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Doing to the Farmer's Market - ALLOF IT!! Pt. 1: Loteria & La Korea

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Doing to the Farmer's Market - ALLOF IT!! Pt. 1: Loteria & La Korea

Dommy! | May 23, 2006 05:01 PM

Many of you remember, last year, I took a bunch of chowhounds to task… I dared them to get on a train with me and eat across this great city of ours. We made stops to Grand Central Market, Langers, Mama’s Hot Tamales, Sapp and BKT Desserts. Well the hounds stepped up and our trip was successful and everyone survived… BARELY…

I knew this year, I would have to top it… But what challenge would be worthy of these brave hounds? What is approachable… yet hadn’t been done already… And then it came to me… The Original’s Farmer’s Market… ALLOFIT…

And so I hatched my plan and did my homework. The concept was simple, come to the the 3rd and Fairfax Original Farmer’s Market on a Sunday and meet in the Community Room Patio Area and then leave it all to fate. I had a little bag full of slips. Each one of those slips had an item that has been raved about here on this board. It was only items YOU considered the best. Everyone drew a slip and went off to buy two of said item.
There were 26 items from almost every stall in the market. After making our purchase we went back to the patio, laid and portioned everything out… and then, our Journey Began…

Lotería! Grill:

* Albondigas Burrito, Carne Deshebrada Burrito $7.55 ea: I fully admit, I’ve been one of those evil Loteria Bashers on the board. I’ve tried several items on their menu and each one of them has fallen flat and was WAY over priced. I do admit however, I had never bought a burrito from them… But I’m sorry, Mexican’s don’t pay $8.00 for a burrito… it’s just unnatural. But seeing how I technically wasn’t paying for it and these two receive so many raves, I had to put it into the draw.

And the Raves were somewhat justified. The burritos were really large (When the attendee ordered two of each, the waitress tried to warn him he was ordering 4 Burritos (Funny how math works… ;)). They were STUFFED with meat… so much more of a ‘value’ than the tacos and they come served with their chips. Aside from the meat there was tasty black beans and rice and lots of Guacamole. Be sure to get spicy salsa on the side as it has no real salsa/spice in it natural. As for the fillings, the Desembrada was the better of the two (The Albondigas are too soft and taste a bit funny and it’s not the smokey chipotle taste…). However, even that wasn’t overly flavorful like I expected a Mexican stewed beef to taste. It was great to finally try both, but I still would rather order something else when I go to the market.

* CarneAsada Nachos $3.50: Never being a big fan of their Chips and after a DISASTEROUS run at their Chilaquilles, I never tried these either. They were IMO better than the burritos. Their bland thin chips actually really worked well with this application. It just SOAKED Up the black bean juice ands salsa. The Beef again, was stewed nicely, but not overly flavorful. And there was plenty of yummy cheese. Again, these are sold without any heat, so for a real kick get some Salsa on the side!

* Pineapple and Corn & Cajeta Sweet Tameles: This is the exact reason I love to go out with the hounds… These sweet tamales weren’t on the list, but they decided to pick them up anyway! :) I’m not a huge Sweet Tamale fan, so I wasn’t impressed by the flavors in these. However, they were very prepared (Not dry or crumbly at all) and the flavors were very well defined. Not as good as the melty ones my grandma makes, but not as awful as some I’ve had that were all dry and crusty! :P

La Korea:

* Beef Bibim Bap $7.49: One of my favorite Korean dishes EVER. This version is just a plain rice and veggie dish. No stone pot, so no crispiness. Instead when you mixed it all together, you ended up with what looked like a Beef Salad. The selection of veggies were wonderful! Mushrooms, Carrots, Bean Sprouts. All flavorful and fresh. The meat was plentiful and the rice tasty. They give you one little cup of the firey red Bimbimbap sauce. When mixed in, it just lends a little heat… for more spiciness ask for two cups. This is exactly the type of dish that I would miss if I went to the farmer’s market alone. Even when talking amongst the hounds we admitted just like everyone we do the same things over and over… And a find like this made the exploration worth it!

And we aren’t done yet!!! How many things did the Chowhounds get to try? So far we are up to Two stands and Six items… Bah!! Childs play for the seasoned hound… So more… lots more is yet to come… :)

Link: http://www.farmersmarketla.com/

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