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Oct 3, 2006 05:31 PM

gourmet shops in Orange county

Ever since we moved to the Irvine area I have been having a difficult time finding what I am looking for. I went to claro's and I couldn't find instant espresso,they carry american nutella!and the candies I paid $3/oz tasted like detergent. I know they are good for cheese, except the ca buffalo mozzarella. I do most of my shopping at TJ and WF and buy specialty items online,but the shipping charges add up. So,is there any gourmet markets in the irvine area that carries a wide range of products? I am still looking for a good bread!!

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  1. It doesn't get wider than Wholesome Choice. It's a Persian market that carries groceries from every corner of the earth. Their instore bakery bakes all manner of bread, but the Persian flatbreads are what people wait in line for. They have a South African section, for foxache.
    18040 Culver Dr

    Met these South African importers at the Irvine Global Village Festival a few weeks ago. They have a retail store I've yet to visit:
    The African Hut
    27601 Forbes Rd #20
    Laguna Hills

    For global imported dry goods like the nutella you want, try Cost Plus World Markets. There's on in Costa Mesa on Sunflower, next to Red Robin.

    Cheese: Fog's Breath Cheese Shop in Orange, just north of the Orange traffic circle. Lucca in Irvine (Shady Canyon & Quail Hill). Laguna Culinary Arts' cafe on Laguna Canyon Road. Gelson's in Irvine (Alton & Jeffrey). Bristol Farms (several in OC)

    Bread: Depends on what "good" means to you. Please define.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Professor Salt

      Cost Plus has the American made Nutella, but it's cheaper than most markets. And Costco recently has a much larger cheese section. Try the Petit Basque, it's amazing.

    2. Believe me I shop at most places you mentioned. I go to wholesome choice for their bread once in a while. They don't have european nutella at cost plus. I have been checking everything out form westminster for vietnamese to anehim for middle eastern this past weekend. As far as the bread, I am looking for a tasty bread with a good crust like the ones from the bread bar. You should try the 5yr old wisconsin cheddar from WF. It is pretty good. I just gave away a $5 coupon to a lady yesterday at gelson's,because I don't care for that place. They don't even have a meat counter!! I have been having a difficult time finding good, wild seafood that is fresh and doesn't cost a fortune. I didn't have a good experience with WF's fish.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mrsjoujou

        I haven't found any bread in OC that comes close to Bread Bar. I was buying LBB in OC stores for a while, but I just can't do it anymore. As for Gelson's, if you think the meat counter is bad, have you *smelled* the fish counter in the Irvine store?? Yuck. My nose wrinkles almost everytime I walk by.

      2. What about Pascale Espicerie and the Black Sheep Bistro's market? They dont sell fish, but they have some great cheeses and other speciality selections.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MEalcentric

          Pascal has some of the same cheeses that Costco now carries at double the price.

        2. i've heard that is good for fish, though i've never been there myself. though there are reports that they have a big bowl of shucked oysters on the counter - gross! location in Costa Mesa.

          3 Replies
          1. re: johnnypd

            Santa Monica seafood is excellent, very fresh but can be pricey. I love going there because it is so clean and never smells like fish. I have been there many times for shucked oysters and they never have them on the counter, only on ice in the display area. Good clam chowder too.

            1. re: jsl

              I agree. Santa Monica Fish Co. is the best fish I have found in OC, especially for wild fish. And I have to drive a LOT further than the poster to get it. They have a huge selection, with several different varieties of some fish, and they supply most of the best restaurants in OC. Their smoked candied salmon chunks (I believe they call it Indian candy) are fabulous! It's my experience in OC that you can get cheaper, inferior seafood, or you can get high quality, and pay the price.

            2. re: johnnypd

              I hav e found tha the fish counter at the Crab Cooker in Tustin [east of the 55 on 17th], while limited, is always fresh and fairly priced. They seem to always have good salmon steaks.

            3. Thank god for pascal. That is the only place you can buy french ham and decent baguette.

              1 Reply
              1. re: mrsjoujou

                What about all the vietnamese bakeries?