Shortly before the new year, we learned that Downtown's Grand Central Market was undergoing a big overhaul, raising concerns that the time-worn spread of food stands would get a watered-down, yuppified touch. One piece of early news raises our hopes a little higher as we see som tam specialist Sticky Rice announcing the development its own Thai concept for a stand at the reinvented arcade.
Currently, Sticky Rice's pristine, firm rice and papaya salad has only been available at The Altadena Farmers Market, available for an easy three-dollars with a chaser of coconut pudding that the city's food explorers fell hard for. Cooked by former Flying Pig and Rivera staffer Johnny Lee, the new venture has backing from David Tewasart, a partner at Soi 7 and Green Papaya, and majority partner at Monterey Park's Spirit House, where Lee is chef.
Sticky Rice's new site is under development at the moment, meaning the business will be taking a break from its current footing in Altadena. According to the market, a new, yet-to-be-announced vendor will take its place next week. As this is the first word confirming one of Grand Central Market's new vendors, we have to admit, this is an impressive early showing.