Reason #328,439 why I love L.A.

>> Thursday, March 25, 2010

 When I tell people I moved to Los Angeles from Boulder, Colorado, I always get the same question: "Why?" The second question most people ask is "Do you ski or snowboard?" The answer to question number two is "HA HA HA HA HA HA HA, no." The answer to the first question takes longer to answer.
 Main Street in my home town

Boulder (or Louisville, to be specific) is lovely, as anyone who has been there or lived there will attest. It has stunning mountain views, warm, interesting people, a dizzying sequence of seasons (sometimes Louisville has Winter, Summer, Winter, Spring Summer, Winter then Fall in that order all in one year. Or all in one month. Sometimes all in one day) and all sorts of activities and amusements. I loved growing up in Louisville and I wouldn't trade my childhood there for anything. Not to brag but it was voted the NUMBER ONE place to raise a family by Money Magazine. Still, for me, nothing beats L.A.

Seasons are nice but we all know what the best season is and that is SUMMER! In L.A., if it's not Summer, it's almost Summer or was just Summer and Summer can pop up any day of the year. There is always something to do, every minute of every day. Our museums and beaches and concerts and plays and operas and hikes and restaurants and bars are the best of the best and here for the taking. I could go on and on about all the things I love about L.A. (sushi, driving up PCH, a Trader Joe's on every corner) but I am going to use this post to highlight just one of my favorite things about the city of angels. I mention this feature in almost every post so it's time to go in depth on the topic of...Farmers Markets. You can find a Farmers Market operating in Los Angeles every single day of the week. Two of my favorites are the Santa Monica Saturday Organic Farmer's Market and the Studio City Farmers Market which operates Sunday mornings.
 A rainbow of greens

I love the Santa Monica Market because it's all about the produce. They aren't messing around with food booths and handicrafts; this market is for chefs.
You can often spot restaurant chefs feeling up the carrots and crossing things off their huge lists.
 You can also find home chefs like me picking out some farm fresh eggs or stunning heads of romanesco.

There are always tons of samples to be had and the vibe is very food oriented. Sometimes the Border Grill truck is set up in the middle and it's impossible to resist the siren scent of sweet corn tamales and spicy tacos. Mmmmm. One of the other things I love is this market's proximity to the beach. Every Saturday we drive to the top of the free parking structure next to the market and we get to look out over the coastline. You can see the ferris wheel on Santa Monica Pier, Venice Beach and the cliffs leading to Malibu. It's breathtaking and reminds me why I live here.
A Beautiful Bouquet in Studio City

The Studio City Farmer's Market is very different. The focus here is not just on produce, though the produce is terrific. Check out these bright berries and gigantic artichokes!
 There are also lots of booths with people selling things like aprons made from antique flour bags and toys for little kids. The whole market is very kid friendly and is always packed with strollers and baby bjorns bearing adorable little beebees. One end of the market features some huge bouncy slides and pony rides.
 There is a petting zoo with tiny baby animals that I have to be dragged away from so I don't abscond with one of the piglets (it's gonna happen.)
 This market is always, ALWAYS good for a B-list or lower celeb sighting. We've ogled Teri Hatcher, Jason Bateman (swoon!) and Eddie Jemison (who?) I love me some celebs but what I love even more is the FOOD.
I'm not talkin' japanese cucumbers and oro blanco grapefruit, I'm talkin' gourmet mac and cheese (not Gfree, sadly), bacon wrapped hot dogs, breakfast burritos bigger than your head, vegan Indian food and sooooo much more.
One of the best kept foodie secrets in LA is hiding out at this market. I will tell you about it soon but first I need just one more weekend of them all to myself...


Stacy (Little Blue Hen) April 4, 2010 at 3:06:00 PM PDT  

Those artichokes look glorious. San Diego, oddly, has weird farmers markets. I need to explore more to find one that's really food-focused.

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