. Not many people outside of USC know about this place; if you are in the area its a great location for a quick bite.

Posted By:  Noah Albert
Photo:  Noah Albert

California Science Center
So admission to the California Science Center is free, and they have a Frank Gehry designed Air and Space Gallery nearby. Who cares? I come here to look at the SR-71 by the parking lot (if you are splitting hairs the plane is an A-12 with the 2 seats). It is really something to see the object of all my 12 year-old fascination here in person. It is smaller than I imagined but still breathtaking. The only comparable experience was the day about a year ago when I saw one of the newer stealth jets flying above Los Angeles, like it was no big deal. (You can learn more about stealth jets in Nick Cook's fascinating book "The Hunt for Zero Point.") The SR-71 predates these jets by a long shot and was in service from 1966 to 1991. Now evidently they decorate parking lots.

Posted By:  Noah Albert
Photo:  Noah Albert

Mercado La Paloma
So you are south of downtown, wandering around, crossing the streets to avoid bums and checking out all the auto-body shops. Voila, you turn the corner, and right there, next to a freeway exit and a U-Haul place, a magnificent mural rises in front of you. Inside the building even more wonders await: a bunch of super friendly food stalls. A bunch of the places are Latin; there is a Thai place and burger joint to mix it up. I had a Oaxaquen sandwich and relaxed. Entering the Mercado La Paloma is like finding an oasis in the desert. You can't get much more NFT than this place.

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