For the first night of our trip, we decided to stay near LAX and head east the next day. From many, many previous work trips to the area, I’m pretty familiar with the El Segundo area, and I rather like the area. Due to an odd historical/geographical quirk, El Segundo is somewhat isolated from the surrounding LA area (the Northern border is LAX, the Southern border is a giant Chevron refinery), and it still has a classic downtown that feels like it’s left over from a former era, with all sorts of small businesses, restaurants, and the like. Several of the restaurants are quite good, and this time we decided to check out Farm Stand.
Farm Stand presents itself as serving up “Urban Country Food”, and that’s a pretty good overall description. Most of their dishes are rustic country dishes from a variety of cuisines ranging from American, to French, to Italian, and even Mediterranean, and most of the dishes are built around the farm to table concept using local (well, as local as one can get in El Segundo) produce and meats as much as possible. The result is a pretty varied menu, but with a lot of good items.
Myself, I was drawn to their linguini with meatballs, which was some very nicely done homemade linguini served up with some very flavorful meatballs, served up in a flavorful ancho cream sauce. The dish had a rather nice fusion of Italian and Spanish flavors: the pasta was nicely made and slightly al-dente, the meatballs very pleasantly spiced, and the ancho cream sauce very bold and up front. The result was a dish that reminded me both of a nice linguini, and a nice Spanish albondigas.
Similarly, Carol did well with a rich and flavorful house lasagna, with flavorful layers of housemade pasta and a rich bolognese sauce, served up with a veritable mountain of fresh greens. We both agreed it was a particularly good lasagna that focused nicely on the meat sauce.
And Dan also had a pleasant looking lamb dip, which was the first time he’s had one of those (I’ve had several on the other side of LA at the famous Phillipe, which also does a great Lamb Dip), and this was a rather good rendition as well, served with an ample pile of nicely-crisped sweet potato fries. And Sophie had a Mediterranean-style vegetable place that looked quite good as well.
Overall, we were very pleased with Farm Stand. The food was excellent, the staff friendly, and the overall ambiance quite enjoyable. It’s a rather nice place to eat in a pleasing downtown area.