Of the eighty or so weekly farmers markets in Los Angeles County, the biggest and best is the one that pops up every Sunday in Hollywood. Branching out in all directions from the intersection of Vine and Ivar, the Hollywood Farmers Market is the perfect place to spend an hour shopping for organic persimmons and sampling artisan goat cheese while listening to a heavily tatted hipster discuss fair trade co-ops with a dreadlocked neo-hippie. Musicians are scattered throughout, including a bluegrass band, a reggae drummer, a guy that makes music with rubber bands, and my favorite local hot jazz combo, The California Feetwarmers.
The prepared food section has a lot of great choices, but Delmy Pupusas is my favorite. Pupusas are a popular street food in El Salvador. They’re thick round corn cakes that are stuffed with a variety of fillings such as cheese, vegetables, beans, shrimp, chicken and chorizo, and cooked on a griddle until golden brown. Delmy serves these hot stuffed Salvadoran treats with homemade salasa, a spicy and vinegary cabbage relish called curtido, guacamole and some fresh crema. A couple pupusas make a nice hearty lunch and are best washed down with Delmy’s homemade horchata or agua fresca, which comes in several flavors including watermelon, strawberry, mango and raspberry. For dessert, I recommend an order of Delmy’s fried plantains served with a side of black beans and fresh crema. Muy delicioso!
Delmy Pupusas can be found at the Hollywood Farmers Market every Sunday morning and early afternoon and at several other farmers markets including Torrance, Downtown in Pershing Square, Atwater Village, Echo Park and Silverlake.
Fried Plantains with Black Beans and Crema
Every Sunday morning in the Hollywood Farmers Market
Enjoy your pupusas with some live music.
My favorite farmers market
I love King’s Hawaiian Bread, especially their irresistibly sweet, soft and buttery rolls. I used them all summer as the buns for my signature barbecue sliders. So when I discovered that King’s has a Hawaiian retail bakery and restaurant in Torrance, I hightailed it down to the South Bay to check it out. The restaurant reminded me of places I’d been to in Hawaii. It was very large, diner-ish and somewhat kitschy (in a fun way); a great place to take kids. There is an aquarium, a giant pineapple and right now it’s totally decked out for Christmas.
While I’m not sure King’s would appeal to hardcore foodies, I thought most of what I ordered was really good, and some things were great. All lunches and dinners begin with a basket of King’s famous Hawaiian rolls with butter. Their extensive menu features all of the typical Hawaiian comfort foods including Poke (Hawaiian marinated sashimi, which is really good here), Spam Musubi (basically a sushi roll with slices of spam instead of fish), Kalua Nachos (tortilla chips topped with Kalua Pork, black beans, cheese and sour cream, and served with guacamole and spicy pineapple chutney), Portuguese Bean Soup, Grilled Mahi Mahi, Huli Huli Chicken, Kalbi Ribs and great fried rice. There are several holiday specials which are on the menu until the end of the month, including a really yummy pork chop stuffed with King’s Hawaiian bread and Portuguese sausage, drizzled with guava glaze and served with “Hawaiian mashed potatoes” (which have cabbage in them and are really good), baby bok choy and fried onion strings.
The best part of the meal were the desserts. King’s most celebrated baked good is its Hawaiian Paradise Cake, a colorful and delicious three layer (guava, passionfruit and lime) cake with a whipped cream frosting and a fruit glaze. It was thankfully not too sweet and totally lived up to the hype! They also have an awesome Macadamia Nut Cream Pie. Make sure to stop at the bakery on the way out for Hawaiian bread, malasadas (Hawaiian doughnuts), delicious cookies (I highly recommend the snowball cookies) and other sweet treats. The cakes (especially the Hawaiian Paradise Cake), pies and cookies make great holiday gifts. Just write on the card “Mele Kalikimaka” (Merry Christmas).
King’s Hawaiian Bakery and Restaurant is located at 2808 W. Sepulveda Blvd. in Torrance.
It's Poke, Mon!
Spam Spam Spam Spam
Sesame Chicken Wings
Stuffed Pork Chop with Hawaiian mashed potatoes, baby bok choy and fried onion strings
Hawaiian Paradise Cake
Macadamia Nut Cream Pie
Big, kitschy and fun