Fresh produce near Westside
It looks like I'm going to miss the Sunday Santa Monica farmer's market. Any suggestions for a market or produce stand near the Westside that sells deliciously fresh produce? Is there a Los Angeles equivalent to Berkeley Bowl or Monterey Market? Thanks.
Don't know anything about the two places you mentioned but our local produce place is Marina Farms as well. About 2/3 of their floor space is produce tables and racks, as well as outside in front of the store. In the warmer monthes, the back of the store is converted from storage to shelf space as well, making room for more of the seasonal offerings. It's nothing fancy, although some of the items they carry can be premium or a little more unusual. They were the first place I recall seeing cherimoyas back in the early 90s, as well as fresh rambutan about six years ago. It's definitely not like the Wednesday organic farmers market in Santa Monica, but I think you'll find their selection to be more than adequate - at least much better than your average supermarket. I'm still wondering how they are selling watermelons in April, but I've tried two so far, and both have been much sweeter than I expected...
I definitely recommend Marina Farms also -- and go quite a bit. It's on Centinela, east of Culver and west of Jefferson.
However, I have two recommendations for you:
1) Don't buy the fruit too long before you plan to eat it -- it tends to be ready to eat in the next few days. (or freeze, in the case of berries right now.)
2)If you buy rice, grains, pastas - BE SURE to put the M.F. boxes into ZIPLOCK (tm -- what do you call the non-tm?) or transfer into your own containers. They don't spray any pesticides, like the bigger markets do, so the contents maybe more "natural." I had a LARGE pantry pest infiltration, which is not fun, and very time consuming. Since I've separately bagged grains/etc from Marina Farms - everything that is invested is confined -- so I don't lose my whole pantry.
Marina Farms is a nice produce market, but much smaller than Berkeley Bowl or even Monterey Market. But those are both pretty large I don't know if I've ever been to a produce market that's larger. On the plus side, there's PLENTY of street parking, unlike Berkeley Bowl or Monterey Market.
There are plenty of farmers markets besides those in Sta. Monica. Check out this website for a list: http://www.farmernet.com/events/cfms.
I like the Saturday market in Calabasas, on Calabasas Rd. a couple of blocks from the corner of Mulholland -- next to the Motion Picture Old Folks' Home and across the street from the Sagebrush Cantina (with parking in the Sagebrush's lot). Not a real big market, but plenty to choose from. I particularly like the salads from Kenter Canyon Farms and the citrus from Etheridge Farms in Orosi.