The L.A. Historic Core: cultural and cutting edge food history

Fries Ice CreamBefore Fry Madness showed up on the scene in July, 2017, the L.A Historic Core had been the center of cultural change in the west for a long time. After World War II, the area began a revolution and revitalization that, while it has ebbed and flowed, continues today.


While we’re pretty sure that we’re the first to bring things like these marshmallow-covered sweet potato fries to the corridor, the area had a lot of firsts before us.

We’re talking about the area between 1st and 9th Streets. If you haven’t spent much time here, you’re missing out. Not only are some of the area’s best eateries located here, but it is the center for the performing arts, contains some of Southern California’s most iconic architecture, and has no shortage of trendy bars, gourmet restaurants, and things you won’t find anywhere else, including Fry Madness, where you’ll find the best munchies you’ve ever had.


L.A. has been a cultural melting pot since before it was Los Angeles. Beginning with the Chumash people as early as 8,000 BC, and including the introduction of Portuguese culture in 1542, and Spanish colonization in the 1600’s, Los Angeles was destined to become a destination for great, eclectic, world-class food.

la historic ctaWe’d like to think that those early Chumash Indians would appreciate what we’ve done with their beloved sweet potatoes.

Franch Fry Ice CreamPrior to World War II, the Core was the city’s center. Then, thankfully for all of us foodies, the financial district moved a few blocks west and the area become the Latino entertainment center of the entertainment world, attracting Spanish-language entertainment to the area’s Million Dollar Theatre. The theatre, which opened its doors in 1918, was built by Sid Grauman, of the famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.

Pershing Square

Less than a block away from Fry Madness you’ll find Pershing Square, another important part of the city’s cultural history. It has been used for everything from recruitment rallies during World War II, to a parking lot. It was redesigned in 1992, and the new park included a concert stage, public art and fountains. It became a place for locals to meet, eat, and participate in the area’s growing food and cultural scene.

Stop by Fry Madness for a cold brew and amazing fries like these before or after any of the summer’s concerts, films and events held at the park all summer long.

Don’t miss it

Franch FryYou’ll find all of these great activities just a few blocks from Fry Madness.

  • The Last Bookstore — California’s largest store selling new and used books and records. The store has become a local icon during the decade it has been at its current location. The store is a great place to explore and they host writers, storytelling evenings, and other entertainment that you won’t see anywhere else.
  • The Palace Theatre — Built in 1911, the Palace has undergone a radical renovation to bring it back to its original glory and make it a destination appropriate for the most modern shows. Walk by and check out what’s happening while you’re here.
  • Gallery Row — Fry Madness is literally located smack dab in the middle of Gallery Row, the heart of the arts and cultural life in the Historic corridor. If you’re on the Downtown ArtWalk that happens every 2nd Thursday evening, you can’t find a better place to feed your face than Fry Madness.
  • Architectural Treasures — You’re going to recognize a lot of these places from movies you’ve seen. Union Station, built in 1939 was used for filming everything from The Way We Were to Blade Runner. The Bradbury Building, built in 1893 is the oldest commercial building in the Core and has been seen in 500 Days of Summer and other movies. And the Biltmore, the site for the early days of the Oscars. You may recognize the hotel as Don Draper’s favorite Los Angeles location in Mad Men.

While all of us in the Core agree that we’re here to stay, we also know that the area will continue to grow and evolve, continuing to lead the way in culture, food, and art in the west and across the United States. So we’re sure that if you are visiting on vacation, passing through on your way to a downtown event, or looking for a great lunch spot or after-work bite to eat, you’re sure to always find something great in the corredor.

Whether you are shopping, visiting galleries, or coming from or going to a UCLA game, stop by Fry Madness for some munchies and a cold drink. We’ve always got something new on the menu to surprise and delight. And, we’re proud to be the newest addition to the Los Angeles Historic Core.