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Mar 6, 2009 02:06 PM

Visiting LA next month...restaurants? markets?

Any recommended place to visit/eat? I love to cook & bake and so I am always down for wandering around in markets. Any interesting farmer's market or flea market? or places to shop for kitchenware/bakeware?

Thanks a million!

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  1. Santa Monica market Wednesdays and Saturdays in the morning at 3rd and Arizona. Sunday morning Market in Hollywood near Vine and Ivar. Surfas in Culver City will be a good place for kitchenware, or go to a restaurant supply store.

    Where are you staying? The area covered by this Chowhound board is almost 7,000 square miles, the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island put together. What kind of food would you like to eat? We have just about anything you could want. Any budget constraints?

    1. The Original Farmer's Market on 3rd and Fairfax isn't a traditional farmers' market, but it's a fun place to visit. It's several food vendors packed together (with some fairly awful souvenir shops -- be warned), including butchers, bakeries, seafood vendors, a lovely little French market, and several places offering prepared food -- a Starbucks and a Pinkberry but several independent vendors as well. For eating, I'd recommend Bob's Doughnuts, Loteria for tacos, Bennett's ice cream, Littlejohn's for English toffee, the Gumbo Pot, Du-Par's (a restaurant located at the farmer's market) for pancakes, or Monsieur Marcel. For shopping -- if you are cooking there Huntington Meats is a great butcher and the cheeses at Monsieur Marcel are very good. For shopping to take home, there's a vendor that sells multiple varieties of caramel popcorn and some wonderful glaceed fruits and fruit peels.

      I also love Nicole's in South Pasadena -- it's teeny but has all sorts of wonderful ingredients and tools for bakers and cooks - sometimes at quite a bargain. Great things I've found there include Grand Marnier Extract (a huge bottle -- grand marnier flavor without the sweetness or alcohol, which is wonderful in frostings and ice creams) and giant bags of porcini mushrooms.

      Nicole's Gourmet Foods
      921 Meridian Ave, South Pasadena, CA 91030

      Farmers Market
      6333 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90036

      1. Stop into Surfa's in Santa Monica.
        Grand Central
        Bay Cities Deli

        2 Replies
        1. re: Emme

          I think Surfas is still in Culver City unless they opened another shop... Maybe near the Santa Monica Freeway?

          I haven't been to flea markets in a long while, but the one at the Pasadena Rose Bowl on every second sunday of the month used to be the one to hit. It's huge but I don't know what to expect for culinary interests.

          Hawaii Supermarket in San Gabriel is a real eye-opener for ethnic Chinese/Asian food experiences.

          Marukai on Artesia in Gardena has just about all things Japanese. This particular store in their mini-chain is membership-only, but you can pay a nominal one-day fee to shop thiere.

          La Espanola Meats in Harbor City is tiny, but is packed with just about all of the makings for a great Spanish meal. Wonderful sausages made there and shipped to fine food stores in the US, Spanish hams (Serrano, Iberico, Bellota), spices, tinned and jarred goods, snacks, pastries, wines, vinegars, paella pans up to a few feet in diameter, and regional cheeses. They must have a dozen types of Manchego alone. I'm fond of a particular vinegar there - Amontillado Gran Reserve. It's $40-$50 if you can find it elsewhere. La Espanola sells it for $24. One can order the paella on fridays and visit on saturdays to pick it up as well as to shop.

          1. re: bulavinaka

            totally in culver city. for some reason i was picturing sur la table as i writing this... which is in samo, but not where i meant... definitely surfas CC.

        2. there is an amazing flea market at the rose bowl, but it only happens one sunday a month. if that isnt happening when you are in town, there is another good, but smaller, flea market at melrose and fairfax. it happens every sunday morning.

          1. Give us some help. Where will your home base be? What types of foods are you looking for in a restaurant and what kinds of foods do you like to cook? LA is a big place and has about everything. April is a good month weather-wise.