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Rebel Rose

California Farmers' Markets

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My pondering leads me to wonder why there are not good produce markets like Berkeley Bowl and Montery Market down here in the southland...

What do all think?

I am asking this because I don't really know...but what's a produce market? A grocery store selling mainly produce?

Growing up in San Diego, chain grocery stores were really the only places to buy groceries, including produce. Farmer's markets are a more recent phenomenon.

There was a Southern California "natural foods" chain called Boney's that is now (mosty) called Henry's Marketplace. I've seen some in the LA area but don't know how wide-spread they are in the area. I would love for one to open here in my city.

Henry's got their start as a "whole grain/health food/organic/Earth-mother" store (Boney's). Today their main focus is produce at, usually, better prices than the chains. They also have bins of whole grains, flours, herbs & spices, nuts & seeds, etc, as well as vitamins and other nutritional supplies. They do sell non-produce items that remind me a lot of Trader Joe's (curries, soy products, unusual sauces, etc) and they also have branched out into selling meat, too.

But produce and "health food" have stayed as their main focus.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I believe the version of Berkeley Bowl and Monterey Market in SoCal is Bristol Farms.

But are there items in particular you and thinking about at BB and MM that you have been unable to find or is it "that Berkeley" thing you are alluding to in a general feeling?

When I lived in SoCal, most of my high-end gourmet items were acquired from Bristol Farms. If the Farmer's Market of the week didn't have the vegetable or fruit I was looking for, I could get it at Bristol Farms (or sometimes Whole Foods).

Now I see that you are in Chino which might have something else to do with your lack of decent shops. Riverside county in general is somewhat of a wasteland and the closest Bristol Farms to you would be in South Pasadena. Maybe that's the difficulty...

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I believe the version of Berkeley Bowl and Monterey Market in SoCal is Bristol Farms.

No, I have been to Bristol Farms. It doesn't even compare to Berkeley Bowl. It is much more hoity-toity than Berkeley Bowl and doesn't even begin to carry the wide variety of produce and other items that Berkeley Bowl does. Plus the prices are just out of sight compared to both Berkeley Bowl and Monterey Market.

If I compared Bristol Farms to anything up in northern California, it would be Andronicos, or Draegers.

I don't know if you have ever been to Monterey Market or Berkeley Bowl, but if you ever get a chance, do so. The difference will really stand out. And it is this difference that makes me wonder if it is a northern California thing, or something else. If it is something else, why can't it be repeated down here in southern California?

This is not just a chance observation, but one borne out by years of shopping at these two places, sometimes more than a few times a week. And this was not for just high end stuff, although I was totally amazed when I first moved to the east bay area, and started shopping there. I found all the stuff I had read about in my cookbooks, but had never been able to find anywhere else.

I am trying to think of examples of how these markets are different, for those of you who have never been to either Berkeley Bowl or Monterey Market. Maybe after I have enough caffeine and wake up I can do so.


Edited by artisan02 (log)

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I remember as a kid, when we moved up to the Bay Area, being very dissappointed with the quality of produce available at the time. My mother used to talk about going to the Gelson's produce aisle on visits to LA just to stand there, look around, in order to cheer up. Does anyone besides me remember Jurgensen's from those days? Our years in the Bay Area saw us through the beginning of the CA culinary revolution but before that . . .

Anyway, if the weekly farmers markets don't do the trick, or Gelsons, or Whole Foods, or Bristol Farms or Wild Oats, how about the original Farmer's Market at 3rd & Fairfax?


So long and thanks for all the fish.

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There are no places here like those in the Bay area that I have found in the 17 years I am here. If you want that you have 2 choices. Go to a farmers market ( preferably a large one) or go to San Gabriel valley large asian grocers. You will find great fresh interesting things although little or no organics in asian markets. At FM you are limited to whats in season in California. Berkely has some of the best food shopping on the West Coast IMHO. Several excellent cheese shops, wonderful bread, great produce, amzing wine shops and a city that supports those business'. Try to find really good sourdough bread here. Ha! You may need to adjust your cooking and your palate to what is fresh and in season at FM for your own good.

David


David West

A.K.A. The Mushroom Man

Founder of http://finepalatefoods.com/

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There are no places here like those in the Bay area that I have found in the 17 years I am here. If you want that you have 2 choices. Go to a farmers market ( preferably a large one) or go to San Gabriel valley large asian grocers. You will find great fresh interesting things although little or no organics in asian markets. At FM you are limited to whats in season in California. Berkely has some of the best food shopping on the West Coast IMHO. Several excellent cheese shops, wonderful bread, great produce, amzing wine shops and a city that supports those business'. Try to find really good sourdough bread here. Ha! You may need to adjust your cooking and your palate to what is fresh and in season at FM for your own good.

David

Yes this is the point I am trying to make, and I am thinking it is not getting across very well. I know I am not going to find it here..and I while I wish I could, I am not desperately trying. I go to the farmers markets and make do with everything from what you have suggested.

My point is this. We could do it down here too. Why aren't we? Why don't you think the greater LA area doesn't have a market such as this? And what would it take to have one? That's why I asked if it were a northern California thing, or a Berkeley thing... Is there something different in the attitudes toward food down here, that makes such a market impossible?


Edited by artisan02 (log)

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I agree with Toliver about Henry's. However, while the fruit/veg are fresh and cheap, the selection is crap compared to Berkeley Bowl. There was a thread a while back about great markets in SoCal (this is back during the strike). I couldn't find it, though perhaps someone with better search skills might be able to.


I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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I remember as a kid, when we moved up to the Bay Area, being very dissappointed with the quality of produce available at the time.  My mother used to talk about going to the Gelson's produce aisle on visits to LA just to stand there, look around, in order to cheer up.  Does anyone besides me remember Jurgensen's from those days?  Our years in the Bay Area saw us through the beginning of the CA culinary revolution but before that . . .

Anyway, if the weekly farmers markets don't do the trick, or Gelsons, or Whole Foods, or Bristol Farms or Wild Oats, how about the original Farmer's Market at 3rd & Fairfax?

I used to shop at Jurgensen's on Ventura Blvd., in fact I had a house account and got a bill once a month. It made it easier for me because I hated standing there writing out a check while people were in line behind me. It also meant my housekeeper could shop for me and charge it to the account.

They were so great about special orders, fancy strawberries on long stems, Brussells sprouts on the stem, huge artichokes or baby artichokes. And the cheeses. They had the greatest selection of imported cheeses - I still have one of their signature cheese crocks that held their special blue cheese spread that was so delicious. I also have one of their crocks that held fresh caviar, the light gray one with drawings of sturgeon in blue on the sides.

I do miss them. And their breads - wonderful artisan breads long before La Brea bakery came onto the scene.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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99 Ranch Markets have a pretty good selection of produce. Nothing like you describe at Berkeley bowl, but pretty good and the prices are reasonable.

Marukai Market at 1740 West Artesia Boulevard in Gardena has a pretty good selection of Asian produce. It is an interesting place to shop, they have a huge selection of fish and fish products.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I think that part of the reason there is no big produce market such as you describe in the L.A. area is the area.....

San Francisco itself is spread over 47 square miles and the residential areas are close in to the business district. The outlying cities are not all that distant and driving distances are not the same as here.

If something were centrally located in L.A. it would mean a long, long drive for many people.

There are half a million people in the Antelope valley and for a time we had a Farmer's Market in Palmdale every Saturday morning but not enough people supported it and it died. One would think that something like that would be very popular but it was not publicized well and had to move a couple of times as their space was developed.

I would love to go to the Santa Monica Farmers market but it is too long a drive for me just to shop. The ones in the Valley are at times or on days where I can't get to them because I am working.

The distances here are just so much greater than in the Bay area.

I drive 70 miles to work which means a 140 mile commute for me four days a week. I drive to South Pasadena about once a month to shop at Bristol Farms (and Sur La Table since I am in the area) and would go to a Farmer's market if one were open at the time. I have been told there was one in Artesia but only on Thursday so that wouldn't work for me.

There was supposed to be one opening in South El Monte this year but I have yet to hear if it is going to get the permit.

That is the other thing. Many municipalities are not friendly toward these markets. They make so many rules and regulations that it is prohibitive in cost to organize them.

Green Thumb Nursery on Sepulveda blvd in Sepulveda attempted to organize a Farmer's Market several years ago but after months of negotiation gave it up because of all the permits that were required, making it too time consuming and costly.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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There are quite a few choices in the San Diego area for very high quality, mostly organic produce. I quit shopping at Henry's because I didn't think the quality was there, although it is inexpensive. I buy a lot of seafood and some Asian vegetables at 99 Ranch, but their general produce doesn't seem that good to me. I think the small chain, Jimbo's Naturally, has the best quality produce for a large market in my area. About 98% of the produce is organic. They have good chickens, and a limited selection of good meats and seafood. They also have bins of bulk items and some interesting prepared foods. The Be Wise Ranch has top rate organic produce, both at their stand and in some markets. Seaside Market in Cardiff carries a lot of Be Wise produce, along with other veru good organic and nonorganic produce, limited meat and seafood, and poultry. There is a totally organic stand in Encinitas that has very fresh produce. There are Farmer's Markets everywhere. And of course, there is Chino's in Rancho Santa Fe for the highest quality produce, including more exotic things, if you don't mind paying an arm and a leg and standing in line with local chefs. I don't think Chino's has much that is organic though.

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Dunno from Chino Hills, exactly, but there must be a farmer's market, or several, nearby some days of the week.

I like Henry's, fresh and cheap as Jschyun says, but then I don't care to see a lot of exotica in regular supermarkets, I think it dilutes the quality of everything else when the produce manager is charged with having to fill the radicchio de Treviso slot rather than having as a priority making sure the salad lettuces, for instance, are extra nice.

Henry's does a very good job on this account, plus, as a veg-oriented cook who has relied on farmer's markets since the 1980s as much as possible, I find the stuff at Henry's to be fresh and seasonal, two things important to me. Astoundingly so, compared to supermarkets in general.

That said, I got the most beeyootiful -- nearly picture perfect, really -- organic frisee at Whole Foods in Tustin the other week. Whole Foods does a good job with exotica, and everyday quality too.

Bristol Farms comes in handy, because you know if they have it, it's not going to be tired or bruised. (They often have fish I like, too.) You will however pay through the nose, and, in my opinion, the flavor is sometimes not there, more a function of picture-perfection not guaranteeing good flavor than Bristol's fault.

Ethnic markets associated with cooking cultures that use a lot of fruit and veg are of course a good place to look.

99 Ranch, a pan-Asian supermarket chain, is all over, (and sometimes the produce prices are eye-poppingly low), but a lot of the time the quality is not so good, even though the range is wide. There is also too much stuff prewrapped in plastic and on foam trays, I think.

Japanese markets often have well-chosen veg of good quality, Ebisu in Fountain Valley is a personal fave. I know others like Marukai (Andiesenji mentioned the Gardena branch; there's one in Costa Mesa, among other places), and Mitsuwa Marketplace, although I find the latter to be afflicted by the prewrapped-in-plastic thing.

When I lived near Santa Ana and its large Hispanic population, even the regular old Alpha Beta down the street had truly wonderful fruit and veg, which was adamantly NOT true of other Alpha Betas at the time -- when cilantro wasn't yet found in every supermarket produce department, for example, the Santa Ana Alpha Beta always had mountains of superfresh bunches for cheap.

More recently a great Mexican cook introduced me to the El Toro Market in Santa Ana, where one takes one's life in one's hands just pulling into the small parking lot but inside is rewarded with fresh-masa tortillas (a stone rarity, even among fresh tortillas) and very good produce.

My present Santa Ana Alpha Beta is a Stater Brothers whose produce department is very good -- again, not true of every Stater Brothers, in my limited experience. It has patronage from a wide variety of ethnic groups, and is oriented toward cooking, lots of raw ingredients, rather than a preponderance of prepared takeaway as in most regular supermarkets.

Trader Joe's picks up dairy slack, but their produce is strictly emergency rations, for my purposes. (Plastic-wrapped and tired, together again.)

None of these come near replacing the one-top stopping ease of Northern California ... I don't think there's another place on Earth where it's as simple to come by good ingredients.


Priscilla

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None of these come near replacing the one-top stopping ease of Northern California ... I don't think there's another place on Earth where it's as simple to come by good ingredients.

That's what I am saying. What would it take to have something of this caliber here in the Southland? Or as Andie said, is this area just not conducive to this type of thing?

I know when I moved from the San Francisco area to Sacramento, I used to still drive over to Berkeley once a week or so. These markets are that good.

Maybe I will write the owners of these markets, and tell them that we need something like this down here. :wink:

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I did a little web-research on the Berkeley Bowl and Monterey Market, and frankly it sounds like they are unique outfits not only in the context of California produce markets, but probably further afield than that. So I don't think it's so much a question of something particularly ailing Southern California for not having similar markets, but more a general void for that kind of market, period.

That doesn't mean that such places can't happen anywhere else, by any means. In fact, given that SoCal wouldn't be such a long haul from interesting suppliers of quality produce, it could probably happen down here too if someone ran with the idea as did the Yasudas of Berkeley Bowl or the Fujimotos of Monterey Market.

I note also that both Berkeley establishments are in fact family-owned and operated independent markets, with multiple generations involved in management. This by itself is not necessarily a guarantee of smooth sailing management wise--I see, for instance, that the Berkeley Bowl management had some unpleasant dealings with their employees as the latter endeavored to become unionized--but I do think that a market started by private individuals with a passion for their product and a family commitment to maintaining the mission has a distinct advantage in terms of producing a store with some "soul," for lack of a better word.

Meanwhile, for my own vegetable wants and needs here in San Diego, I have lighted upon the People's Food Co-op over in Ocean Beach. Yeah, it's a bit of a shlep from where I live. And while it's gorgeously appointed and sizeable for a food co-op, it's not huge. But at least on a first visit, its produce department looked to be knocking the tar out of the local Henry's and even 99 Ranch that I frequent. And the prices, while not rock-bottom, seemed pretty darned reasonable to me given the quality.

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That doesn't mean that such places can't happen anywhere else, by any means. In fact, given that SoCal wouldn't be such a long haul from interesting suppliers of quality produce, it could probably happen down here too if someone ran with the idea as did the Yasudas of Berkeley Bowl or the Fujimotos of Monterey Market.

Yes, that is what is comes to mind, at least for me. I am sort of surprised that no one down here in southern California hasn't run with this idea before. Maybe they have, and maybe it was a complete flop. I am not that conversant with all that has gone on, down in this region.

That being said, and even with all the great farmers markets here, and there are quite a few, I wish I had the money to do something like this myself. Maybe I am just imagining things, but it seems like there could be a niche for it down here as well. I know people schlep long distances at time to go to the markets in Berkeley, so why not here? Of course with gas prices these days, that might be changing.

Maybe some enterprising eGulleteer, with passion and money (and knowledge of this type of business) can start something like this down in this region. :wink:

Thanks for the info about the Coop in San Diego. I might just schelp down there myself to check this out.

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Oh my God, I totally forgot about Grower's Direct in Costa Mesa. It's exactly what it sounds like but the space (thus the selection) is much smaller than the Berkeley Bowl, and they mostly sell produce whereas BB also functions as a regular market complete with a meat, dairy section. In fact, Grower's Direct is the closest to Berkeley Bowl that I've seen in OC at least. Cheap, great produce with a funky friendly vibe. I have pics but haven't had the time to put them up. Wonderful place, one of my favorite markets. They had beautiful strawberries when was there last and I had them dipped in some 56% Valhrona from Trader Joe's. Aahhh.

Gosh, I remember Alpha Beta. One of the first supermarkets we went to here in Irvine. I didn't know they still existed, wow. In Irvine, there used to be a wooden shack that used to sell vegetables from the fields, and I used to ride my bike to get some. Trader Joe's vaguely reminds me of that place, maybe because of the wood paneling. Now, million dollar homes sit on those fields.

mizducky is right about Berkeley Bowl and Monterey Market being rather unique institutions. I was about to say the same thing until I read her post. But I would be surprised if there weren't more markets like Grower's Direct, here in the Southland.

--I would say Grower's Direct is more Monterey Market than Berkeley Bowl.


Edited by jschyun (log)

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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I see, for instance, that the Berkeley Bowl management had some unpleasant dealings with their employees as the latter endeavored to become unionized--

Not to go off topic but Henry's is encountering the same situation. The grocery workers' union has had "informational" pickets outside of some Henry locations as they attempt to unionize the workers. Not sure if it's still going on or not.

So how high does the bar need to be set in order to be considered a good produce market? What does your yardstick have that you're not finding in other stores?

I'm pretty pedestrian in my produce needs. As long as it doesn't look like it's been through a world war and the price is reasonable, I'm fine.


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I like Henry's, fresh and cheap as Jschyun says, but then I don't care to see a lot of exotica in regular supermarkets, I think it dilutes the quality of everything else when the produce manager is charged with having to fill the radicchio de Treviso slot rather than having as a priority making sure the salad lettuces, for instance, are extra nice.

Henry's does a very good job on this account, plus, as a veg-oriented cook who has relied on farmer's markets since the 1980s as much as possible, I find the stuff at Henry's to be fresh and seasonal, two things important to me.  Astoundingly so, compared to supermarkets in general.

Totally agree, I know I said the selection is crap compared to Berkeley Bowl, but what they do have is actually of better quality than most of the stuff at Berkeley Bowl. I'm sorry, but some of the produce at BB has seen better days, which is why it is cheap. On the other hand, I've had stuff like in season peppers, kale, berries that couldn't be fresher. Berkeley Bowl is sort of a crap shoot in that regard. Henry's is more reliable. So is Grower's Direct.


I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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There used to be a few permanent "Farmer's Markets" around the L.A. area many years ago, when there were still "truck" farms in the San Gabriel Valley and the San Fernando valley and Simi Valley.

When I lived in Burbank in the 1960s, there was Rob's Ranch Market on the corner of Glenoaks and Alameda. It was a ratty series of wooden buildings that had been joined to make one L-shaped building around two sides of the parking lot.

They also carried dairy products from Giacapuzzi dairy, including all kinds of raw milk products plus Goat milk and products from a goat farm in Newhall.

They also had a tortilleria in the back with 3 or 4 ladies patting the tortillas from hand to hand and baking them on a big square steel sheet. They would make them extra-thick to order.

Sadly, when Burbank decided to "beautify" they forced Rob's to modernize and they eventually sold out to a chain and it became a Market Basket market then a Ralph's.

I can remember shopping in Rob's when it was raining and the roof leaking in many spots with the clerks running around with galvanized trash cans placed under the worse of the drips. Those of us who shopped there just thought it gave the place character.

It also was not air conditioned which would have been useless as there were double doors in several places that stood open all the time.


Edited by andiesenji (log)

"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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Thanks for the info about the Coop in San Diego. I might just schelp down there myself to check this out.

Okay, just as long as you remember I said it was "large for a co-op." In other words, it's not all that big. :smile: I'd hate to have you shlep all the way down from the LA/Inland Empire area just to be let down once more. On the other hand, I just made a shopping expedition there this afternoon and noted they had in stock cherimoyas, yellow beets, and these beautiful short fat bright-yellow (as opposed to orange) carrots. And they had the dinosaur kale again. So they do get a lot of interesting things packed into a modest space.

Also noticed that several of the produce items, like that kale, come from Be Wise Ranch--I think somebody else already mentioned them; they're a organic farm just north of San Diego that has a CSA program. I just might sign up for that.

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I have stopped at a place between Lake Elsinore and Temecula that has pretty good produce that is quite varied.

I Think it is called "Tom's Ranch" and I know there is a billboard on I-15 that directs one to the correct offramp.

It has been a couple of years since I was down there but they had heirloom tomatoes that were just lovely. They also had some unusual melons.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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My point is this.  We could do it down here too.  Why aren't we?  Why don't you think the greater LA area doesn't have a market such as this?  And what would it take to have one?  That's why I asked if it were a northern California thing, or a Berkeley thing... Is there something different in the attitudes toward food down here, that makes such a market impossible?

When I lived in LA for about five years, I encountered what I felt was a really strange attitude from my suburbanite family and friends. They stay in their suburb, and are shocked and frightened at the idea of shopping elsewhere. If you live in Manhattan Beach, you shop in MB. If you live in El Segundo, you stay in El Segundo. Personally, I relished the thought of getting out of "town" and into the countryside or even just across the city to explore new shops and restaurants. Another part of their attitude toward shopping was that they felt that crime happened everywhere else in LA except where they live, and that they were only safe when they stayed near home. :blink:


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My point is this.  We could do it down here too.  Why aren't we?  Why don't you think the greater LA area doesn't have a market such as this?  And what would it take to have one?  That's why I asked if it were a northern California thing, or a Berkeley thing... Is there something different in the attitudes toward food down here, that makes such a market impossible?

When I lived in LA for about five years, I encountered what I felt was a really strange attitude from my suburbanite family and friends. They stay in their suburb, and are shocked and frightened at the idea of shopping elsewhere. If you live in Manhattan Beach, you shop in MB. If you live in El Segundo, you stay in El Segundo. Personally, I relished the thought of getting out of "town" and into the countryside or even just across the city to explore new shops and restaurants. Another part of their attitude toward shopping was that they felt that crime happened everywhere else in LA except where they live, and that they were only safe when they stayed near home. :blink:

That is very weird. El Segundo? Hmm. I live in Irvine, which is suburbia if I've ever seen one, and most people I know will shop anywhere. Heck, I do it all the time to go to the Koreatown and Little Saigon in Westminster. Most everyone I know goes to Little Saigon even if they're in South OC. I go to LA somewhat regularly but the only reason why others wouldn't is because it's an hour away.

--Does Manhattan Beach count as suburbia? I don't get a suburban feel from MB.


Edited by jschyun (log)

I love cold Dinty Moore beef stew. It is like dog food! And I am like a dog.

--NeroW

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Mary,

That is exactly what I was attempting to explain in my earlier post. People just do not drive long distances if they don't have to. They will drive someplace for pleasure but not for shopping.

My best friend lives in Yorba Linda and prefers to shop right there in town, even though there are more extensive markets in Santa Ana. She is not "into" cooking as I am so when I spend two weeks during the Christmas holidays with them, I drag her around to markets she has never heard of.

She will drive far afield to go to movies and to restaurants, but not just shopping.

But then she will drive all over the place on weekends to go to dog shows. Northern California, Arizona, Nevada, etc., Go figure!

I do a lot of my regular produce shopping at a little produce market we have in Lancaster, and I also shop at Vallarta Supermercado. Vallarta has great produce and very cheap.

Lemons and limes are a fraction of the cost in a regular market. They have a great selection of peppers and of course piles of fresh cilantro and etc.

The middle eastern produce market in Reseda, on Vanowen, whose name I can't recall, is also one that carries quite a few unusual things and is very inexpensive. However it is always very crowded.


"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass!" Terry Pratchett

 

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I have stopped at a place between Lake Elsinore and Temecula that has pretty good produce that is quite varied. 

I Think it is called "Tom's Ranch"  and I know there is a billboard on I-15 that directs one to the correct offramp. 

It has been a couple of years since I was down there but they had heirloom tomatoes that were just lovely.  They also had some unusual melons.

It's actually in the other direction...about 5 to 10 miles north of Lake Elsinore before you get to Corona.

I've always wanted to stop but I'm usually too eager to get home (San Diego) to take the time. It's certainly grown over the years. Originally it was just him but now I know there's an AM/PM gas station and a Carl's Jr. there, too. Home developments are slowly encroaching on the area. Who knows how long he will be there before the land value skyrockets around him?


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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