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The Food Lover’s Guide: Produce Shops
Members enjoy extra discounts and specials on the local, organic, and seasonal goodies at this health-food mecca. Some of the vendors you see at the Santa Monica farmers’ markets help supply the extensive produce section. » 1525 Broadway, Santa Monica, 310-451-8902.
Erewhon Natural Foods Market
Chefs on Beverly’s restaurant row love this enormous health-food store for organically grown produce (including novel items like sunchokes) that rivals what’s at local farmers’ markets. » 7660 Beverly Blvd., L.A., 323-937-0777.
The small, well-kept grocery comprises nearly 50 percent produce. Many fruits and veggies come from nearby family-run farms, and cactus fruit and yucca are among the Mexican specialties. »#160;6312 N. Figueroa St., Highland Park, 323-255-3663.
Prices here can run a bit higher than at the supermarket, but if farmers’ market quality is the goal, you won’t be disappointed by the Japanese eggplants, ripe figs, and huge pie pumpkins. » 5454 S. Centinela Ave., Culver City, 310-827-3049.
Stan Pascal’s shop has a cult following. Customers swear by his hefty fruit and vegetable selection, hand chosen each morning by Pascal from area wholesale produce markets. Come more than once, and he’ll know you by name. » 9307 W. Pico Blvd., L.A., 310-274-1865.
Whole Foods Market
The chain’s reputation has been built mostly around meticulously selected produce. Each branch makes an effort to source as many crops as possible from local farms.