Saturday, September 02, 2006

Food Destinations: The Wilshire Center Market

Maki, of I Was Just Really Very Hungry, has asked bloggers to highlight a favorite greenmarket (aka farmers' market). Though the Hollywood market remains my culinary favorite, the Wilshire Center market outside my office wins my heart with its community vibe and friendly vendors.

It runs from 11 am to 3 pm, but a clutch of Korean grandmas arrives around 9 am to crowd their favorite vendor and snatch up the best produce early. Closer to lunch time, office workers from the surrounding buildings saunter through the market, picking up food for the weekend and some lunch. There's a large trailer that doubles as a chicken rotisserie at one end of the market, sending fragrant smoke wafting across the street, making your mouth water. I also like the Happy Inka, serving up Peruvian food (sauteed rice with veggies or spiced meat).

the grill at the Happy Inka

the rotisserie trailer

The produce is fairly basic, though there's a stone fruit stand that has more varieties of plums than I've seen anywhere else. There's also an Asian veggie stand with lots of curvy, slim eggplants and bunches of purple, Thai basil.

at the Asian market stand: I don't know what this is

A visit to this market gets me excited about cooking for the weekend and feels very neighborhood-y--a rare sensation in Los Angeles!

Wilshire Center Farmers' Market

Mariposa between Wilshire and 6th
11 am-3 pm, Fridays
Take the red line metro to Normandie

Eventually, you'll be able to see all of the reports here


marielle said...

I think your mystery veggie is a variety of bitter melon. It's used in a lot of Asian cuisines and is known to be the most bitter of all vegetables.

Michele K said...

The mystery vegetable is definitely bitter melon. People who enjoy it often rave about some elusive (to me), delicious aftertaste, but I could never get past the basic bitter taste.

Erin S. said...

Aha...thanks marielle and michele. Any ideas how it's usually cooked/prepared?

A said...

Hi Erin,

Well, as a child I had to eat this.. One way can be done is with balsamic vingar, tomatoes and cottage cheese.. another is with scrambled eggs.. you have to cut it and take out the seeds... Those are the ways i like it...

marielle said...

I've never actually made it myself, but I do recall seeing it stir-fried at a long-gone Chinese restaurant. I regret that I never tried it! Google "bitter melon stir fry" and some recipes will come up that sound easy and good.

connie said...

I love the pictures of all the fruits and veggies. And Peruvian food... awesome! That looks like so much fun.

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