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Farmer's Market LA (Fairfax & 3rd) - What to eat?

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My wife and I are planning to have lunch there this Saturday. So what's good? Crepe? Gumbo? What else?

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  1. Loteria is my personal favorite. Everything they make is good. I also really like Singapore's Banana Leaf. Moishe's makes a good gyro. I love the croque monsieur at Mr. Marcel, though be warned that the service there is intolerable. And if you have room for desert, I highly recommend the funnel cakes at Country Bakery.

    The crepe place is decent, but I'd avoid the Gumbo Pot. I know some people on the boards like it, but I used to live in New Orleans and it is nothing like authentic creole or cajun cooking.

    1. Bennett's Homemade Ice Cream!

      (Not to be confused with Gill's Ice Cream which is not homemade, it's Ross Thrifty)

      1. My favorite is the corned beef (plus cabbage, corn on the cob or mashed potatoes, whatever you're in the mood for) from Maggie's. Pretty much the tastiest, best corned beef in LA, imo. I hope someone can prove me wrong.

        1. Magee's corned beef sandwich. The rice-and-meat bowls at the Korean barbecue place. SOME things at the Gumbo Pot, however inauthentic, are perfectly acceptable: the red beans and rice, the jambalaya, the gumbo, and the "Cajun" potato salad - in fact, one of my favorite meals there is a Magee's sandwich with their coleslaw and the GP potato salad. And the short-order joint next to the wine bar (Charlie's?? Can never remember) has some pretty acceptable breakfast grub. I keep hearing how faboo Loteria is and keep waiting for it to be, really, but so far it hasn't (but at least it's expensive). I still need to check out Banana Leaf, and try more stuff from Moishe's.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Will Owen

            Oh, and listen: the Du-Par's pies, at the pie counter outside of the restaurant, have their big fans, too, but I dropped four bucks plus change on a tiny slice of gooseberry, just because I've been so long without any gooseberries, and regretted every bite. Plywood crust, overcooked berries (though at least they were tart) stuck into a sweet, almost solid mass of glue.

            1. re: Will Owen

              Thanks for the Magees rec. I just tried the corned beef sandwich today and now it's on my permanent list. A great option for when you're too far from Langers for pastrami but are craving a tender flavorful sandwich. Getting hungry again thinking about it.

              1. re: Will Owen

                I'd stay away from the Korean place. Was there last weekend and we ate there. Meat was good but everything else wasn't. No kimchee. No veggies. Bad rice. I'd eat elsewhere, especially considering the variety available.

              2. i second singapore's banana leaf. no other food like that around town.

                1. Charlie's makes the best old fashioned grilled cheese. Moishe's makes good rotisserie chicken. Loteria for mexican food, and the Brazilian churrascaria is pretty good.

                  1. I'd pass on Gumbo Pot, too, but it's still pretty good. The Persian place is so-so.

                    I have breakfast on the weekends at the crepe place, usually opting for a savory crepe that has ham, turkey or smoked salmon (my second favorite crepe is from BLD). Banana Leaf is great. Loteria is great; I especially like the chilaquiles with mole.

                    I'm also fond of the place that has the ribs in the corner next to the bad Chinese food.

                    1. Get the chicken enchiladas w tomatillo sauce at Loteria. Yum! Or their shredded beef tacos, chix mole tacos... well, its all good there. Then go and get some english toffee at that toffee place. To die for!

                      1. The best place is the Brazilian BBQ place. It has fresh skewers of different kinds of meat and a salad bar of all types of vegetables and sides. It's buffet style and you pay by the pound. The garlic chicken is the best!

                        1. I always eat at the banana leaf. tuna sambal or beef rendang. but there are other good things too.

                          1. Bob's doughnuts--I especially like the apple fritter!

                            1. I was just totally disappointed by Monsieur Marcel. Last time I walked through the Farmer's Market at night, I thought it looked like a charming spot. While the location is cute, I found the food to be utterly mediocre. Mussels were bland, cheeses and sausages were nothing special. That said, we didn't venture beyond the apps.

                              On another note...$1 blueberries at the produce stand closest to the parking lot. And their dried chilli mango is cheaper than the dried fruit stand paces away and every bit as good! So it was worth the trip.

                              1. I used to frequent Marcel's until my last experience which was bad enough to not return. Cheeses were old and ammoniated, salad was bland, underdressed, and had huge chunks of red cabbage sitting on top, everything we had just wasn't like it used to be.

                                Loteria for shredded beef tacos. Other items can be disappointing. Wait can be long here.

                                I live within walking distance and I think the touristy overcrowded nature of the farmer's market is starting to wear on me. Don't mean to start a nasty rant here...I'd say my most frequented place these days is Singapore Banana Leaf. Sodas are good here. Never have to wait too long. Cheap. Spicy upon request. Bob's Donuts and coffee makes a good junky dessert.

                                On a Saturday I would highly recommend going during off-peak hours. Try between 10-11 or 3-5. I always avoid the market on weekends.

                                1. 1. Call me crazy: I think Loteria is highly overrated. For Yucatan, better to go to Yuca's. Loteria's items tend to be meat-and-tortilla, and bland; seriously lacking in condiments/extras, and always a long line.

                                  2. I love the Brazilian grill. Specatacular quality meats and tasty side dishes. I generally hate anything "buffet," but this is good.

                                  3. Gumbo Pot. No, it's not as good as the best N.O. food but some items are fully authentic and a few truly excellent. Gumbo and jambalaya are just so-so, but I like the blackened catfish po'boy, seafood salad, and the crawfish etoufee.

                                  4. Banana Leaf, the Malaysian place, is fantastic.

                                  5. The Korean place... I love the vegetarian bibimbap; most other things are much better elsewhere.

                                  6. I love the wine bar at the far west end, across from Gumbo Pot. They always have interesting and well-chosen wines by the glass, with a nice variety of appellations.

                                  7. Dare to leave Farmer's Market, go and go The Grove to Ulysses Voyage. Their Greek cuisine is very, very good.

                                  http://lafoodcrazy.blogspot.com

                                  1. I love Loteria. Could make a meal of just their yummy black beans

                                    1. YuM , I love Bob's apple fritter too....I wonder if his other donuts are any good, I've never even tried them.

                                      Thea's pies are the bomb!

                                      1. Let's not forget Patsy D'amore's Pizza! Not the best ever made, but in Los Angeles, THE WORST COASTAL PIZZA CITY IN THE USA, it's a gem.

                                        1. Banana Leaf - I love their food. Curries, noodle dishes, parathas (with the dipping sauce), their lime drink are my most favorites. Enjoy!

                                          1. Glad to hear these other recommendations. I live walking distance to Farmer's Market and I find myself (and my wife) always going back to Moishe's every time we're there. It's just too insanely good. I can't remember the name of it, but there's this amazing pomegranate-walnut stuff that you *must* try (unless you have a nut allergy...). The couscous is fabulous. All of the meats are wonderful, especially the lamb.

                                            Some people complain about the "attitude" of the workers there. Give them a break, this can't be a fun job. They've been standing in that tiny little booth for years dishing out food and they can't help but be a bit jaded. I don't go there for the witty repartee, I go for the food.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: bdumes

                                              Yeah I love the pomegranate-walnut stuff that's real spicy, or the spicy hummous is great too. A tough decision but can't go wrong with either. The lamb is all I'd ever order there, never bothered to try anything else. In fact I don't even bother ordering rice because of all the pita bread they give you--I usually just pick 2 of the dips as my sides.

                                              No the staff wouldn't win any personality contests, but they're forgiven for their food.

                                            2. After all the recommendations for corned beef I went to Magees or whatever it is and sorry to say was greatly disappointed. But I should add that I am habitually disappointed in corned beef recommendations. This may seem wacky, but the best corned beef in the entire world (in my experience) is a deli in (believe it or not) Indianapolis Indiana called Shapiro's. http://www.shapiros.com/

                                              For a couple of dollars more (and a plane ticket to Indianapolis) you can get THE perfect corned beef sandwich. The bread is twice is big and you get three times as much corned beef -- and WHAT corned beef! Lean and thinly sliced and beautiful. It is amazing....

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: bdumes

                                                You know I was disappointed in Magee's, but not greatly disappointed. It was because my expectations were so high. I still prefer Brent's, but then again, I'm not really a "deli guy" that demands a lot from his sammiches.

                                                So here's a thought problem for you-- other than Shapiro's, how would you rank Magee's?

                                                1. re: SauceSupreme

                                                  Good question.

                                                  As chowmominLA says, perhaps one of the reasons I was disappointed is that the Magee's corned beef was fatty and it was also not sliced in a Jewish deli style which is what I grew up with and what I think of when I think "Corned beef". So compared to Jewish deli's in Boston, New York, etc, I'd have to give it a 6 out of 10. If someone gave me a Magee's corned beef, I would go ahead and eat it, but I'm not intending to go back.

                                              2. Sorry to have steered you wrong, I love Magee's. But then again, I've never had corned beef in Indiana before.

                                                Maybe Magee's wasn't for you because you like lean corned beef. I like it a little fatty myself!

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: chowmominLA

                                                  I don't see anything wrong with Magee's, finishing a solid #2 behind Brent's. And somedays, I just don't feel like going all the way to Northridge or WLV. So as they say in many kitchens, "it is what it is."

                                                2. You know, my fiance and I dig the crepe place. He craves their Belgian waffles, and I go for whatever savory crepe tickles my fancy. Definitely more brunchy.

                                                  Moishe's always draws me in as well. Can't say no to their grub.

                                                  Lastly, the Brazilian place is like paying a small fortune for a cafeteria line, but it is COMPLETELY worth it.

                                                  Oh, and I walk the extra 5 seconds over to the little soda corner that carries like 24 kinds of cool retro flavored pop. Gotta love me a senorial sangria bottle while washing down all the good eats.

                                                  1. I go with everyone here that says Loteria, Banana Leaf and Moishe's, for the hummus. Afterward you should get tea from the japanese tea stand, some good dark chocolate raisins from the nut/ candy stand, and wander to Monseuir Marcel market- great specialty items.