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Mar 9, 2007 12:52 PM

Best West LA market for fresh herbs/staples?

I want shallots - lots of them. I consider it a staple but can't source properly.

Our good pal Ralph can't be counted on to sell them - not even the snobbier Ralph's that at least have organic veggie sections. If they do have them, they're always overpriced and picked over.

I also want nice fresh herbs. Whenever I pay Ralph $1.99 for two ounces of tarragon in a plastic box, I know I'm getting hosed. I can hear Ralph personally laughing at me behind a two-way mirror somewhere nearby. And they're always out of rosemary.

Where can I get the hookup for good, cheap shallots, nice fresh herbs, and other good stuff like that? What's the best one-stop place for home cooks? Should I be sourcing this stuff from a farmer's market, perhaps?

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  1. My first choice is the Farmer's Markets. Second Choice is Marina Farms on Centinella near Jefferson, right before the freeway...

    5 Replies
    1. re: Dommy

      Thanks for the response.

      I'm a total noob - I've been to one farmer's market, Larchmont FM just because I stumbled across it after brunch. What are the biggest/best of the West LA farmer's markets?

      1. re: PapaSlurp

        It depends on where you are. I like the Culver City Market, small but nicely edited. Other markets we go to are Santa Monica in Virgina Park on Saturday and Mar Vista on Sunday (Again small, but nice selection of the basics). We don't do the Santa Monica Markets closer to the shore (Wed, Sat or Sunday) because they rob you blind. :P We try to make it out to the Hollywood Market when we want special things.


        1. re: Dommy

          Awesome, thanks. Is the Culver City FM the Tuesday one listed here? Have you seen shallots there?

          And when you say "special things" what do you mean? Can you give me a forinstance?

          1. re: PapaSlurp

            On occassion, you see Shallots there. I get my Shallots more often than not at the Mar Vista Market.

            Special things include Cheese Curds from the Cheese Guy, Chicken from the Chicken Guy, Speciality fruits and veggies.


            1. re: Dommy

              OMG CHEESE CURDS?!

              See you there. I'll be the one FEEDING on cheese curds, chewing so as to maximize teeth-squeak whilst my girlfriend rolls her eyes. You have just made this Minnesota-bred guy very, very happy.

    2. if you go to
      you get a list of all the LA farmers markets and when and where they are. It might be of help to you.

      1. I like the Santa Monica Sat farmer's market on the Promenade because there are lots of vendors and it's easy to distinguish between the non-organic and organic stuff. I also really like the Sat market on Pico & 23rd street/Colverfield. Lots of choices there. And I also like the Thursday market that was in Westwood but is now located on the VA grounds in West LA. I just bought shallots there yesterday so they definitely have them. I bought 3 and that was 80 cents. This market is also partially run by veterans so it's a nice way to give back to veterans as well (and they have their own booth with some really good stuff). Lots of easy, free parking as well.

        2 Replies
        1. re: jenjunum

          excellent, thanks for the suggestion. when is the VA grounds one open? and where are the VA grounds?

          1. re: PapaSlurp

            I think it's 12-6 right now. Maybe 7. The easiest way to find it is to enter from Sepulveda Blvd just north of Wilshire. You'll see the cemetary on your right (if you're driving north). You'll need to turn left on Constitution- there are lots of signs. Soon after you enter you'll see signs pointing to the parking area and usually people directing you where to park. It's right behind UCLA's Jackie Robinson baseball stadium. Check out the parrots while you're there (in the very back on your way to the bathrooms). It's really a cool market. It's in Vet's Garden (which is a large garden totally run by veterans). There aren't a ton of vendors but there are about 3 or so vendors with a lot of variety plus a few cool vendors cheesecake, fresh pasta, roasted corn, rotiessere chicken, etc.