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LA's BEST guided foodie tours

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Looking for really fun, authentic guided food-related tours - including anything offbeat, odd, original. Have been scanning sixtastes and meltingpottours websites. Slowfood website doesn't show anything coming up soon. I remember hearing about a chef who takes people to one of the farmer's markets, but can't find that now -- Santa Monica market, maybe? JB

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  1. oh -- also, vegan vegetarian tours, walking tours - -anything somewhat healthy would be nice. But not necessary --

    1. I never understood these. You need someone to take you around to show you what to eat, in America? I mean, specifically, in LA? Where most people speaks english, and there's Yelp, Chow, Urbanspoon, AND food blogs?

      Some people just google, bring cash, then go: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/909619

      1 Reply
      1. re: TonyC

        You walk a neighborhood, meet some like-minded people, and get to graze at several restaurants / food places without having to commit to any one for the moment. You get, with luck, a little history and background without having to dig it up yourself. You can read about and ask about places, but these tours -- at least the ones I've read about -- are like an introduction so you can decide which places you'd most like to go back to.

        I find your response a bit harsh towards someone just asking advice.

      2. I would follow Chandavkl around for a day.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit

          Follow Chandavkl for a week. Afterwards, tail ipse for another week.

        2. Actually, I enjoy taking foodie tours when I travel, because they are often guided by chefs and foodies who can take you back into the kitchen, take you to markets, show you hole in the wall places that you might not find on your own. The good ones are REALLY good -- the bad ones suck. It;s a group experience, often with an interesting crowd. And no, it's not at all like checking Yelp, driving somewhere and plunking down a credit card for a meal.

          1. I have not taken any of these tours but this might be a good place to start: Do some homework before you book any of these.
            http://www.meltingpottours.com
            http://www.sixtaste.com

            1. My husband and I took the Melting Pot tour of Pasadena and really enjoyed it. We visited eight or so restaurants, an olive oil/vinegar bar, chocolate shop and a gelato bar. We will also book the other two tours Melting Pot offers. Can't say enough good things about the Pasadena tour.

              1. Michael McCarty of Michael's restaurant in Santa Monica used to conduct farmers market tours, but I'm not sure if he is still doing that. Melting Pot Food Tours offers a Thai Town tour with Chef Jet Tila - upcoming dates posted on their website. Melting Pot's other tours are a combination of food, history, culture, etc. The one most 'off the beaten' track is the East LA Latin Flavors Food & Culture tour which goes to an authentic Latin mercado and visits LA's first tortilla factory. Hope that helps!