The Mar Vista Farmers Market has a surprisingly large number of compelling prepared food vendors. Every Sunday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m, you’ll find bakeries, dumpling makers, yogurt crafters, and more. In February, I ran into chef Mary Sue Milliken and her friend and the market and they tipped me off to Rice Man, a stall from Koda Farms that sells bagged rice, sushi, spam musubi, fried rice and poke, all featuring grains grown on a farm that Keisaburo Koda founded decades back. Now grandson Ross Koda and granddaughter Robin Koda continue to helm Koda Farms in the San Joaquin Valley hamlet of South Dos Palos near Fresno. A family member lives in L.A., allowing their Kukuho Rose rice, and other strains, to sell raw and in cooked preparations, at SoCal farmers markets like Mar Vista.
Chef Milliken and her friend raved about Rice Man’s Aged Brown Rice Omusubi ($5) featuring koso genmai, a “more sticky, sweet, and healthy” grain with more developed flavor. Typically, their aged brown rice balls with branded nori coats and furikake seasoning, come filled with ingredients like tofu and ume, though they allow substitutions for a small cost. I enjoyed flaky salmon, and best of all, the classic breakfast combo of scrambled egg and bacon.
Dose of Vitamin P spotlights my favorite pork dish from the previous week.