Creative Destruction and Destructive Construction in Little Tokyo

9 Apr

A cornerstone of Little Tokyo, the Galleria, is undergoing huge changes. The last couple years have seen new tenants come in, and now they are doing some changes to the facade.

Does this mean the end of the fortress mall in the 90013?

In Mike Davis’ City of Quartz, he described how much of LA’s built environment was built to keep undesirables out — “bum-proof” benches, the lack of a city center, and even a Frank Gehry-designed library built as a fortress. The Galleria has stood as Little Tokyo’s example of that, with solid walls and few windows out to the sidewalk. The Galleria seems to tell pedestrians to beware, while secretly beckoning cars into its secret entrance.

Hopefully (but not probably), the scaffolding around the facade means that they are going to do something about that. It would be a great way to spark some new life to a curious hodge-podge of old and new Little Tokyo.

A couple insider tips for the mall:

– Sushi Go 55 is maybe even better than Sushi Gen, and you can actually get a seat at lunch. [updated with photos of the excellent chiraishi and sashimi plate.]

– The kimbap in the Woori Market is not good, but in the food court within Woori, the Boong Uh Town stall sells some of the best kimbap anywhere. [updated with a picture of Boong Uh Town.]

– The froyo place, Cherry on Top, sells papingsu, the Korean shaved ice treat. It’s a great deal. 


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