If you’re a Los Angeles native (like I am) …then you know what’s at the intersection of these two streets. It is the Original Los Angeles Farmers Market.
Nearby is the famed multi-level Beverly Center shopping mall, the Fairfax District (filled with Judaica shops and New York-style delicatessens) and not far from Rodeo Drive.
A few weeks ago, my husband, who is a Houston native and moved to Los Angeles just three years ago, made reservations for us to take the Melting Pot Food Tour of the Los Angeles Farmers Market.
Sunday morning at 9:30 a.m. was the appointed time. (They conduct tours several days a week.) We lucked out–there were only four other people in our group when there usually are 12-15 people on each tour.
They had “suggested” we not eat breakfast before we start this 3 ½ hour walking/sampling tour. I only wish I had taken their advice.
Our first stop was at Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts for coffee and the best doughnuts I’ve ever tasted. (Llet me assure you that I do not like doughnuts–they make my stomach hurt.) These were fresh and AMAZINGLY good. (And my stomach didn’t even notice!). Okay, I’m full already and it’s only 9:45!
Then we spent the next two hours tasting French cheese and bread, homemade peanut butter and peanut brittle, agua dulce (sweetened fruit juice), Brazilian barbecue, and more. There are more than 25 shops and 50 different eating establishments at the Los Angeles Farmers Market. It’s a foodie and tourist haven. I was stuffed, and it was only 11:30.
And now, for the piece de resistance! We walked outside the Farmers Market and about ¾ of a mile up West 3rd Street. On this Sunday morning, there weren’t a lot of people out, so it was an easy walk. We saw Derringer Cycles (for all you motorcycle buffs), A.O.C. and Little Next Door (apparently two of the hottest restaurants in L.A.). And, my personal favorite, Joan’s on Third, which is the most amazing food establishment and, I believe, the inspiration for the Dean & DeLuca national chain of gourmet food stores. There we were served samples of their #1 selling food item: Chinese Chicken Salad which was to die for!
Before we ended our tour with lunch (did I mention not to eat breakfast before you go on this tour??) at Mishima, a Japanese Noodle bar. We also walked by the New York-style, Sex and the City-inspired bakery, Magnolia, which had opened for business just days before.
All I can say is that it was well worth the $49 per person for the “culinary walking adventure.” And, whether you are a Southern California native or are here visiting for a few days – this was a landmark that is not to be missed!
And by the way, wear comfortable shoes and DO NOT EAT BEFORE THE TOUR!
From your new tour guide,