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Third Street

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In the heart of Los Angeles, 3rd Street has been a food destination since the summer of 1934, when a group of farmers gathered at 3rd and Fairfax to sell their produce. Today the L.A. Farmers Market hosts millions of tourists annually while remaining a popular gathering spot and food source for locals. The section of 3rd Street extending about a mile west from the market has evolved into one of the city’s top shopping rows, with plenty of food shops, restaurants, cafés and wine bars in the mix.
Superbe baguette sandwiches and crisp frites at Mr. Marcel

French-style baguette sandwiches and frites at Mr. Marcel

Start your tour at the Farmers Market, of course, with coffee and a bear claw at BOB’S COFFEE & DOUGHNUTS. It’s a superlative fried-dough experience coupled with unsurpassed people watching: sugar-buzzed screenwriters, tables of elderly regulars on their third cup of decaf and bemused out-of-towners on a bus tour. Nearby, HUNTINGTON MEATS sells Harris Ranch beef as well as an impressive array of house-made sausages and a hamburger blend ground to chef Nancy Silverton’s specifications. Huntington is next to MONSIEUR MARCEL GOURMET MARKET, which aims to satisfy all cravings, from anchovies to Zinfandel; the adjacent café serves authentically French salade de chèvre chaud and poulet rôti.

Just steps away is LITTLEJOHN’S CANDIES, an old-fashioned candy shop where visitors can watch the confectioners make their justly famous English toffee. At the other end of the market is MARCONDA’S MEATS , a butcher shop that custom-cuts meats to the most demanding standards and offers its own meatloaf blend in ready-to-bake pans. If it’s time for lunch, head to LOTERíA GRILL, a Mexican counter spot that serves superb tacos (try the cochinita pibil, carne asada or a vegetarian option).

There are many other worthy options here, but with 3rd Street beckoning, head west to AOC, a wine bar and dinner-only restaurant owned by Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne, where you can pair tastes from one of L.A.’s most interesting wine lists with delicious appetizers and roasted items from the wood-burning oven (reservations advised). A block west is TASCA, a very good wine bar (only open for dinner), specializing in Spanish and Italian-style tapas.

The bakery counter at Joan's on Third

The bakery counter at Joan's on Third

On the same side of the street is the ultra-charming, pricey, open-air restaurant THE LITTLE DOOR, but we prefer its companion café/market, LITTLE NEXT DOOR, a virtual replica of a Paris sidewalk café (including French-speaking customers) offering excellent pastries, a bistro menu and a wide selection of gourmet items, from house-made preserves to cheeses and charcuterie.

PLANCHA, A TACO JOINT, a new spot ably run by Poquito Mas veteran Pete White, is a beacon of good value and great flavor in the neighborhood (try the shrimp tacos or the $5 taco trio). You’ll need more than a fiver, though, on the next block at JOAN ’S ON THIRD, a café, bakery, gourmet-to-go and caterer that offers one of the city’s best selections of epicurean items. And now that you’re really hungry, grab a seat at the bar or at the communal table at SON OF A GUN, the new small-plates seafood restaurant from the owner/chefs of Animal. Temptations abound, but don’t miss the lobster roll, a miniature (yet perfectly executed) version of the New England classic and certainly one of the tastiest treats on 3rd Street.

—Jean T. Barrett

In the Farmers Market at 3rd and Fairfax:

Bob’s Coffee & Doughnuts
323.933.8929

Huntington Meats
323.938.5383

Littlejohn’s Candies
323.936.5379

Lotería Grill
323.930.2211

Marconda’s Meats
323.938.5131

Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market
323.939.7792

Along 3rd:

AOC
8022 W. 3rd St., 323.653.6359

Burger Kitchen
8048 W. 3rd St., 323.944.0503

Joan’s on Third
8350 W. 3rd St., 323.655.2285

The Little Door
8134 W. 3rd St., 323.951.1210

Little Next Door
8142 W. 3rd St., 323.951.1010

Plancha, A Taco Joint
8250 W. 3rd St., 323.951.9911

Son of a Gun
8370 W. 3rd St., 323.782.9033

Tasca
8108 W. 3rd St., 323.951.9890

 

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1 Response for “Third Street”

  1. johnragin says:

    only went to Joan once…a rip off…..expensive chicken wings like rubber (old) and korean ribs are really small, thin, and no flavor……never again

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