It's a little weird that in all the years I lived in L.A. I never cooked plantains. I'm sure there must be a market somewhere in the city that sells them. I never saw them at any of my farmer's market or in my local supermarket. I can't remember if Bristol Farms had them.
Yet I've seen them in Campo dei Fiori at the vendor we call the Bulgari of Campo because while his produce is beautiful and diverse, it's very, very expensive. You can also buy them at the Piazza Vittorio market and Prati's Trionfale market.
I was at the Trionfale market this morning and picked up a few. The vendor I went to has a great selection of Caribbean, Asian and African food. Some of fruits and vegetables I have never heard of.
Plantains are extremely popular in the Caribbean. My dad used to buy then in the City and they are perfect thing to eat with jerk chicken, or beans and rice.
Super easy to make all you need are plantains (the "browner" the better/sweeter), oil and a pan.
Fry the sliced plantains in the oil on med/high heat until they get a little crispy around the edges. Put then on a paper towel to soak up the excess oil.
Some people like to sprinkle brown sugar on top. I leave the sugar off for side dishes but would put some on if I'm using the dish as a dessert.