Taking the Expo Line to Downtown Santa Monica farmer’s market and The Misfit

dtsm farmers

It is finally, finally cooling down and we’re well on our way into the holiday season. You know, that time of year when every meal can easily become a festive gathering. Make sure to stay on top of your dinner party game by hitting up your local farmer’s markets! They’re the best places to get fresh, seasonal produce at lower prices, and farmer’s markets are also a great place to learn about food. You can get tips on what’s ripe, what’s popular and what you should buy depending on your cooking level of expertise by talking directly to the people growing the food.

Living in Pasadena, I rarely bother to check out the farmer’s markets on the Westside. But with the Expo Line now open, I finally had the opportunity to visit the Downtown Santa Monica farmer’s market. It’s located just a short walk northwest from Downtown Santa Monica Station: cut through the Promenade to Arizona Avenue between Second and Fourth streets.

Because the DTSM farmer’s market is also a known gathering spot for local chefs — celebrity or otherwise — who are always looking for the freshest and finest for their restaurants, I had to make sure I had my own chef along to give me the insider scoop. Luckily, Chef Robb Hammond of The Misfit was agreed to accompany me as I explored the market. He’s a big supporter of farmer’s markets and, coincidentally, living as car-free as possible. Chef Robb often takes the Expo Line when he travels to other restaurants, and he also bikes to work in Santa Monica from his home in Venice.

After spending the morning picking out fruits and veggies, we walked to The Misfit to see what Chef Robb could whip up with his purchases. The Misfit is located approximately two blocks northwest from Downtown Santa Monica Station. The restaurant serves seasonal, American bistro-style dishes that are healthy without feeling like they’re healthy, if you know what I mean. It’s a great place to visit if you like eating, but not cooking, farmer’s market fare. From his haul, Chef Robb put together a cauliflower fried rice that hits all of those hipster buzzwords: vegetarian, organic, fusion, gluten-free. Whatever, it was delicious. If you ever find yourself in the neighborhood, definitely drop by The Misfit.

If you’re big on farmer’s markets, the DTSM market is not one to sleep on. It takes place every Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and, by the by, it’s one of the few farmer’s markets in SoCal to sell fresh fish. To see a list of other farmer’s markets served by Metro Rail, see map here.