Even though we regard it from afar, many Orange Countians are familiar with the big Wednesday farmers market in Santa Monica. Some know this influential market from visiting, but more, I’ll bet, because of market supervisor Laura Avery’s highly listenable market report segments on KCRW’s “Good Food” every week. Avery’s to-the-point rundown of what’s in season, in which she gets the dirt, so to speak, right from a relevant grower, plus chefs’ tips and recipes, is applicable all over Southern California. Under her leadership, the Santa Monica market has become a model for how it’s done.
Avery helped plan the Old Towne Orange Farmers Market last year, and it might surprise you to know that she lives in Orange County, having moved to Fullerton when her children were young. Now, children grown, she’s contemplating a commute-cutting move to L.A.
Before she leaves us, I wanted to know—where does she eat in O.C.? “I love El Camino Real, on Euclid in Fullerton,” she says. “They make everything from scratch, including the tortillas. It’s family-owned and –operated, and the owners' kids went to junior high school with my kids. It opened the same year I started my bagel shop, which was right next door.” And she says Kentro Greek Kitchen in downtown Fullerton is great.
But wait… bagel shop?
Yes—we might be losing a prominent citizen, but we’re gaining something priceless: a tip on a decent bagel. Avery no longer slings bagels, but deems I Love Bagels, who baked the ones she sold, “the BEST bagel shop in O.C.” “They really are the best. I get a dozen to freeze every time I'm heading down the 5 freeway.”
I Love Bagels, 32545 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949-443-3300; 28985 Golden Lantern, Laguna Niguel, 949-249-9300; 24172 Alicia Parkway, Mission Viejo, 949-770-7100