Top 5 Things I Love About Hollywood Farmers Market:
1. More Produce + Proteins Than You Know What to Do With: One Stop Shop for Fab Meals/Snacks
Pro chefs go to the Wednesday Farmers Market in Santa Monica, so I know TheHFM doesn't have THE BEST selection - but I have a day job in the SFV and TheHFM has the best selection near me on a day that I can actually get to it!
2. Street Fest / Anything Goes Vibe
There's a great energy to the Hollywood Farmers Market, a sort of 'anything goes' vibe that in a way perfectly captures some of the essential flavors of LA. This isn't Malibu Farmers Market, where there's a very specific set of vendors and very specific target demographic. There are all kinds of entertainment including characters and personalities at TheHFM, and people watching is part of the fun. There's the Soledad Goat Cheese guy with his adorable and attention getting baby goats, the lady with leopard hair (just another shopper), the picture-perfect "Banana Republic graduate" couples with their preppy chic tots, the hip but not hipster musicians and actors, salt-of-the-earth type families, low key folks in their Sunday best uniform of shorts and flip flops, food paparazzi with their 600 pound SLRs, tourists with accents from all over the globe. All set to the backdrop of different types of live music on different blocks from reggae to jazz band to just guys with guitars doing their covers of the latest hits on the radio. LOVE it!
3. Exciting Eats
4. OYSTERS shucked to order!!! Only $2 each!!!!
Just up the row from LaFungHi, there is an awesome stall called Farm Fresh Shellfish where they not only sell fresh shellfish including oysters at reasonable prices, they will also shuck them on the spot for you - if you are in the mood for brunch that is decadent only in taste - they are only $2 each!!! (Last time I went they had Fanny Bay and Endless Summer ones) There's a little table set up with lemons, cocktail sauce etc. if you're so inclined. I personally love the purity of oysters that taste untouched and only of deep ocean, so I'm happy to gulp them down whole right off the plate as soon as they're shucked - no toppings.
5. Inspiration to Cook!?
It's rare for me to want to cook because I have a super stressful day job and don't have time or energy to cook, especially on weeknights - and weekends I usually want to get out and eat my way through town, as much as my wallet will allow, anyways! Plus, anything I make would be disappointing compared to the often life-altering experiences I can have eating what the pros dish out! But when strolling through TheHFM, I do find myself inspired by the ingredients to throw together rustic meals that I know will literally only take minutes to make but taste good (because the ingredients are incredible).
Here's an example of one that I was inspired to make based on a $15 basket of mixed exotic mushrooms from LaFungHi.
I basically adapted (i.e. grossly oversimplified) a recipe for Fettuccine with Wild Mushroom Sauce from Epicurious - I used half the recipe when just cooking for myself. The below makes about 2 servings depending on your appetite! Note: I am very particular with brands for some of my ingredients, but feel free of course to substitute with anything you like.
Fettuccine with Wild Mushroom Sauce
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) Land 'O Lakes butter
3 tablespoons Lucini extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 1/2 pounds assorted fresh mushrooms ($15 basket from LaFungHi)
1 bag Al Dente all-natural spinach Fettuccine
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Melt butter with olive oil in large deep skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and sauté until beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add fresh mushrooms; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover and cook until tender, stirring often, about 6 minutes. Uncover: sauté 2 minutes longer. Season with salt and pepper.
Add fettucine to salted boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Add cooked fettuccine and 1/2 cup cheese to mushroom sauce in skillet. Toss over medium heat until heated, cheese melts, and sauce coats pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to large bowl and serve with more cheese as desired.
Got any simple to make recipe recs for farmers market fare for me? Please do share! And maybe I'll see you guys around at TheHFM sometime!
[In the meantime, feast on more photos from fantastic farmers market finds around town at my Facebook page!]
Hollywood Farmers Market
Sundays 8am - 1pm
8400 Melrose Place, West Hollywood, 90069 (Ivar and Selma)
Parking: Street parking 1 hour meters on surrounding streets. Cahuenga seems easiest to find parking. Some meters free until 11am on Sundays - check parking enforcement signs.