Table at Third & Fairfax: Michelina and local ice cream

by Alice

Table at Third & Fairfax is a weekly food column that will see Food and Drink editor Patricia Kelly Yeo eat her way through the Original Farmers Market in 2023. Each column will appear on Thursdays and will provide a weekly summary of her journey through the classic L.A. tourist attraction. Last week, Kelly (re)visited Bob’s Coffee and Doughnuts.

As usual, the sun is unrelenting on my weekly visit to the Original Farmers Market. Even in December, it’s 81 degrees in downtown L.A., which limits my patience as I navigate the parking lot and make my way past the fruit and vegetable stands in search of something to eat. However, the market has put up its Christmas tree and decorated the clock tower with huge garlands, which puts me in a slightly better mood. On my way to Michelina, I decide to order a small chocolate peppermint milkshake ($8) from Local Ice, which mixes a cup of chocolate sauce with a vanilla peppermint and chocolate ice cream shake, then tops the whole thing with whipped cream and crushed peppermint candy.


It’s five days into December, and the only holiday drinks I’ve had so far have been alcoholic – my own homemade eggnog and a warm cider-inspired cocktail from the newly opened Cold Shoulder. The blessedly non-alcoholic shake has just the right amount of minty flavour, and the peppermint candy is crushed so finely that it dissolves in my mouth rather than sticking to my teeth. I’m tempted to finish the whole thing on the spot, but I know I have to try another brunch item at Michelina, so I hold off and head over to the French bakery and brunch spot.


Meanwhile, I take a seat at the counter and order the quinoa salad ($19), which combines goat’s cheese, cucumber and red quinoa in a tartar-like shape, topped with sprouts and a few slices of cherry tomato. The salad also comes with two slices of bread. It’s not offensive, but it’s less of a salad and more of a slightly cheesy grain bowl. In general, I’m always happy to eat any kind of salad at work: It’s not something that happens very often, and my body is crying out for actual nutrition – fibre! vitamins! minerals! – after eating out non-stop to narrow down the list for Time Out’s Best New Restaurants of 2023. The amount of sprouts is a little excessive, but the slightly funky goat cheese holds it all together.


For a brunch-like meal, I’d recommend Michelina, even if the food isn’t great. The other lighter, healthier options at the market are the Salad Bar and Market Chicken, although they don’t have counter seating, which some people seem to enjoy. If you’re shopping nearby at the Grove or running errands in the area, I’d also recommend trying the seasonal shake at Local Ice – it’s perfect for a warm December day, as it so often is in L.A.

Meals from Table at Third & Fairfax fall into three categories: Skip It, Worth a Try and Must Have.



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