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Santa Monica Farmers Market (Saturday)

stevuchan Jun 16, 2010 01:23 PM

Heading to the Santa Monica farmers market on Saturday for the first time and could not find a recent post on the topic. We are heading up from San Diego to hit the Market and visit some family in the afternoon. Looking for your market favorites, we will be traveling with coolers. We are frequent farmers market shoppers in San Diego and our scene is on a good growth spurt. Also are there any secrets to getting a parking spot?

Much Appreciated

  1. b
    baloney Jun 16, 2010 01:57 PM

    Secret to parking is to Go Early. I typically park in the 4th st structure between Arizona and Wilshire.

    My favorites are Weiser Farms, Harry's Berries(Gaviota's!!), Fitzgerald, and on and on. You can't NOT have fun!

    4 Replies
    1. re: baloney
      m
      MissCast Jun 16, 2010 02:13 PM

      Oops, just checked, my bad.

      1. re: MissCast
        stevuchan Jun 16, 2010 02:18 PM

        3rd and Arizona was the market we were planning in going to, what's the deal with Cloverfield park?

      2. re: baloney
        stevuchan Jun 16, 2010 02:20 PM

        Thanks for the advice, Gaviota's?? - Seagull?

        1. re: baloney
          stevuchan Jun 16, 2010 02:21 PM

          Ah ha type of strawberry.

        2. mollyomormon Jun 16, 2010 02:36 PM

          This is my weekly market. I think the Harry's Berries rec is a great one if you're a strawberry fan. Other vendors I frequent: the walnut vendor whose name I can't recall for their incredible chipotle cocoa walnuts and their walnut oil; Pudwill Farms for blueberries and raspberries; the mushroom guy at the far north end of the market always has great stuff; Maggies farms for their stellar greens mix; Healthy Family Farms for their free-range chickens and eggs. If the vendor selling cheese has quark, especially a flavored kind, I would try some of that, too.

          5 Replies
          1. re: mollyomormon
            b
            bulavinaka Jun 16, 2010 02:53 PM

            The mushroom guy is supposed to have porcini mushrooms right now!

            http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-marketwatch-20100611,0,4535837.story

            And for other recent articles on what's hot at the local FMs, David Karp is the person you want to be following:

            http://www.latimes.com/features/food/la-fo-karp-columns-sg,0,6235399.storygallery

            Another good (and entertaining) source for the Santa Monica FM is Laura Avery's FM segment at the beginning of, "Good Food," with Evan Kleiman on KCRW:

            http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/gf

            1. re: bulavinaka
              m
              maudies5 Jun 16, 2010 03:05 PM

              I go to the Pico Cloverfield Farmers Market. Parking is very easy. There is a big open lot next to the market and also there is street parking normally available.
              My favorite vendors are:
              Lily's Eggs
              Gloria's (she is also at the Wed Mkt). I buy her Chandler Srawberries, broccoli, basil, fresh corn, peppers, cukes, (actually, most of my veggies are from Gloria).
              Pudwill Farms for berries (raspberries and blackberries have been beautiful recently)
              Summerhill Farms for the most fabulous stone fruit (peaches, apricots, etc). Also, he has great heirloom tomatoes right now.
              The potato, melon guy with the British Accent (can't think of the name, but he is on the corner of 3rd and Arizona on Wed). He currently has delicious sweet onions. Haven't seen any melons yet but the fingerling potatoes are delicious.
              Kenter Canyon Farms
              Pomegranate juice folks
              Asparagus from the asparagus vendor (again, can't think of name, but great variety of thin and fat asparagus
              Mushrooms

              1. re: bulavinaka
                b
                baloney Jun 16, 2010 04:36 PM

                Saw porcini's and morels today! So tempting....

                1. re: bulavinaka
                  f
                  foodiemahoodie Jun 16, 2010 11:38 PM

                  He definitely had big fat porcinis today.

                2. re: mollyomormon
                  p
                  paprkutr Jul 20, 2010 07:45 PM

                  I have been buying Harry's Berries for years and love them. I bought some a week ago and for some reason they weren't as good as usual. Has anyone else had that problem?
                  For the price of their berries they should be great. They have Gaviota and Seascape.

                3. h
                  houndofmusic Jun 16, 2010 02:59 PM

                  I hope you understand that the premier farmers market in LA, by far, is the Wednesday SM market and not Saturday. Saturday is good but there are a number of key farmers who only come to Wednesday. If you can only make it up here during the weekend, I would rate the Sunday Hollywood farmers market above the Saturday SM market. I would avoid the Sunday SM market like the plague.

                  For tips on what's in season, Laura Avery gives a weekly market report which you can hear at the start of Evan Kleiman's Good Food show on kcrw.com. Laura is the manager of the Wednesday SM market. David Karp also writes about specific fruits in season in the LA Times. Good luck and enjoy.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: houndofmusic
                    stevuchan Jun 16, 2010 03:14 PM

                    Thanks for all the good info. Saturday is the only day we will be up in LA. There is always the future. Looking forward to the posibility of fresh porchini, berries, and BTW how is the bison vendor?

                    1. re: stevuchan
                      h
                      houndofmusic Jun 16, 2010 03:31 PM

                      You mean Kathy Lindner? She's a delight. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of bison meat and have only tried the ground bison. FWIW, her product seems better than any bison meat I've seen in grocery stores.

                      1. re: stevuchan
                        mollyomormon Jun 16, 2010 03:33 PM

                        I used the ground bison from that vendor recently to make lasagna and it was fabulous! I haven't been the past few weeks because of work schedule, but if Munak Farms is there now (they're only there summer through fall), their tomatoes are consistently awesome.

                        1. re: stevuchan
                          h
                          houndofmusic Jun 16, 2010 03:33 PM

                          I should add that if you want porcini, you should try to get there as early as you can. David West is the vendor and he does sell out.

                          1. re: houndofmusic
                            stevuchan Jun 16, 2010 03:56 PM

                            Planning on getting there early, the promise of porcini should get the wife out of bed early.

                            1. re: stevuchan
                              b
                              bulavinaka Jun 16, 2010 07:30 PM

                              Well worth the "early" trip there. It officially opens at 8:30AM. If you get to any of the public parking lots that early, you will have no problem parking. The porcini supply and quality can vary quite a bit, so find and hit them first. The FM on Arizona and 3rd St starts to get crowded around 9AM so do the hustle!

                      2. a
                        aventinus Jun 16, 2010 09:29 PM

                        Seek out the African dude with the humongous belly and buy whatever it is he's selling.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: aventinus
                          f
                          foodgeektv Jun 17, 2010 06:01 AM

                          "treat yourself don't cheat yourself"

                        2. l
                          LAGirl Jun 17, 2010 11:22 PM

                          Healthy Family Farms has great chicken and their eggs are fantastic, as well.

                          I can't remember the name, but there is a wonderful grass fed beef vendor. The ribeye was amazing. (They also sell melons and squash, I believe.)

                          If you are hungry, I highly recommend the oyster guys who shuck them for you. You can also buy them by the bag, but it's my favorite Saturday brunch.

                          FYI, I've had flowers from the vendor in the middle for a week and a half and they still look wonderful!

                          1. p
                            Papuli Jul 20, 2010 07:31 PM

                            Hi all--
                            I just want to check. When people speak of the Saturday SM farmers' market, are they referring to the Arizona & 3rd market, or the one at about Cloverfield & Pico? Thanks!

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Papuli
                              m
                              maudies5 Jul 20, 2010 08:39 PM

                              I refer to Cloverfield and Pico. Easy parking and great vendors.. Really love Gloria's and Summer (something or other) for peaches, nectarines and heirloom tomatoes.
                              Also: Lily's eggs and chicken
                              This is a wonderful market. Kind of cozy. Great vendors. Very low key.

                              1. re: Papuli
                                mollyomormon Jul 20, 2010 09:19 PM

                                But when people speak about it generally, they are referring to the one on Arizona and Third.

                                1. re: mollyomormon
                                  m
                                  maudies5 Jul 20, 2010 09:42 PM

                                  Correct! I always feel that the Pico-Cloverfield Mkt is a lovely secret among certain FM cognescenti.
                                  I don't have the time or energy for the Wed Farmer's Mkt. Indeed, there are far more vendors on Wed. I also have to say that the restaurants and chefs are definitely at the front of the line on Wed.
                                  Yes, there are some cooking pros at Pico/Cloverfield, but they are a bit more under the radar. (Although, I did hear one chef, ordering 9 cases of nectarines from my favorite stone fruit guy). Summer (something or other farms). right at the front of the market on Pico at the west end. His heirloom tomatoes are incredible.

                              2. m
                                MissCast Jul 21, 2010 07:24 PM

                                Also at Cloverfield is a good meat guy, local grass-fed beef. But he's not there every week.
                                I've deserted the sceney FMs for either Saturday at Cloverfield or Sundays in Mar Vista.

                                1. Phood Jul 21, 2010 08:01 PM

                                  I'm a fan of the Virginia Park market @ Pico & Cloverfield. I find it much less chaotic than the 3rd & Arizona market.
                                  Gloria's (mentioned above) has many varieties of strawberries, and I enjoy the choice. Sample and pick what works for you. The Asian folks at the northeast corner have wonderful veggies. Check out the long beans. Ha's apples, Lily's eggs, (Lily is the dog that keeps the chickens safe, I understand), Weiser's farm always has spectacular stuff, and if their melons are ripe, they are heaven on earth. Kenter Canyon greens...the list goes on.
                                  Both Santa Monica markets are great assets to the community. I don't think you can go wrong with either one. Eat what's seasonal and local.
                                  Just my $2- inflation.

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