When I lived in Los Angeles, one of my favorite places to hang (especially when the kiddos rolled around) was the Brentwood Country Mart.
It's a little outdoor space in Santa Monica that I've watched morph over many years from super quaint, sweetly charming, looked like a big red barn, with hardly any businesses... to super quaint, sweetly charming, looks like a big red barn, just booming with businesses. It remains one of my favorite stop ins when I visit, boasting boutiques, newsstands, and eateries, such as Calypso St. Bart, Roberta Roller Rabbit, Diesel Bookstore, Poppy, James Perse, Toy Crazy, and local favorite food stand, Reddi Chick, to name just a few. You'll also find coin-op kid rides in constant play, as well as pony rides on the weekend.
Curiously, there has been one spot that seems to continually change out -- a great space that a few years ago was a West Coast annex of City Bakery from NYC, and is now a restaurant/marketplace called Farmshop. It opened the year I moved away, so I made a point to drop in and get more familiar with it a couple months ago when I darted to LA for a quick meeting. I thought it was lovely.
I started with a little twirl around the marketplace...
Then I did a lunch grab in the restaurant...
|lots of yummy little sides to choose from and divvy up at the table
|and the poached chicken salad was fresh and delicious
Brentwood Country Mart is located at San Vicente + 26th Street in Santa Monica.