The Produce Project: A Pop-Up Produce Market
produce at Handsome Coffee
While we love shopping at the Wednesday morning Santa Monica farmers market, we can't always get there before work. Shaheda Sadhal, former SMFM volunteer, and her Produce Project partner Sarah Delevan, have come up with a novel solution for those of us who want the selection and quality of the Wednesday market without the rush-hour drive to the beach and the challenging (to say the least) parking.
About two months ago, Sadhal and Delevan began a Wednesday evening pop-up produce stand, which pops up from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Handsome Coffee Bar in Downtown L.A.'s arts district, and features some of the best and most exciting seasonal goods from the morning's market. There's perfectly roasted and pulled espresso to sip while you shop for Nichol's Concord grapes, herbs and greens from Maggie's Farm, heirloom apples from Windrose Farm, and eggs and chickens from Lily's Eggs, among other things.
This past week, after shopping and getting caffeinated, we stepped outside and got in line at a pop-up taco stand run by chef Wesley Avila of Le Comptoir. The carne asada tacos with tomatillo salsa and chiles from the plancha were quite tasty, but we ate our potato and mushroom tacos as slowly as possible to fully enjoy the depth and clarity of each distinct flavor and texture. (Avila is doing his taco stand again this evening, from 5 - 8 p.m.)
There's also a certain dinner-party vibe that takes over as the sun begins to set and the Produce Project ladies start passing out samples of strawberries or SQIRL jam, and the Handsome gents talk about their favorite breakfast cereal hacks while standing in line for tacos -- as much of a midweek treat as a sunny farmers market stroll.
carne asada on the grill
Get the Squid Ink'd Newsletter
Sign up for our weekly food newsletter, which features top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips and a link to our print review.