Thanks to the explosion of farmer’s markets here—the world-famous Santa Monica one, and dozens more around the city—it’s never been easier to eat locally grown produce and protein. In some ways, listing a Haute 5 for “locavore” and Farm-To-Table dining is easy, because it’s virtually synonymous with the best dining in LA altogether. In another way, it’s hard because there are so many choices. Here’s a sampling:
Master Chef Josiah Citrin is certainly one of our greatest treasures, basing most of his French-inspired dishes (seasonal vegetable salad with burrata; Sonoma lamb and sausage) on produce from the nearby Santa Monica market. Melisse’s two Michelin stars (and highest Zagat rating in the city) promise that you’ll get service, environment and a wine list to match his elegant plats du jour.
Melisse is located at 1104 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, 310.395.0881.
The Dining Room, Langham Huntington Pasadena
Under the direction of Michael Voltaggio (from TV’s Top Chef), the Michelin-starred, classically elegant Dining Room at the Langham combines international inspiration with local produce: consider Pacific cod with asparagus, bonito and marcona almond milk or veal sweetbreads tempura with kale, buttermilk mustard, and potato puree.
The Langham Huntington Pasadena is located at 1401 S. Oak Knoll Ave., Pasadena 626.585.6218.
In the space that formerly held Citrus, the new Hatfield’s (Quinn is the chef, wife Karen is patissier and maitre d’) properly showcases local produce in elegant fusion creations, including seasonal menus and vegetarian dishes. The redesigned room has earned as much local critic praise as the food.
Hatfield’s is located at 6703 Melrose Ave., 323.935.2977.
Chef/owner Salvatore Marino, a second-generation Italian Angeleno restaurateur (his father ran the Villa Capri), not only scours the local markets for inspiration, he also grows vegetables himself. Look for his fantasia di crudo with the day’s fish, as well as market salads, local roasted vegetable sides, and even fresh gelatos. His cellar garnered a Best of Award Excellence from Wine Spectator last year.
Il Grano is located at 11359 Santa Monica Blvd., West Los Angeles, 310.477.7886.
Coast, Shutters On The Beach
Seeking the ultimate “Farm To Table” experience? How about this beach-adjacent hotel’s “Shop With Chef” package? For $1,229 (plus tax), couples enjoy two nights in a view room, a personal trip with Chef Michael Reardon to the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market, where you and chef collectively select the evening’s Market Dinner ingredients–the menu inspired by your input–and other amenities.
Shutters On The Beach is located at One Pico Blvd., Santa Monica, 310.458.0030.