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BLOG: A Farm-Fresh Taste of DTLA

There is a reason that California is the birthplace of the farm-to-table movement, and that reason is the extraordinary produce. While the quality of California’s fruits and vegetables undoubtedly is due in large part to the climate, it also comes from the fact that its farmers and chefs are people with passion and vision who grow and cook with creativity and care as part of a mission and a life’s work. When you live at 888 Hope, you get all the glamour of Downtown LA and the bounty of California’s farming and culinary pioneers, thanks to the wealth of farm markets that are all just a short walk from these DTLA luxury rentals.

The best way to start a week of culinary experimentation and exploration? Head to Smorgasburg LA on Sundays to fill up on the creations of local culinary meccas like Alfonso Martinez’s Poncho’s Tlayudas, which is one of the many examples of how a visit to Smorgasburg is like attending an (edible) summit of the wide range of cultures represented in LA cuisine. Of Martinez’s delectable food specialty, the New York Times writes, “Drizzled with golden dregs of homemade lard, spread with seasoned black beans, meaty quesillo and shredded cabbage, the tlayuda at Poncho’s is then folded in half so all the ingredients melt into one another. The cabbage steams gently. The outside toasts. And the tlayuda becomes a tlayuda. The dish is substantial, but not heavy; crisp, but not fragile. It is portable, but best enjoyed immediately.” It’s a dish that carries with it the spirit of Oaxacan cuisine, made authentically with locally sourced ingredients. Other Smorgasburg standouts include Sweet n’ Hollow’s baked Eastern European-inspired chimney-style ice cream cones, Sus Arepas, and, of course, a wealth of taco and BBQ stands.

Now that your palate—and your imagination—have been primed for the week, put a trip to the Pershing Square Farmers Market on your calendar for Wednesdays. Just steps from the Downtown Los Angeles luxury rentals at 888 Hope, the Pershing Square Market is host to local farmers who bring fruits and vegetables from every color of the rainbow and sell them alongside vendors hawking meals and treats that have become lunchtime crowd favorites. Pupusas, smoothies, and cinnamon- and sugar-coated nuts are perfect for snacking while you pick up your weekly bounty of strawberries and citrus fruits.

Other markets to keep on your rotation are the Historic Downtown Farmers Market, The City Hall Farmers Market, and the Bank of America Farmers Market. More than mere places to shop, they are gathering places for building community, where you can taste a freshly sliced papaya before you buy one or, given their quality and ripeness, as many as you can carry. And if you end up with the lucky problem of having more delicious produce than you know what to do with, vendors like McColm Farmhouse will provide you with mouthwatering recipes like a Tropical Mango and Papaya Salsa, where the sweetness of the fruit mixed with fresh cilantro, jalapeno, and red onion is the perfect embodiment of DTLA and its farm-friendly urban lifestyle in the summer.