Farmers Market at Fashion Square

From Farm to . . . Mall? Tuesday is Farmers Market Day at Fashion Square.

In July 2010, Sherman Oaks Farmers Market took up residence in the vast expanse of parking lot off Riverside Drive just east of Westfield Fashion Square, apparently filling a community need to pick up fresh asparagus and Jimmy Choos in the same trip. Although many mall shoppers seem oblivious to the cheery white tents, the market has been around longer than the mall’s free Wi-Fi.

But this spring the small outdoor market (part of the California Certified Farmers Market group) moved to a higher-profile spot in front of the car wash beside the mall parking structure and main entrances—making it hard not to consider the colorful food trucks, organic meat and eggs, and a vegan wonderland of produce … instead of a stop inside at the food court.

On a recent visit I ended up with ripe figs to take home to roast with butter and honey and a quarter-pound of jujubes, a wrinkly Asian date originally from China and Korea. A sign said this sweet and oddly spongy dried fruit with a pit is used as a traditional herbal medicine and can be brewed into tea. I just ate ‘em.

This melding of mall, market and car wash is surprisingly seamless. And unlike Jimmy Choos, fresh produce always fits.

Sherman Oaks Farmers Market, Tuesdays 3 to 8 p.m., Westfield Fashion Square, 14006 Riverside Dr., Sherman Oaks, 818-591-8161

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