Bringing It Down to the Earth

Posts tagged ‘california’

SOOOOO Good: Santa Monica Farmer’s Markets (Calfornia)

santa monica farmer's market via Bliss Priss on flickr

Our Rating: SOOOOO Good
Address:
All Santa Monica Farmers Markets are open rain or shine – year round!
Wednesdays – At 2nd and Arizona 8:30am – 1:30pm
Saturdays – At 3rd and Arizona 8:30am – 1 pm
Saturdays – At Virginia Ave. Park 8am – 1pm
Sundays – At 2640 Main Street 9:30am – 1 pm
Contact:
310-458-8712 ext. 2 (ask for Darra Adler), smgov.net/farmers_market/

Review via Maureen Whitehouse

Simply put, it doesn’t get any better than this. Imagine stand after stand of farmers with big smiles, wide-open hearts and the dirt from last night’s pick (which they’re selling today) still under their fingernails. Row after row of eye-poping, organic, pesticide-free, sustainably grown produce.

On Wednesday and Saturday mornings, throngs of tuned-in food enthusiasts, including not only LA town folk but (often celebrity) chefs, browse the goodies available from the small scale, quality-obsessed farmers at the famed downtown Santa Monica’s farmers’ market. Friendly and knowledgeable vendors (many of them are the farmers’ family members) are happy to explain the difference between a pluot and a plum (a puot is ½ plum, ½ apricot) and why their Cabbage is better than any found at a supermarket.

The sights and smells—fresh cut flowers, aromatic herbs and spices gigantic, fresh from the ground, tree or vine produce alert shoppers to the high-quality standards of these dedicated growers. For first-timers I’d suggest strolling this market, perusing each stand if possible before buying anything. Many vendors set out samples, but if you don’t see any, request a taste of whatever you’re most interested in. Chances are good you’ll find yourself stumbling across some varieties of fruits and vegetables you’ve never even heard of, let alone seen before. Once you get the lay of the land, and have filled your senses to the brim, then go back and make your purchases from the vendors you resonate with most. Don’t be surprised if they offer you a recipe, storage or preparation tip along with your acquisition. That’s when it dawns on you that this is far from the end of the fulfillment found in this experience – it’s just the beginning, heading straight to your own kitchen. This one Soul-Full experience you do not want to miss!

*Fun Fact: The first LA County Farmer’s Market opened in 1979 in Gardena. It was a Saturday morning market, consisting of four stands. Interfaith Hunger Coalition sponsored it in the parking lot of a church. Today there are over 300 certified farmer’s markets in California.

With thanks to Bliss_Priss for the image.

SOO Good: Cru (Los Angeles, California)

Our Rating: SOO Good
Address: 1521 Griffith Park Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90026
Hours: Wed – Mon. 5:30pm –10pm Open for lunch Friday and Saturday 12pm – 4pm. Closed Tuesday
Contact: 323-667-1551, crusilverlake.com

Photo courtesy Cru Los Angeles

Review via Maureen Whitehouse.

This organic, vegan, raw café presents thoughtfully prepares and artfully presents their meals with intention to deeply satisfy their customers. The atmosphere is simple and stylish, the wait staff attentive and the food well prepared. I liked the variety of the menu, catering not just to raw foodists, but to discerning vegans with simple tastes and distinguished palates. The prices are reasonable. But I did feel the salad section to be a bit lacking, especially for a raw food restaurant. I had the house salad, expecting the likes of what I’d experienced at other raw food digs and instead found myself in front of a rather common looking and tasting pile of greens smothered in a way-too-spicy-for-me (and my dining companion, who’s been known to down habanero peppers 3-4 at a time without blinking an eye or shedding a tear) chili lime dressing. I don’t mind eating very spicy food when I’m in the mood for it, but I feel that it should be indicated somehow on the menu.

Photo courtesy Cru Los Angeles

However, the caponata bruschetta more than made up for my dismay. Made with a very fresh Italian chopped vegetable spread in a savory herbed sundried tomato sauce with cashew cheese on a very light but substantial buckwheat flat bread, this appetizer is tastefully bold and satisfying. The wraps, raviolis, pizzas and mezze platter all looked fresh and inviting for those inspired by “fusion” style Asian, South American or Mediterranean dishes. Raw foodists who are especially turned on by cacao—raw chocolate—will be particularly interested in Cru’s dessert selections. Chocolate Brownie a la Mode, Raspberry Chocolate Crepes with Fruit Sorbet and Chocolate Fudge Cake present you with a virtual chocolate nirvana.

Photos courtesy Cru.

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: