Doing Lunch: Marmalade Cafe

6333 West 3rd Street (Farmer’s Market/The Grove Shopping Center) | Los Angeles, CA | 323-954-0888 | Website

It was 11am on the second day of my whirlwind Los Angeles adventure weekend, and I needed some Vitamin D. My friend needed some Vitamin B (as in “Bling” from Swarovski), so we headed to The Grove. I figured worst case scenario, I’d snap some photos at the Farmer’s Market and try to come up with something entertaining to say about bus loads of tourists and tables of fruit (still working on that one).

For those of you unfamiliar with the Farmer’s Market (like our CAB DRIVER/SCAM ARTIST that I made pull over and let us out and then all of a sudden he “remembered” where it was), it is located about 3 miles from Hollywood. There’s an actual street called “The Grove” (take that! Mr. “I-don’t-know-where-so-I-just-drive-in-circles” cab driver!). There is also a large white clock tower:

Farmer's Market Clock Tower

Basically, it is a large outdoor mall with a movie theater and a giant food court. There’s usually some sort of musical entertainment, as well as a double-decker trolly to drive you from one end to the other (being from Victoria, this did not interest me in the least, as double-decker anythings are the bane of my existence). After wandering around for a couple of hours window-shopping (or, in my friend’s case, trying on EVERY SINGLE ARTICLE OF CLOTHING in the entire store), we decided it was time for lunch. We wandered around the food court for a while, marveling at the array of food available from every corner of the globe, but neither of us were in the stand-in-line for food in order to stand-in-line for a table mood. So, a sit-down restaurant it was!

We decided on Marmalade Cafe for 2 reasons: a) they had patio seating available (a sunny 75 degrees in January – you can’t beat that!), and b) neither of us had ever eaten there before, as it is a California-only chain.

Of course, every successful lunch begins with something pretty and refreshing:

$9 frivolities

Also, every successful waitress manages to up-sell at least one appy:

$9 Up-sell (note to self: lay off the fancy drinks - they make you order things you don't need or want)

We both ordered “vegetables” for lunch, since neither of us could remember the last time we had eaten one since being in LA… (only a day and a half, and in fairness, the limes in our drinks would have saved us from scurvy). I ordered the Cobb Salad, mostly because it had “Lemon Champagne Vinaigrette” dressing, which went nicely with my Pink Lemonade adult beverage(s):

$14 Cobb Salad

The Vinaigrette was delicious! I need to try to make my own as soon as I can find a recipe (I don’t think “dump a bunch of champagne into a salad bowl filled with lemons” is the answer – although THAT could be delicious too…).

The lady sitting beside us ordered the same thing and had to ask for more dressing, but I liked the subtlety. I also enjoyed the taste of fresh vegetables (especially the avocado, which I guess is technically a fruit). There’s nothing like sunshine, a patio and some fresh fruits and vegetables to make you forget about the damp, the dark and the cold back home! Especially for my friend who hails from Edmonton… She went with the Italian Salad:

$14 Italian Salad

It certainly looked delicious, but she ended up not eating the chicken, as it was extremely dry. So it was $14 for assorted lettuce and peppers, basically. But she was drinking mojitos and eating the freshest guacamole and salsa she had ever tasted (in a chain restaurant in California), so overall, the meal was a resounding success for both of us.

Our total bill was $60, which we could have spent on, well, not a whole lot. So I guess it was money well-spent. It kept us occupied and happy for a couple of hours on a lazy Sunday afternoon. In the sunshine.

Did I mention the sunshine?



From Victoria, British Columbia

Rachel was born and raised in Victoria, BC and graduated from the University of Victoria secure in the knowledge that she didn’t actually want to be a Sociologist, Historian or Accountant (yeah, she was there for a while).

While weaving her way through school, she spent 12 years slaving away in the food/beverage and tourism industries before entering the world of business. For the last 3 years, she has helped small business entrepreneurs in BC get their ideas off the ground.

All of this experience has lead to a couple of inevitable character flaws: she is an “I need coffee immediately” connoisseur, a “let’s do lunch” restaurant expert and an absolute stickler for customer service excellence, no matter what the occasion. She also developed an incurable writing habit in order to document her trials and travels.
When she isn’t mapping out weekly coffee and lunch schedules around Greater Victoria, she can be found driving down the west coast sampling local diners, or driving across North America searching out interesting (and safe) truck stops. A couple of times a year, you can also find her in Florida, celebrating life with family and amazing Southern BBQ you have to taste to believe (and yes, she claims that alligator tastes just like chicken).

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