If you're a fan of farmers markets -- and, heck, why wouldn't you be? -- it should come as exciting news that L.A. is gaining yet another market in the coming weeks, this one being an after-hours affair located on West Hollywood's Sunset Strip. Beginning June 14 and every Thursday night thereafter, the Sunset Strip Business Association will host a nighttime certified farmers market and community festival from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the West Hollywood public lot (8755 Sunset Blvd.).
More than 40 vendors will be offering things like organic agriculture and locally produced food, including greens, vegetables, nuts and fruit, specialty Asian produce and herbs, farmstead cheeses, locally grown olive oil, dates, pasture-raised chicken and eggs, grass-fed beef, gluten-free and vegan baked goods, sustainable fish and prepared foods and breads.
First-time vendors include Fontanella Olive Oil, which is grown and produced in the Pacific Palisades; Oasis Date Gardens, a 100-year-old organic date farm; and Masa Organic Tamales. The vendor section was curated by Diana Rodgers, who was paramount in creating the Santa Monica Main Street and Mar Vista markets.
But wait, it wouldn't be the Strip if there wasn't some kind of slick entertainment, right?
There will be live acoustic music sets, pop-up art events, a bocce ball court, cooking demos, a "pairing pavilion" that will allow patrons to pair their purchases with local wine and beer selections, and a booth of "veggie valets" (best job title ever) who will give customers the option of checking their produce bags while they explore nearby restaurants and retailers.
Also, local chefs get first dibs on the goods, thanks to a special hour-early entry in which they can peruse the market and selected goods for that night's menu. (You can find participating restaurants, including Eveleigh and Mirabelle, on the market website.)
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Another bonus: All nearby parking lots will offer $5 validated parking for shoppers. So, by all means, bust out that reusable bag and go to town.
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