In the heart of the westside, Mar Vista was originally developed by Mormon settlers and nearly became a city on its own before joining Los Angeles along with many other settlements in the 1920s due to worries surrounding water scarcity. Despite worries over water, industrious Mar Vistans built a strong agricultural history when area farmers began raising crops of lima beans in such successful numbers that the neighborhood was once known as the “Lima Bean Belt” of America. This history is represented today in a very vibrant weekly farmers’ market held each Sunday from 8:30AM – 2 PM at the juncture of Venice and Grand View Boulevards.
Today, Mar Vista housing is about an even split between homeowners and renters, a fact that reflects the strong economic diversity within the community that has been a driver for the area’s superbly eclectic dining options and cultural representation. In fact, the area has seen a boom in restaurants in recent years and will continue to garner notice from the greater LA foodies as word spreads.
One interesting note on the area is that it once bustled within the famed “Red Car” system of streetcars prior to their unwise disassembling in post-WWII LA. Perhaps it is time to revisit this history?