Sunday, November 11, 2007

Meet Me at Third and Fairfax: The Farmers' Market Challenge

I've loved the old Third and Fairfax Farmers' Market since I first visited it as a teenage tourist in LA. When I moved to LA, ten years ago, I lived in Park La Brea, so I was within walking distance of the FM and spent ample time there in the last years of its pre-Grove existence. In fact, my oldest daughter's first trip outside the house after coming home from the hospital was for a lunch at the FM.

In a world of carbon copy food courts (do people still say "carbon copy" or does that just date me?), Cheesecake Factories and fast food, the FM is a breath of fresh air, Starbucks and Pinkberry notwithstanding. It has a vast array of eateries encompassing a number of genres and ethnicities in a casual, old fashioned market setting.

Over the years, I've sampled many of the wares at the FM and have many favorites, but there are some, both old and new, that I just have never gotten around to. I pledge, here and now, to cure that shortcoming. By the end of the year, I will dine at every food stand at the Market and review them here.

I'll start with my old stand-bys, move to my stand-away-froms and close up with the brand new tries. I will ignore the few chains and the mediocre food at the adjacent Grove shopping mall, as well as the newly adjacent restaurants, such as Marmalade Cafe, which are really more Groveish. This will be the old-school FM food stalls.

Next week, I'll begin with some of my favorites, the top tier of Farmers' Market dining.

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