turning 18?! at 3rd and Fairfax

by ninameetscafe

(March 21, 2010)

MY LITTLE BROTHER IS 18. The combination of words doesn’t make sense to me, but it’s a big deal, even if I feel that probably 10 times more than he does. Tee hee. I’m just like that, I guess. Jonathan, Happy Birthday. =)

It took a lot of back-and-forth deliberation, but my mom and I decided that the perfect birthday lunch on the sunny Sunday would be had at the LA Farmers Market. It’s at the corner of 3rd Street and Fairfax, right next to the Grove, the very pretty and relatively expensive shopping destination. I love the Farmers Market! I realized it’s one of my favorite places in the city of LA, which might not mean much since I can’t think of any other favorite places at the moment… (hm…)

From the outside, you would never guess how many different little booths and stations there are. You can totally get momentarily lost in the labyrinth of choice, and there’s seating basically everywhere. I suppose it’s like a cafeteria, but really stepped up. Fresh produce, fruits and vegetables and the like, borders the inner eating area.

It’s so much fun figuring out what you’re going to get! I’m so enthusiastic about this. There are several ice-cream vendors (each famous for something, of course), coffee corners with doughnuts or pastries or mouthwatering cookies, a range of cuisines from Turkish to Korean to various styles of pizza to Singaporean to delis to seafood to Brazilian grill…

The latter being what we had in mind for Jonathan, who appreciates meat quite heartily. So Pampas Grill it was! That little corner of the Market smells unbelievable and brings around the longest lines around 1 in the afternoon. You go through the line beginning with the fresh-looking vegetable and appetizer dishes and end up at the grill where you tell them what barbeque you want. Thankfully, there’s an attractive poster up on the wall outlining their preparations of sirloin, chicken, lamb, sausage with English translations of their Portuguese titles.

I myself was craving something seafood-y, so I went to a counter where the shrimp looked particularly appetizing and asked if I could go buffet-style and simply get a plate of whatever. And the nice man directed me to their actual serving place down the way, which is exactly where I ordered my spiced shrimp. All I needed was extra lemon with my plate and I was totally satisfied. And now I’m even happier that I did that classic fresh-fish-at-the-market thing. (And I even discovered how to peel the entire shell in one go!!!) Yay.

And then three of us sat for literally an hour with coffees, an iced mocha (Jonathan’s, obviously), a slice of lemon cake and really funny stories I had forgotten about… and then we decided to walk through the Grove, which ended up being super lucky since Jonathan found a really nice pair of pants for under $20. They weren’t even supposed to be in the store since they were an online return. How weird, right?!

And that is the story of one fabulous birthday afternoon.

Mon – Fri 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Sat 9 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Sun 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.

(some merchant hours may vary)