Answers from Our Experts (6)
Definitely the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market on Wednesdays. Asai Market is a huge ethnic market, kind of an Asian grocery store — I love that one. IMP [International Marine Products], which is where we get a lot of fish from. There’s a butcher shop here called Lindy & Grundy, where they do whole-animal butchery.
We are so lucky in L.A. to have a farmers market in multiple locations every single day. Even though I don’t get there that often because of my travels or things like that, I am so grateful for all of the farmers markets — in particular Saturdays and Wednesdays in Santa Monica. I’m a West Side girl, so I’m over there. When I get there on Sundays, the Hollywood market is amazing. Culver City and Venice have great markets, too, so we’re really lucky.
Then I am just always so thankful and grateful for what Whole Foods has done. Not to the exclusion of any others, but from a personal standpoint, I remember the days when Whole Foods didn’t exist and there were things that I couldn’t find or that I had to go really far to find; so I’m really grateful for them as well.
There’s the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market that’s great. I’m going to try to get most of the [Scarpetta] menu from those markets. There are three — Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday — that I’m going to be hitting. That’s what excites me as far as being a chef, finding incredible people and ingredients.
Any farmers market — all day long. I like Third and Fairfax, Simi Valley, North Hollywood, Ventura County farmers markets. Any farmers market is the best market you can find. The food is still local. These people still care about what they do. There are great stores — Whole Foods, Fresh & Easy — but they aren’t the ones growing the produce, killing the animals and fishing the fish. That’s why you need to go to the farmers market. To me, it’s a logical choice. If there’s a farmers market available, go there. Those people do that for a living. They’re not sitting in a store and one day they’re in a cheese department, and the next they’re dealing with cleaning supplies.
I like the Santa Monica Farmers Market. I also like going to the farmers market in Fairfax and getting produce there and meat at Marconda’s Meat. Other markets that I enjoy are International Marine Products — it’s a fish company downtown — although I don’t usually buy much there, and LAX-C, which is a Thai supermarket downtown.
Los Angeles is a hotbed for farm-to-table cuisine and where best to find the finest ingredients than at one of L.A. farmers markets. Certified Farmers Markets pop up daily in different neighborhoods around the city. Here’s where you’ll want to start.
Los Angeles is lucky to be home to the Wednesday Santa Monica Farmers Market, the largest grower-only Certified Farmers Market in Southern California. At the market you'll find more than four blocks of farmers selling their locally grown produce, sustainably raised meats, flowers, prepared foods and more. The finds at this market also serve as the cornerstone of many chefs’ menus at restaurants from Santa Monica to downtown.
Hollywood also boasts a certified farmers market on Sunday mornings on Ivar Ave. at Selma St. There you'll find two blocks of produce, meats, fresh fish and plenty of prepared food and gourmet items to take home. Hit the oyster tent on the south end of Ivar Ave. for a freshly shucked treat.
You can’t mention “Los Angeles” and “farmers market” in a sentence without highlighting the Original Farmers Market on 3rd St. and Fairfax Ave. This nearly 80-year-old iconic landmark has 120 produce stalls, restaurants and gift shops and often features live music and other events.