Disrupt your circadian rhythms and join Obscura Society LA for a pre-dawn tour of the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market.
Between farm and table, most food must make a journey. Traveling thousands of miles across oceans and highways, it arrives at an urban market, to be bought and sold in the dead of night.
Tucked between Skid Row and the Arts District, the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market is a labyrinth of alleys and terminals filled with stalls selling fruits, vegetables, nuts, herbs, and spices. Each evening, hundreds of big rigs and semi trucks unload trailers packed full of produce to be sorted, stacked, and sold to grocery store, market, and restaurant buyers. Sprawling over several city blocks, it is the largest distribution center on the West Coast.
Robert Luna is the executive chef of Malo and Más Malo, two of our favorite restaurants, located in Silverlake and Downtown LA. Specializing in East LA home cooking, Robert’s menu is seasonal, innovative, and perfectly balanced. Growing up in a family of culinary talent, Robert quickly excelled, and became the Executive Chef of Cafe Santorini at the age of 18. He has been shopping at the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market for over 18 years, sourcing ingredients, and observing the changing cityscape and community.
Join Obscura Society LA and Field Agent Erin Johnson for an exclusive tour of the Los Angeles Wholesale Produce Market, lead by Robert Luna. Beginning at the Old Market, we will weave our way through trucks and stalls, learning it’s history and how ingredients are sourced for the restaurant industry. Afterwards, we will venture beyond produce and explore the dried spice and the candy/piñata sections.
Shopping Tips: There won’t be time during the tour to shop, but if you’re planning to shop after the tour, bring cash! Most vendors in the Old Market will sell single cases to individuals with cash. Pick-up 60 lbs of raw material and start canning, fermenting, freezing, juicing, dehydrating, and pickling!
Dress for Success: This is a walking tour that covers approximately 1.5 miles of downtown Los Angeles. Sections of the tour will take you through industrial zones, so please dress accordingly and be prepared to dodge forklifts. Closed-toe shoes are highly recommended.
DATE: Friday May 17th
TIME: 5-7 am
LOCATION: Meeting Location TBD - Attendees will be emailed
ATTENDANCE LIMIT: 12
The Obscura Society is the real world exploration arm of Atlas Obscura.