Tuesday, September 3, 2013

America - Los Angeles - Hollywood Farmers' Market

On our last day in LA, after getting home from a night club where we had too much vodka, definitely losing some electrolytes along the way and not have enough sleep still due to jet lag, Brad and I woke up pretty hungover. 

I'm no party animal. So it had been a while. Oh lord.

Still, I was determined to make it out to the Hollywood Farmer's Market which is held, unsurprisingly, just a short walk from Hollywood and Vine metro station every Sunday morning from 8am until 1pm. 

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A good stretch of Ivar Avenue and Selma Avenue is blocked off for pedestrians only, meaning, loads and loads of stalls and things to see, smell and taste. Brad pointed out what a different vibe the farmers market had to the rest of LA, less glitz, less pretentiousness, more…real. It was so refreshing! 

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We sauntered by a lane that specialised in teas and spices, and I also took the time to ogle at all the fresh and colourful produce (as Brad followed behind blearily). Vibrant yellow squash, blushing strawberries and the biggest Texas onions I had ever seen, amongst so many other things!

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While perving on some gorgeous looking strawberries, I was offered to sample a peach, which was just the sweetest thing I had ever had. I felt a little guilty asking to buy just one (for 90 cents), but with a smile, he gave me my peach and two other cute little plums as freebies. 

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So sweet! Both the shopkeeper and the fruits (sorry, that was a bit lame), I loved the vibrant and vivid colour of plum flesh, although I nearly did get it all over my top. Oops. Juicy little suckers!

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Being hungover and feeling pretty gross, Brad and I needed warm and hearty nibbles. We walked by a stand that was selling pupusas, and even if we didn't know what they actually were, for $3, it just seemed like a no brainer to try one. Pork and cheese it was! 

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The stall owner, with his little moustache, asked if we wanted 'everything'. Rather than inquire about what 'everything' was, we just got it all. From what I could see, that included guacamole, salsa, lettuce and sour cream. Yahum!

So after a bit of googling action, I've learnt that pupusas come from Salvador, and are thick corn tortillas, traditionally filled with cheese, pork and beans, looks like we were on the right track with our choice of protein!

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It seriously hit these spot. A touch oily, but so soft, being piping hot it was so comforting and warming in the belly. The salsa numbed the lips (random trivia, I actually wrote 'nummed' in my notes), but gently warmed the mouth and belly, which is exactly what we needed. That and tender pork. TENDER CHEESY PORK.

We went to another stall for a steamed corn tamale. The last experience I had had with one of these was rather awful back in Melbourne, flavourless, with a rather off-putting texture, drowned in oily cheesiness. Tex-mex at it's best.

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Not here though, here the smooth, sweet and clean flavour of the steamed tamale was the star, lifted with a little salsa kick and rounded off with some homely chicken for a hit of protein. Sure, not the sexiest thing to look at, but the warm and oil-free dish was so good on the palate when one was feeling a little left of centre.

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As we sat eating our tamale on some communal tables set up, we noticed that an old man singing and playing drums had set up a mini daycare next to us, with some blankets on the ground and a scattering of plastic instruments for the kids to play with. It was just so charming and really quite adorable to feel that sense of community and see families kick back and take it easy on the sunny day that it was. 

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This hipster store had Brad and I chuckling away!

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I also feasted on a giant bag of popcorn, I couldn't resist after watching it come out fresh out of these vat things. A bit of salt, a bit of sugar, a lot of delicious! I wonder if they would have minded if I bathed in their popcorn? I could probably fit...

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I couldn't help but beeline as well to a tiny little stand, run by two women who were serving up naturally flavoured Sno Cones. I think I had the strawberry and rhubarb, and there really was a lovely richness and thickness to the…sauces? Is that the right word? I wouldn't call them flavourings, because it's all real fruitiness going on here, and it's not really a juice either. Regardless, it was a very nice, slightly grown up version of this simple treat. 

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Despite fuelling up on goodness, Brad was (understandably) a little grumpy through the rest of the afternoon, as we made our way down to The Grove shopping mall for a little (which was quite unremarkable), where I had an absolutely delightful sprout salad, that tasted a little of grass, but in a good way, with poppy seeds rolling across the tongue. Loved the crunch in this too, haven't come across anything like this back in Melbourne!

We used Uber to get back to our hostel afterwards (since we got a freebie from dining at Katsuya the night before), which whilst very plush in the very swanky and spacious cars, didn't feel as fun as the Lyft rides. Also it was quite awkward having to reach out for Brad's hand in the car…it was that big. 

After resting up, we had our final meal in LA where we started, back at Chiquis taco truck, which didn't let us down with it's hearty and completely delicious Mexican food and easy going vibe. Love.


  1. Loved Hollywood Farmers' Market, & yes, I thought those tamales were yummy! Such fab access to great produce in California. I miss it!
    Heidi xo

    1. Totally agree! Love that there was quite a balance between fresh produce, and food stands as well so you can get a fully kitted out lunch! :)

  2. So much awesome lovely in one holiday ... how have you managed being back in the real world?? :)

    1. It's been a struggle for sure! Haha :) Kinda putting off writing about the holiday as then I start getting sad that I'm not still on it!

  3. Gotta love markets... so much yum. Curious to read the poems from the hipster store!

    1. Although Brad and I were quietly making fun of it, I should have bought something out of curiosity!

  4. That's a whole lotta popcorn honeychald. Very cool market just by the name alone!

  5. As an Angeleno at heart, I'm just so impressed by all that you found and experienced in LA -- and all without a car! As a frequent visitor to Melbourne I only hope I find half the local haunts that you did in my city -- one of the reasons I read your blog. Keep up the good eating!

    1. Hey Mrs. Roper! Thank you! Believe me, I had to very carefully plan out the trip to get the most out of the LA public transport system! :) If you ever need particular recommendations, please feel free to drop me an email, happy to chat!

  6. As an Angeleno at heart, I'm just so impressed by all that you found and experienced in LA -- and all without a car. As a visitor to Melbourne I only hope I can find half the local haunts that you did in m city -- one of the reasons I read your blog. Keep up the good eating!

  7. I have a current popcorn addiction. Its out of control. There is barely anywhere to by it off street vendors in Perth... maybe I need to move to the states? lol