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Dec 12, 2010 04:40 PM

Farm Shop - Brentwood Country Mart

Brentwood Country Mart used to be the place to go in its heyday. We spent many, many afternoons noshing at Marjan’s Deli, munching on Reddi Chick (still there) and happily shopping at its small vegetable and meat market. Celebrities and locals abounded with their children – happily sitting on the outside picnic benches or sitting around the glowing center fire pit. It was the farmer’s market and meeting place on the Westside.

Then Marjan’s Deli left, a larger grocery store took over the smaller markets and finally with the arrival of City Bakery the ambiance was destroyed completely.

I am happy to report that The Country Mart is back! Jeffrey Cerciello who spent 10 years as the culinary director of Thomas Keller Restaurant Group’s casual dining division is the key “ingredient” to Farm Shop. “Chef Joshua Drew and pastry chef Brittney Turnquist are on board to do the menu, market offerings, and catering. Drew hails from upstate, specifically Bouchon and Ad Hoc, where he was the senior sous chef. Turnquist also comes from the Keller family, having worked with Drew at Bouchon. With Cerciello at the helm of this ship, it’s like a Keller restaurant cousin!”

Eventually, Farm Shop will feature a butcher, cured meats, larder, wine and cheese shop, fresh fruit stand, prepared food section and artesanal shops with gift items i.e kitchenwares, linens, tabletop wares.

The space is family friendly with a large communal table in the center, but it is also suitable for couples and those looking for very good food.

The kitchen is open with an intense, focused BOH staff.

For now Farm shop is open for breakfast and brunch. In the future there are plans to open for lunch – soon and finally dinner with an Ad-Hoc type of menu featuring family-style dinners with wine and beer. I have it on good authority that Farm Shop will be serving Ad Hoc’s famous fried chicken – worth a drive just for that.

With that kind of pedigree and given how close it is, we had to go on the second day that brunch was served. Given they have only been open a week, you would expect service to be haphazard and disjointed. Service was impeccable.

Pastry Basket with pear danish, marinated pomegranate, butter croissant ( you could be in Paris) and lemon poppy seed with seasonal home-made preserves and spring hill butter

“Steak and Eggs” – Pastrami, roasted mushrooms, green tomato ketchup, sunny-side eggs – portion size is huge and my husband took some of the pastrami home for a later snack.

“Hangtown Fry” – Frittata with grilled Hobb’s bacon, fried oysters, pickled chilies – another very generous portion and unlike so many frittata’s not the least bit rubbery or overcooked.

The take-out bakery is open.

The key to Farm Shop is the the high-quality of the best ingredients, the excellent execution done by first class chefs, the friendly, knowledgeable service staff and an ambiance that will return the Country Mart to its glory days. My husband plans to go for breakfast next week – I can’t think of a higher recommendation.

Pics here:

City Bakery
225 26th St # 25, Santa Monica, CA

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  1. Great job, lizziee! Farm Shop sounds like a hit in the making. With the "store/larder" end of the place coming soon, it reminds me of the serious eats that our neighbors to the north of us enjoy and respect. Sorry for my ignorance, but what is, "BOH"?

    5 Replies
      1. re: bulavinaka

        I visited Farm Shop a couple of day ago and asked to see the breakfast and brunch menus. Everything sounded marvelous but I was concerned that that prices were very high for morning food. I think that the owner did a great job remodeling that horrible City Bakery space. Farm shop looks very inviting. Lizziee, do you have menu prices available?

        1. re: maudies5

          Doubt you can get out of there for less than $20 per person.

          1. re: maudies5

            I agree, maudie5, the prices seem a bit steep.

        2. Oh, my heavens! Great photos. I'm going.

            1. re: la2tokyo

              See most recent post by Wienermobile with link to menu.
              I think the prices are high.

              1. re: maudies5

                The prices are high. They should be too, they are using quality ingredients. They are prob paying double the price of a cube of eggs from Sysco. Plus baking is skilled labor, and costs. And the westside location. I can't afford to go there often, but I will check them out and don't begrudge them the price.

                , Diamond Bar, CA 91765

                1. re: AAQjr

                  It's isn't cheap, but portion size is very, very generous. Breakfast would be less expensive than brunch, but even at brunch splits are definitely an option with the addition of some sides. I agree with AAQR - these are first class ingredients prepared by chefs, not line cooks. Pastries, except for breads, are all made in house. If nothing else, I am going for that fried chicken as soon as dinner starts.

                  1. re: lizziee

                    It doesn't look much more expensive than Tavern, so for those of us in the area who eat breakfast at Tavern this looks pretty exciting. Can't wait to try it.

            2. They are going to be serving the Ad Hoc, Thomas Keller's family style restaurant, fried chicken on the dinner menu? I'm so there. It sounds great.

              I'll also give it a whirl beforehand too. The pastrami, fried pots, eggs sounds great. Is the pastrami house-made or what?


              Is it order at the counter and they bring your breakfast/lunch to you?

              10 Replies
              1. re: kevin

                This is a real restaurant - servers, menus etc. I don't know if the pastrami is house-made, but given the sourcing, it is or at least the best.

                1. re: lizziee

                  I grew up at the "Mart" as did my kids. Our kids even had a charge account at Reddi-Chick:)
                  Marjan Deli was the heart of the Mart, along with Joe at Book Nook. Our kids learned to say "would you like seasoning salt on your fries" as they were learning how to speak.
                  To be fair: the new restaurant sounds wonderful. I am glad that it offers servers and menus.
                  I am concerned that the prices may be a bit off-putting, especially for families (who have to watch their budgets). Again, Thanks.

                  1. re: maudies5

                    I guess there under the impression that this is Brentwood regarding the prices. ...

                    1. re: kevin

                      Kevin, re: the prices: I can easily envision a family of 4 spending $100.00 for breakfast/brunch. Not a good scenario. Is there a children's menu? Lots of families frequent the Mart..

                      1. re: maudies5

                        This is not intended to be a family spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner- unless you are moneyed.. The prices are high but the dining experience is just that, an experience. It would be a nice place to go with your kids for a pastry and a hot chocolate. The hot chocolate is world class, BTW

                        I think the intent is to provide a farm to table option on the westside. When the larder is finished, I believe it will offer amazing cheeses, meats and a selection of quality pantry items. I can't wait!!

                        Dinner is going to be a set menu (one option only or perhaps two if they do a vegetarian variation) changing nightly, similar to Ad Hoc.

                        1. re: dkennedy

                          Like there is no place other than this in the area that serves farm to table?? Or Market driven??

                          What are Tavern, Rustic Canyon? I'm sure there are even more places. And there is a larder at Tavern, that is hardly a new and unheard of concept.

                          Although those that live in the area are what most would call "moneyed" it doesn't automatically mean they will frequent the place, especially if it is not "family friendly". These are the people who take their kids to places like Tavern, Katusuya, Toscana & Vincenti.

                          Vincenti Restaurant
                          11930 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049

                          Toscana Restaurant
                          11633 San Vicente Blvd Ste 100, Los Angeles, CA 90049

                          1. re: Phurstluv

                            "These are the people who take their kids to places like Tavern, Katusuya, Toscana & Vincenti."

                            Of course, out of all those places only Tavern does breakfast. I think that Brentwood can support another higher end place. And the fact that the Country Mart is not in the heart of Brentwood, with easier parking, will help it too.

                            1. re: Servorg

                              "This is not intended to be a family spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner- unless you are moneyed.."

                              Was just responding to this remark. I also note that they are not the only place in the area to offer breakfast. T

                              1. re: Phurstluv

                                But they have a fairly unique concept, given their emphasis on market driven food and breakfast and ease of parking/in and out of the Country Mart. It's going to come down to how people see the value of what they have to offer. And their "home delivery" is a good concept too for that area of LA.

                2. re: kevin

                  I'll be running for the fried chicken!

                3. The pastrami is made in-house.

                  The prices are on the steep side for breakfast/brunch, but consider:

                  The brunch omelette is filled with the salmon rillette used at Bouchon.
                  It's served with a croissant made in house and is probably the best croissant in L.A.
                  It's also served with a side of Weiser farms fingerling potatoes cooked on the griddle and topped with caramelized onions and sea salt.

                  So to compare it to your "typical" brunch or breakfast isn't really a fair comparison. Portion sizes are indeed large and could easily be shared.

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: fooddude37

                    I don't recall anyone comparing it to a "typical" brunch or breakfast. I have no doubt that the ingredients are stellar (BTW, many fine restaurants buy from Weiser Farms). Heck, I buy from them every week at Santa Monica Farmer's Mkt. The only concern I was expressing was a concern about the pricing. The Mart is very family friendly. I still haven't received an answer as to whether a children's menu is offered.

                    1. re: maudies5

                      Pricing for breakfast is certainly no more expensive than what one finds at the Pacific Dining Car on Wilshire. When they eventually get some content the website is and I note that they are offering "Home Delivery" as part of their service.

                      Pacific Dining Car
                      1310 W 6th St, Los Angeles, CA 90017

                      1. re: Servorg

                        A friend of mine contacted Farm Shop to get their hours (still no website content) and they provided him the following run down:

                        Bakery 7am-6pm, 7days
                        Breakfast 7:30am-11am M-F
                        Lunch 11:30am-2:30pm M-F
                        Brunch 8am-2pm Sat & Sun

                        1. re: Servorg

                          So their website now has content (including sample menus and published hours and a phone number to contact them) and it's included with the place link below.

                          Farm Shop at Brentwood Country Mart
                          225 26th St, Santa Monica, CA 90402

                    2. re: fooddude37

                      although i haven't had a whole meal there,
                      i must concur with fooddude37on one of his/her points:
                      the morning i stopped in there to pick up an almond croissant, the pastry they gave me was better than top-flight.

                      1. re: westsidegal

                        which restaurant is this in regards to? or rather bakery?