Farmer's Markets have the best produce. This is the truth. They usually have good prices for the quality of food that they have, but if you're not looking to spend a lot of money it's not the best place to be. It's really easy to go overboard. The best farmer's market is in Santa Monica. They have the best produce you have ever had, and will usually let you taste it before you buy it. If they don't have what you're looking for they can usually direct you to a stall that does have it. This is where most top restaurants in LA get their produce, with good reason. There are other farmer's markets in Los Angeles, they are all good and definetly worth a visit!
Santa Monica Farmer's Market
Arizona Ave and 2nd Street
Los Angeles, CA
Trader Joe's is usually affordable, occasionally has great unusual things, but for the most part I find that the produce is lackluster and doesn't have the best prices except for their bag salads. I really enjoy their bag salads, and I really enjoy Trader Joe's for a lot of things, but produce is not one of them.
Ralph's, VONs, Albertsons, Pavilions, Etc. All these places are fairly typical grocery store fare. Yes they will have everything but no it won't be in season, and you may end up paying for it.
Whole Foods is out of my price range.
Marina Farms in culver city is as close to a Farmer's Market as you can get on a daily basis. They have a tremendous selection of delicious looking, tasting, and smelling produce as well as inexpensive herbs and a great bulk section with lots of beans and grains and odd sauces, spices, and other additions to your latest creations.
5454 S Centinela Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90066-6964
Korean Grocery Stores.
The produce is dirt cheap, and usually very fresh. 4 bunches of spinach for a dollar? $1.99 for a pack of organic blueberries? Their selection ranges wildly, but can include tasty $.99 watermelon. Most American items are ridiculously over priced, but they have them. I get out of there with two bags full of produce for $20, and my penchant for expensive shoes is just too great to ignore the glory in that.
I go to the grocery store in Little Tokyo, but there are Korean and other Asian grocery stores all over the city.
Little Tokyo Marketplace
333 S Alameda St
Los Angeles, CA 90013
Los Angeles, CA 90013