A couple of years ago, I went with my dining group, Pleasure Palate, to Tanaka Farms for a Farm Tour and Watermelon Eating and Picking. Click here to read the blog post about my experience. A member of the Tanaka Family actually read my post, contacted me and said they would like to host me and some friends for their Cookout Tour. So what is their Cookout Tour about? Basically, it's a guided walking tour of the farm. On that walk, everyone gets to harvest their own vegetables to be cooked at the end of the tour.
Since we had arrived earlier than the start time, my friends and I checked out their Produce Stand first.
Check out the beautiful nectarines, asparagus and sweet Maui-style onions in the pictures below.
Tanaka Farms even makes their own jams and jellies like this jarred strawberry jam.
As our tour time started coming up, we headed on to the waiting area and waited for our tour guide to pick us up.
My first bite today of farm-raised produce was a sun-warmed, juicy cherry tomato.
Next door to the cherry tomatoes were sausage shaped tomatoes and those were the first to go in the plastic bag we were provided.
After walking past other fields, we came to our next stop. Here it was all about the bell peppers and I snagged both a purple one and long green one.
Then we said hello and good-bye to a field of lettuce and some interesting looking characters working in one field before our next couple of stops.
There were beans to be picked.
And don't forget the cilantro.
Green onions will definitely add some flavor...
...and carrots are just plain good for your eyesight.
Red cabbage and broccoli weren't going to make the cut this time around, but there's plenty of zucchini to be had.
From the fields and up a hill, there was a tented area where some work needed to be done to these veggies.
However, they needed a good wash first.
Nice and clean, it was time to do some prep work.
Once the veggies were all chopped, including the tofu we were given, all it needed was just a little seasoning...
...before it was wrapped up in foil and put on the grill.
Earlier, sweet Maui-style onions were also being cooked on the grill, so we enjoyed some of that while waiting for our food to cook.
Salad was also on the menu. After finishing that and after a little bit of wait, our veggies and tofu hit our table ready to be savored. It was delicious, but then how could it not be when the ingredients are organic and freshly-picked from field to your plate.
Before heading off to get dessert, here are some photos of the farm from the top of the hill.
Then it was time for dessert. At the time of our visit, watermelons were in season so that's what we had as a wonderfully sweet and juicy way to end our meal. We had both red watermelon and yellow watermelon. Isn't that yellow color beautiful?
After we've had our fill, we strolled back to the main entrance. Bye corn fields!
Bye Tanaka Farms! Thanks for the wonderful afternoon!
If you'd like to visit Tanaka Farms for yourself, check out all the info below.
Although I've been to Vito's Pizza a few more times since my first visit, which you can read by clicking here, this is the first time I've tried food other than their pizza. But one Sunday afternoon, a couple of friends and I were just a little more hungry than usual. So while we did put in a pizza order, we also shared a few other items.
First up was their Antipasto Salad made up of chopped romaine lettuce, olives, tomatoes, onions, salami, capocollo and provolone florets and mixed with a homemade viniagrette. I liked that the salad wasn't over-dressed and that the veggies were fresh and crispy. You know what's cool though? Check out the meat florets. I'm pretty sure that I've never seen anything like that on a salad or anywhere else for that matter.
Our threesome also ordered the Breadsticks with extra virgin olive oil and fresh chopped garlic. Even if you plan to carb your way through a few pizza slices, you just have to order these Breadsticks, which were crusty bites of goodness. I loved that they topped them with fresh chopped garlic. Just take a look at the picture below to see what I mean. Dracula, watch out!
Another item to hit the table was their Meatball Sandwich. I just had a small bite, but even with just a nibble, I remember liking it enough to maybe order it at another time.
When it came to selecting our pizza, we had a hard time choosing which of their specialty pizzas to order, so we did the next best thing. We ordered 4 slices, 1 of each a different flavor, and then Vito's was kind enough to split the slices in thirds. How nice is that? It even made for a pretty picture.
As for the flavors we chose you can seee from bottom center going to the right, the Pesto and Ricotta Pizza, the Garibaldi Pizza (tomatoes, meatball and jalapenos), Meat Lover's Pizza (sausage, pepperoniand meatball), the Pizza Margherita (fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella) and the Mediterranean Veggie Pie (marinated spinach, broccoli, fresh tomatoes, garlic, herbs and ricotta).
Just like on previous visits, I find the crust a little too chewy for my liking, but when I'm in the neighborhood and crazing a slice of pie, Vito's does the trick. As for my favorite pies, one is the Pesto Pizza because I like how the sweet ricotta cheese complements the herby pesto sauce.
I also enjoy all the greens that come on the Mediterranean Veggie Pie and when I'm on a mushroom crave, Arturo's Wild Mushroom Pizza makes me smile. But's nice to know that if I'm just not in the mood for pizza, I can make other tasty choices and so can you!
846 N La Cienega Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90069
I'm a Dining Group Organizer and Food Blogger who has a passion for all things tasty and absolutely loves setting up culinary outings all over LA! If you'd like to contact me, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.