This produce pops Sample the spoils from small-scale farms at Pop Produce

Wordpress-Header

We love a good power lunch as much as anyone. But the tradition of brokering deals over a gargantuan steak, basket of bread and a midday martini? That’s not how we roll.

So we’re thrilled that one of Beverly Hills’s most beloved power lunch spots, the restaurant at Barneys New York, has hit the “refresh” button on lunchtime luxury. Formerly Barney Greengrass, it’s been reimagined as Freds, and the decadent, deli-style menu of caviar blinis and pastrami reubens has given way to farmers’ market salads and pressed juices.

The chef responsible for the transformation is Mark Strausman, a New Yorker with a farm-to-table philosophy and Italian background who oversees Barneys restaurants nationally. He’s having a field day sourcing organic produce from local family farms.

This stand is not your average pop-up shop.

Though the produce selection is ever-changing, you’ll likely find staples like kale, Swiss chard, Haas avocados and Fuji apples. Romney and Bowman also make a point to feature more obscure varietals (when in season) like finger limes, chilacayote, mirabelle plums and watermelon radishes. Local food products including granola, nut butter and jam are also in the mix.

And if you spot Eureka lemons from “Edgemont Farms,” just know that it’s a fancy name for Romney’s own East Hollywood backyard.

POP Produce at Arroyo General
5028 York Blvd., Los Angeles
www.popproducela.com

Beer’s the Thing: SoCal Brews to Try For Fall

6806645654_852c397f7e_z

The Autumnal Equinox brings us shorter days, football season, pumpkin-flavored everything and Halloween decor, but it may be a while before the weather really cools off in Los Angeles. However, beer is a beverage that pairs well with foods for both seasons. We talked brews with Sayre Piotrkowski, cicerone (think sommelier for beer) and Beer Director at St. Vincent Tavern in San Francisco, who helped us tap a few ideas about refreshing suds brewed in the warmer half of this state.

We presented three vegetarian recipes from the Clean Plates blog and invited — nay, challenged — Piotrkowski to help us find some SoCal pairings, but taste wasn’t the only criteria. When measuring sustainability and global impact, location matters; the energy required to deliver a product can be as important as the ingredients used to make it. To be certified organic, there are many hoops to jump through and not all small businesses can afford the process, even if they use sustainable practices. In the end, we decided to prioritize location over organic certification. Even if a bottle isn’t labeled, that doesn’t mean the brewer isn’t doing all she or he can to make sure their suds are green from the inside out! Continue reading

The Best Local Mushrooms Come From a Repurposed Trailer

Shiitake mushrooms. Photo by Frankenstoen

A lot of the mushrooms sold at Los Angeles farmers markets come from big coastal commercial growers. These mushrooms are often sold in the non-certified section of the markets, or with a different certification, and they may not exactly comply with what some folks would consider “local.”

There is, however, a truly local, small farm source of mushrooms available to Angelenos: F & F Farms up in Moorpark, about 50 miles north of the city, where part-time grower Fred Ellrott cultivates exquisitely delicious shiitake and oyster mushrooms.

Oyster and shiitake mushrooms

Continue reading