Table at Third & Fairfax is a weekly dining column in 2023 where Food and Drink editor Patricia Kelly Yeo will eat her way through the Original Farmers Market. Each column will drop on Thursday for a week-by-week recap of her journey through the classic L.A. tourist attraction. Last week, Kelly visited El Granjero Cantina.
This Wednesday afternoon, the market is all but empty as I visit Moishe’s (est. 1992), hoping to enjoy something light before an early dinner at Nozawa Bar in Beverly Hills. There are a few others standing around the Armenian-owned food stall, but it takes just a few minutes to place my order: a gyro plate ($19.98) and three falafel balls ($1.25 apiece). Each plate comes with your choice of two different sides, so I get the tabbouleh and hummus. In truth, I’m not expecting much from Moishe’s, which I think, based off my last visit, is a solid lunch option if you’re craving Middle Eastern flavors. In other words, it's good if you're in the area, but I wouldn’t otherwise recommend going out of the way for.
It’s a surprise then when I can’t stop crunching down on the falafel balls, which come to me still warm from the fryer. Dipped into a side of lemon tahini sauce, or better yet some hummus, the mix of chickpeas and herbs is so delicious I quickly finish all three. The gyro, which comes on a bed of sliced white onions and pale tomatoes, is slightly less impressive, though the addition of yogurt sauce and warm slices of pita bread do help. It’s a far cry from the amazing meats at Glendale’s Mini Kabob or the juicy shawarma I recently tried at Avi Cue in Studio City, but the shaved meat, paired with some fresh tabbouleh and creamy hummus, makes for a wonderfully light, flavorful lunch.
On my way out of the market, I see workers painting the insides of the old Rick’s Produce stall, which will soon become Thicc Burger, the winner of the Original Farmers Market’s New Originals competition. The new burger vendor is one of the few signs of the market’s attempt to keep up with the times. Honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of burgers, but what I am actually excited about is another new incoming vendor, Monterey Park’s Noodle Art, which will take over the Peking Kitchen space sometime this fall. As of today (August 31), owners Tony and Annie Zhou are closing the West Patio stall and retiring after 34 years of running the business.
While I’m sure some market regulars will mourn the closure of Peking Kitchen, I honestly can’t say I’m one of them. If Noodle Art’s website is any indication, they serve the sort of traditional-leaning Chinese food I crave with every fiber of my being: housemade flat noodles of various widths paired with spicy cumin beef, beef noodle soup and braised chicken, among other proteins and sauces. I find it unlikely they’ll bring the spicy pig ears, chili beef tongue and cold seaweed sides to the Farmers Market, but I’m crossing my fingers nevertheless.
Meals from Table at Third & Fairfax fall into three categories: Skip It, Worth Trying and Must Have.
Order: Gyro plate and three falafel balls
Verdict: Worth Trying. The falafel is surprisingly tasty here, and the gyro is, too.