Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Historic L.A.: Chinese kitsch in Hollywood

Mandarin Market, Vine St. near Fountain

Although I vaguely remember the Hollywood Ranch Market being on Vine near Fountain, I had no idea that before it was remodeled, it was an impossibly kitschy Chinese-themed supermarket, the Mandarin Market. No wonder people were flocking to Hollywood in droves, it was so groovy back then, between the giant tamales and the pagoda-bedecked supermarkets. You'd think at least the 99 Ranch Market might like to copy this style instead of the bland square markets we have now.


Anonymous said...

Was there a giant tamale in Hollywood? There was one on Whittier Boulevard, and it still stands today, but now it's a beauty salon. At one point in the 1990s it was painted hot pink.

Pat said...

No, I just meant giant tamales in the general L.A. area, not necessarily in Hollywood itself. Although I think there were others besides the Whittier one.

Ellen Bloom said...

Oh! Me toooo, Pat! I wish we had more vernacular architecture in L.A. I'm sure you know, Jim Heimann's got 2 books out, "California Crazy" 1 & 2, that show examples of this fun!

I'm sure it's just probably too expensive to build these types of structures today. Sigh.

Geoff said...


Does Jim have another California Crazy book out? I only know about this one.