The Market is the like an upscale version of Whole Foods — meaning, its the ultimate new pickup spot in Los Angeles

Remember when I told you to forget lounges, clubs and the whole damn bar scene thing in favor of meeting a quality guy at Whole Foods? If not, you’d best get re-reading…or you can simply head to Los Angeles’ newest upscale supermarket, Santa Monica Place’s gourmand dining hall, The Market. Trust me, if you’re looking to meet a man who knows his proscuitto from his pancetta, you’ll have serious success at this spot. 

I wandered into the The Market’s opening party on Thursday — one night before its official opening on May 20 — with my friend Kim, who observed as instantaneously as I did that the place was littered with good-looking men. Seriously, loads. Although we were definitely bipartisan observers of the obvious, Kim and I grabbed glasses of wine and settled at the bar of Primi Al Mercato, an old-school Italian restaurant.

I kid you not, you can meet a guy here without even trying, and in our case, without even standing up. Although we were definitely in the middle of a seemingly impassioned conversation (we were actually talking about men, as it were), we were approached by several guys. Pretty ballsy, but hey, it was a party!

I know what you’re thinking — a free-booze fete is not a great indicator of what the place will be like in actuality — which is why I’ve been back. Therefore, my opinion stays the same: this is a great spot to meet guys.

Think about it. Because it’s not a bar, you’re not going to be dealing with drunken idiots who a) try to get you to go home with them or b) promise to call and then promptly lose your number (or your name). No, the guys that shop here are probably going to have good jobs,  as the chic-chic Santa Monica Place isn’t cheap, and they’re probably going to be real foodies. I advise you to come after work or between 7-8 PM on a weekday. The Market is open until 9 PM, so you can bet that the hotties pumping iron at nearby Equinox are going to come here for their post-workout dinner.

The coolest part about The Market is that it’s unconventional. In addition to selling expensive meats and cheeses, it’s home to Groundwork Coffee Company, which is a free-trade Los Angeles caffeine staple. There’s also sweet treats in the form of organic cookies (served with milk!) at The Cookie Guru, homemade ice cream at the Malibu-based Beachy Cream or Venice-based N’Ice Cream, decadent bonbons at French chocolatier L’Artisan du Chocolat and ginger scones at Röckenwagner Bakery.

If you do happen to meet a guy who suggests a drink on the spot, you won’t have to go far: Norcino (which means “the butcher”) serves beer from 11 AM to 11 PM and Venokado has selective wine tastings.

If you really want to try a new and innovative way of forging a new love relationship, the Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories is perhaps the coolest way to do so. French native Clemence Gossett and partner Hadley Hughes have opened an on-site cooking class which offers chef demonstrations, special events and cookbook signings. So basically, you can have your cake and learn to make it, too (hopefully with a studly food enthusiast whipping his cream right alongside you)!

Go. Experience for yourself. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed. If you walk out without at least making some burning eye contact, at least you’ll have some really tasty treats to keep you company…

Laura xo

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