Good place to buy several varieties of avocados in LA?
July 29, 2015 1:44 PM   Subscribe

I just moved to LA (yay!). I've heard you can get lots of avocado varieties here that don't make it back East. I'd like to buy high-quality examples of several varieties and have a taste-test. I've found many articles on restaurants with good avocado dishes, but nothing about where to buy them whole. My location is West West Adams, near Culver City.
posted by scose to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Welcome to LA!

Your best bet, if you want something other than the Hass, is the farmer's market. The avocado commission has a link for finding out which Farmer's Market has what variety in stock at the moment. The Culver City farmer's market is quite a good one, FYI.
posted by Countess Sandwich at 1:57 PM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Understand that avocados have seasonality, so maybe don't expect to try all the types at once. This list is a good starting point. It covers all the kinds I used to encounter when I organized a weekly produce box in LA. Note: some varieties are better than others.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:40 PM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

I have a friend who is super picky about avocados, and he happens to be the "Norm!" of the Santa Monica Farmers Markets and he offered this info:

1) Haas are the most common and what you'll find at most supermarkets
2) Reed and Pinkerton are two good varieties that are in season now
3) Fuerte is a good winter variety (like a cross between a Fuerte and a Haas)

Where to get them at the Santa Monica farmers market:
If you want ripe avocados now: on the north side of Arizona, in the middle of the market, is a woman named Laura (petite, curly hair) who sets up her stand with straw baskets set on their side with avocados spilling out. She's known for ripe avocados. She's there Wednesday and Saturday. Not cheap.

If you want avocados and can wait a couple of days: on Saturdays, on the west end of Arizona on the north side of the street there's someone who sells them 3/$5. On Wednesday & Saturday there a guy on 2nd and Arizona who also have very good avocados.

Expect to pay a lot for avocados because of the drought. Expect fewer varieties because it's too much trouble to propagate.

I'm an Angeleno who hates avocados so if you want to plan a Mexican food meet-up you can have my Guacamole!
posted by Room 641-A at 2:42 PM on July 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

The handy picture guide--the Lamb Haas is my favorite, and isn't hard to find.
posted by Ideefixe at 3:30 PM on July 29, 2015

Farmers markets, as suggested, will be a good option (two in Santa Monica tend to have pretty good selections when avocados are really in season--the Main Street location and the Pico Blvd location in Virginia Avenue Park).

Your actual best bet is to head south to San Diego County. There are roadside stands that sell an amazing variety of them right out of the groves--my favorite is just outside of Escondido. Mmm, zutanos and bacon avocados... so good.
posted by late afternoon dreaming hotel at 3:32 PM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Also: keep your ears open at work or where you play/socialize. Eventually you're gonna hear about someone with a backyard tree who's just giving away who knows what variety. YUM!
posted by BlahLaLa at 3:48 PM on July 29, 2015 [3 favorites]

You're also going to want to go ahead and plan to be in Fallbrook for the Festival next April.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:26 PM on July 29, 2015

Try Marina Farms over in Culver City. They have excellent produce, fresh, many varieties.
posted by effluvia at 8:14 PM on July 29, 2015 [1 favorite]

Out of curiousity - how does the Florida avocado my grocery store carries relate? Mostly I mean is it delicious?
posted by maryr at 12:10 PM on July 30, 2015

There's another truly exhaustive list of varieties kept by UCR.

There's two orange & avocado groves in Tustin that have honor system boxes out front. One's here; the other's here.

Nthing asking around to see who has a tree in their backyard. When I lived in Orange, I had a Fuerte avocado tree that produced hundreds of pounds a year. Despite the best efforts of both me and my dog, we couldn't eat them fast enough, and I'd give countless pounds away. God, I miss that tree!
posted by culfinglin at 2:18 PM on July 30, 2015

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