I’ve never been a big fan of New Year’s resolutions, but a trip to the Helen Albert Certified Farmer’s Market at Plummer Park last week may have inspired me to make one: Eat more vegetables.
Boring, right? Well, maybe it’s not climbing Mount Everest, but there’s nothing boring about the delicious sparkling gems to be found at this market.
Sure, there’s an array of the standard vegetables, but there are some really interesting specialty places too. One of my favorites is the Asian vegetable vendor, where you can get three kinds of bok choy, daikon radishes, kohlrabi, Napa cabbage, and an assortment of other greens like mustard and dandelion. The quality is amazing.
You’ve also got to check out LA Funghi, a mushroom vendor.
But this is no ordinary mushroom vendor. They have a variety of mushrooms, and many you’ll be hard-pressed to find fresh anywhere else, including black trumpets, chanterelles, porcini, wood ear and even “fried chicken” mushrooms.
You can pick up a basket of these specialty mushrooms, and if you’re nice, the ladies working there might even throw in a few extra of the fancy types (they did for me). Mushrooms may not be glamorous, but this is a truly exceptional place. Sauté a few of them to throw on a burger or a steak and you’ve made a big upgrade to your meal.
And if veggies aren’t your thing, there’s always the seafood at J&P West Coast Seafood. Some of the freshest and best seafood in the area is available in Plummer Park on Mondays. Who would have ever thought?
The market is small compared to the bigger ones in Beverly Hills and Hollywood, but it has a true neighborhood feel.
The Helen Albert Certified Farmer’s Market is at the north end of Plummer Park, 1200 N. Vista St., at Fountain Avenue, Mondays (except holidays) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.