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Best Produce and Bread In LA

I'm new to the LA area. I'm a chef and I want to know where the best produce and bread are in La. I live in the culver city are off the 10. Thanks.

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  1. For produce, it's hands down the farmers markets. The Santa Monica weds is great - block after block of amazing produce.

    http://www.wjla.com/news/stories/0508...

    4 Replies
    1. re: xox

      I would add exploring any of the Asian and other ethnic markets

      1. re: torty

        Concur. 99 Ranch Market somehow gets their hands on some really fresh produce. Especially great are their fruits.

        Closest one to Culver City would be either the Van Nuys or the San Gabriel 99 Ranch Market locations (SG would be my favorite for reliable results in this category)...

        1. re: J.L.

          The Van Nuys store is about 10-15 minutes from the 405/10 interchange and is bookended by Sam Woo and Pho So 1 - either are great stops for a meal BEFORE we shop. If we go into places like 99 Ranch on an empty stomach...

          The 99 Ranch in San Gabriel (in the Focus Plaza Mall) obviously offers a lot more eating options in the immediate area - too many to list - but is about 30 minutes from the 405/10 interchange. Still, it's well worth the trip. Number one on our list of meals to take in close by is Mei Long Village... This particular 99 Ranch is probably their busiest and carries the best selection of the 99s that I've been to. But because Focus Plaza is so popular, the parking kinda sucks. You can also go across the street to Hawaii Supermarket - much more ethnic, prices are very good, not as clean, and the frogs and turtles may freak out the more timid...

          Either way, take at least some sort of cooler (if you're going during the day) to preserve your produce and other perishables, as both areas can get quite warm outside of the winter months...

      2. re: xox

        The guy who sells bread at the Saturday market has some great stuff. He might be at the Wednesday market as well, but I've only been on the weekend.

      3. Produce - definitely the local farmers markets - take a few days and visit a few
        Bread - La Brea Bakery and Il Forniao

        2 Replies
        1. re: prainer

          Also Breadbar. Eric Kayser's breads are legendary in Paris, and now in L.A., too.

          1. re: Jack Flash

            I would definitely argue that BreadBar has the highest quality bread in LA. Other bread places have one bread of theirs that is good, but across the board, BreadBar has the best. I especially love their five grain and their alpine loaf, but go for yourself because they have a wide variety.

        2. Apparently, one of the best kept secrets, as no one mentioned MARINA FARMS. They don't really do organic which is too bad, but they buy the best, tastiest produce. Fruits especially. Free samples for pretty much everything. Old skool.

          On Centinela just north of Jefferson.

          3 Replies
          1. re: hobomike

            I was a regular Marina Farms shopped and still like the place, but it really cannot compete with the farmers markets.

            1. re: glutton

              I agree - Marina Farms is my fallback in case I can't make it to our usual farmers markets or ethnic markets. A very good fallback though, and it shows the depth of great choices we are so lucky to have in SoCal.

          2. If you're new to California, then you are in for a real treat -- year-round farmers' markets. Even in the dead of February there is succulent citrus, fantastic fennel, amazing avocados... and, of course, while the peak for strawberries is June, they are a year-round fruit here.

            As for bread -- it depends what you're looking for. If you want artisanal bread (the kind you might find at a Banette-labelled place in France) then Breadbar would be where I would send you. I once did a post -- you may be able to search for it -- on the wide variety of ethnic breads available in the East Valley (east of the 405, north of the 101).

            2 Replies
            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              breadbar at century city is excellent. produce - santa monica farmer's market. expensive, but best quality without a doubt.

            2. Frisco Bakery on San Fernando and Ave 26 is going to be a jaunt from Culver, but they do have the best sourdough in LA, IMHO.

              621 W Avenue 26
              Los Angeles, CA , 90065-1017
              Phone: 323-225-6111
              FAX: 323-225-3554

              1. Places with great bread that one can easily hit from Culver City:

                Amandine, on Wilshire in West LA.

                Bread Bar, Santa Monica, Century City, 3rd Street by Cedars-Sinai.

                Bay Cities Italian Imports, on Lincoln in Santa Monica.

                French Market Cafe, on Abbot Kinney in Venice.

                Grand Casino Bakery/Cafe, Main Street in Culver City - Argentine-style bread. Softer than euro-type breads, but still very good.

                Le Pain Quotidien, on Santa Monica/3rd St in Santa Monica.

                La Maison Du Pain, West LA/Fairfax area on Pico.

                Le Pain Du Jour, on Pico by Lincoln in Santa Monica.

                Market Gourmet, on Abbot Kinney in Venice - they carry breads from Le Maison Du Paine and other great bakeries.

                Rockenwagner/3 Square, on Washington in Culver City, Abbot Kinney in Venice, recently opened on 3rd Street in Santa Monica.

                Farmers markets. Most farmers markets have bread stalls. Some are very good. Sunday Mar Vista farmers market on Grandview has had a very reliable and bread stall - I believe the owner is the French gentleman who is there on occasion. Cafe Laurent has decent bread as well - French as well... I personally don't care for the bread stall at the saturday farmers market on 3rd Street in Santa Monica, but they have a lot of variety...

                1 Reply
                1. re: bulavinaka

                  Trader Joes has some great par baked bread that you finish in your oven at 400 for 8 minutes or so. Couldn't be fresher and very reasonably priced. And dont forget Costco for La Brea Bakery bread.

                2. Great Harvest Bread Company has wonderful bread. They have been regulars at the Brentwood Farmer's Market on Sundays on Greta Green (just a block west of Bundy running between Montana and San Vicente Blvd.).

                  http://www.greatharvest.com/

                  1. My house french baguette is from Amandine, on Wilshire.

                    I loathe Breadbar's baguette. Love the financiers, though!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: jaykayen

                      I just tried breadbar's baguette today, thought it was nearly perfect. Their rye was very good also.

                      1. re: rednyellow

                        i was just turned on to Breadbar's 'Walnut Raisin'...really wonderful...along with those ridiculously delicious Allpine Rolls they make.

                        1. re: latindancer

                          Have a bit of the walnut raisin with a bit of a creamy blue cheese and drizzled with some honey... the perfect combo.

                      2. re: jaykayen

                        Jaykayen, you 'loathe' Breadbar's baguette?
                        May I ask why? :)

                        1. re: latindancer

                          Sorry I missed this.

                          it can't, just CAN'T compare to my favorite Little Saigon baguettes, and it's overpriced to boot!

                          specifically what I don't like is that the exterior is a bit tough, but not crunchy. The crumb is fine, though-"hearty" comes to mind.

                      3. One of the best-Breadworks at the 3rd St. Original Farmer's Market (by the Grove)

                        1. Talking about ethnic markets, has anyone been to Super King on San Fernando Road? Great cheese counter, unusual deli items, fresh produce and other eastern european and russian products. It's like another world. The prices seem to be ridiculously low. But you have to fight the crowds of women buying for what seem to be huge families.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: TIRGL

                            I love Super King... not everything is of the highest quality, so you have to go through the store with some skepticism and every now and then, you just need to make a leap of faith on some products because you don't know the brand, etc. That said, the deals are fantastic and they have lots of ingredients that are harder to find. And the adventure of going there on a Saturday and fighting your way through the crowd is great entertainment, so long as you approach it with the right mindset.

                          2. Hollywood Farmers Market