Don't you just love it when the national media write about foodie trends? It always makes me think they're writing for people in some forgotten backwater who honestly do think that adding a packet of seasoning from Tastefully Simple to a cheese ball makes for a sophisticated, New York-style party. (Don't laugh. That sort of thing is exactly what their catalog is like.)
In this case, it's MSNBC's turn to talk about things Californians have known for a long time, which their editors seem to have discovered recently.
Urban foraging practically started in California. The fine folks at
Fallen Fruit publish maps to help people find the food they want.
Foraging classes are offered throughout the region and there's a phalanx
of professional foragers (some of whom are responsible and some of whom
are outright thieves) who supply restaurant kitchens. This is
California; we grow damn near everything here, and it hangs out over the
sidewalks and into the easements for anyone to take.
The MSNBC article specifically calls out the Yamashiro Farmers' Market,
but that's not a night market the way Asia does night markets. Night
markets in Asia are honestly more about the snacks than the produce, and
if it's night street food you want, look no further than Lonchera Lane
in Santa Ana.
3. Single-item restaurants
While Korean restaurants aren't
technically single-item, the way you eat Korean food is to decide what
you want to eat, and then where to get it. You don't buy soondae at a
barbecue restaurant, and you don't ask for soondubu at a seolleongtang
place (which only sells seolleongtang and haejangguk). Here again, our
single-item restaurants tend to be loncheras. Los Reyes del Elote Asado
only sells elotes asados; Chivas pretty much only sells tortas ahogadas;
Crêpes Bonaparte sells only crêpes. Why loncheras and not
brick-and-mortar places? Because it's far, far cheaper to operate a
4. Bicycle cafés
These are nothing new here either. A ride down PCH (through its various
names) along the Amtrak Century route reveals plenty of bike shops with
espresso machines and tables. OC's premier bicycle café is Revo Cycles
and Espresso on PCH
in Dana Point… and not just because they are awesome and fixed up my
seven busted spokes
when I hit the curb sideways going down the hill near the Ritz-Carlton
In other words, a CSA–community-supported agriculture–that's very
limited in scope. If you want a CSA, there are tons, and then you're not
limited to “renting a tree”. As for that whole concept–my parents used
to rent me a tangelo tree from that Rent Mother Nature company in 1984. Trend? Not if it's been done nationwide for the last thirty years.