The Sunset Strip farmers market makes a fair attempt to maximize the small public lot at 8755 Sunset Boulevard that it's allotted every Thursday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. There's a dog-sitting service at the entrance and a beer garden with live music towards the back, as well as a purveyor of fat-candles and a vegan cookie baker.

Denny's Organics farm lined up baskets of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries last Thursday, and a number of food trucks parked close to a row of unoccupied tables, convenient when you have a hot dinner plate of deep-fried ribs, cheesy potatoes and collard greens from Soul Sista.

You won't find a wide range of produce here, but that's what Santa Monica's thrice-a-week farmers markets and the Sunday Hollywood market are for. But whereas variety isn't its strong suit, there's a sense of camaraderie here, even to an outsider. You won't walk a few steps without passing a group of neighbors — whether residential or commercial — exchanging pleasantries.

The crowd stays loose halfway into opening hours, mainly nearby residents with occasional tourists staying at a hotel on the Strip. You'll easily pick out the latter by the excited discussions over items at The Kosher Palate or the array of stone fruits at Summer Harvest.

Organized by the Sunset Strip Business Association, the market returned this year with later hours than it set last year. The Sunset Strip market is seasonal, and will run until October.

Strawberries from Denny's Organics; Credit: Christine Chiao

Strawberries from Denny's Organics; Credit: Christine Chiao

And in related news:

What's in Season at the Farmers Market: A Mini Strawberry Primer

After-Hours Farmers Market Opening on the Sunset Strip

Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Follow the author on Twitter at @chrstnchiao.

LA Weekly