April 4th, 2013

Living Well: The Top Farm-To-Table Dining In and Around Marina del Rey

California has long been a cultural trendsetter—and when it comes to the “sustainable agriculture” movement, that statement couldn’t ring truer. “Farm-to-Table” cuisine is an enduring trend that grew from that movement and over the last decade, it’s become one of the hottest foodie attractions around. For those lucky enough to live in Marina Del Rey, that “trend” is more of a way of life, because the Marina and its surrounding areas are brimming with amazing farm-to-table options.

Before we dive into some of the best places to indulge your cravings, let’s define the term “Farm-to-Table.” It basically means that the food served at the restaurant is seasonal and sourced from farmer’s markets, local farms, or other venues where food is bought directly from the grower. That means that every dish served is filled with unprocessed, locally grown ingredients. Diners are won over by both the fresh, creative dishes and the sense of community that comes from supporting local farmers.

Now that you’re up-to-date on definitions, let’s get into the good stuff: the food! Here are five “Farm-to-Table” favorites in and around Marina Del Rey.


Mendocino Farms Sandwich Market
4724 Admiralty Way, Marina Del Rey 310.822.2300
Lunch and Dinner

Mendocino Farms is a Marina favorite that takes its “Think Global, Eat Local” mantra very seriously. The restaurant has several locations across California, each dedicated to bringing residents the best locally grown food available. Fans rave about the Spicy Lemongrass Steak Banh Mi, Mac N’ Cheese with Bacon Marmalade and Vegan Shawarma. Also available for catering.


1429 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice
Lunch, Afternoon/Late, Dinner, Dessert, Weekend Brunch, Wine List

Gjelina is one of those places that built a buzz and just kept buzzing with its bohemian vibe and unique farm-to-table offerings. Some of the dining favorites include the Housemade Chorizo, Fontina, Chili & Basil Pizza on the dinner menu, the Moroccan Baked Eggs on the Brunch menu and the Butterscotch Pot de Crème with Salted Caramel on the dessert menu. Reservations suggested.


The Curious Palate
12034 Venice Blvd., Mar Vista
Lunch, Dinner, Breakfast

This self-proclaimed “food lover’s paradise” may just live up to the hype. Both the Mar Vista and Santa Monica spaces include a market, kitchen and café that emphasize artisan foods and farm-to-table cooking, although the menus have some variation. Try the classic Brooklyner Sandwich with smoked salmon, goat cheese, and roasted tomato aioli on sourdough or the Coconut Wasabi Shrimp Wrap for a zesty little treat.


The Tasting Kitchen
1633 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice
Dinner, Drinks, Weekend Brunch, Wine List

Those with a hankering for a gourmet touch must try the Tasting Kitchen. Named as one of GQ magazine’s “10 Best New Restaurants in America” in 2011, the restaurant has garnered a devoted following in L.A. Because the owners are so dedicated to seasonal, locally grown food, dishes often change to ensure ingredients are at their peak of freshness. You’ll find the meals are far from inexpensive, but fans promise dishes like the Salt Roasted Branzino (European Sea Bass) and Short Ribs are worth every penny. Reservations suggested.


Urth Caffé
2327 Main St., Santa Monica
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Organic Coffees

Urth Caffé’s four Los Angeles locales give credence to the growing popularity of locally grown, farm-fresh food. Urth is almost always packed, but the sandwiches, salads, desserts, and brunch items are all worth the wait in line. Diner favorites include the Poach Di Parma (poached eggs on homemade brioche with prosciutto, arugula and mozzarella), The New Yorker Sandwich (a classic Rueben), the Urth Salad (locally grown mixed greens with feta, tomatoes, hearts of palms, and olives), and the Granny Smith Apple Pie. Also make sure to grab some of their signature organic coffee before you and your filled stomach head home. Vegetarian and Vegan friendly.

What do you think of Farm-to-Table dining? Devotees think it blends seamlessly with the healthy, “live-well” Marina lifestyle. Do you agree?

  • Big fan of The Tasting Kitchen.

  • Fresh

    Agree. One of the best restaurants on the westside.

  • todaymarinadelrey

    Love the Kitchen too! One of the best restaurants on the Westside by far.