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Jan 16, 2007 06:04 AM

Gelson's Century City is Now Serving Frozen Sushi - I Hate This Place

We all have dark, dirty secrets and mine is that when I'm really tired and have worked a really long day, I'll pick up take-out sushi from Gelson's in Century City.

Gelson's Century City has been under a remodel for a couple of months and the remodel is finally complete. I picked up some sushi tonight and noticed a sign I had never seen before in the sushi case stating that the fish was kept at a certain temperature (I forgot which) for the sake of freshness. Picked up a crab roll, took it home, and yup, it was frozen. The crab was frozen; the rice was frozen. It was inedible. I don't know if you are supposed to stick it in your microwave for a few minutes, or perhaps buy it, go to a movie at the theatres at the mall and by the time you are finished with the movie, your sushi will be defrosted. Well, supermarket sushi is vile anyway and perhaps this is the universe's way of saying I shouldn't be eating it.

On the subject of Gelson's, I shop there because it is convenient and there are never long lines, but I just hate the place. Other than paper towels and the like, they never have anything I really want.

For a supposedly upscale store, they don't carry one brand of decent butter; they have virtually no organic produce; their wine selection is unimaginative and overpriced and you cannot even buy whole wheat pita for goodness' sake. The selection is just dull and pitiful.

Don't know if the other Gelson's are as bad, but I just hate the Century City store.

P.S. They are now carrying, at an exorbitant price, cakes and cookies from Sweet Lady Jane's in West Hollywood. The ones I tried were sickening - overly sweet. And I just noticed that all of them except the brownies have trans fats in them, which the U.S. government will get around to banning one day.

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  1. I'm a Gelson's fan over here. Treat me well, stock your shelves, and offer a clean store and I'm there. I've been shopping at Gelson's for 31 years and I do pick things up occasionally at Farmer's markets and other stores, but Gelson's customer service will keep me there. I regularly shop in Encino.
    I suggest you return the sushi or bring in your receipt and have a talk with the manager. I'm sure you'll get a refund and they'll be re-adjusting their case temperature. They do too big a business in take-out to have unhappy customers.

    1 Reply
    1. re: compucook

      I really don't think the temperature of the sushi was an accident. They had a large sign, which I hadn't seen prior to the remodeling, which announced the temperature of the sushi. I guess it just didn't compute in my mind that the temperature equaled frozen. It looks like they changed sushi suppliers as well.

    2. the one in the marina is weak.

      1. I too have been repeatedly unimpressed by Gelson's. Clueless staff is especially irksome. I don't expect much from staff at a national chain or even small independent mom n' pop that barely gets by. But at a "fancy" place that touts its status as a "high end" market, I expect the staff to know one cheese from another, and I expect to be able to exchange my glass milk bottle for $1.10 without having to stand around waiting at an empty kiosk for 10 minutes ("oh, just wait over there" the cashier pointed, without ever calling anyone over the intercom to come assist).

        And ditto to all of otomosando's comments about everything. I've never found decent bread or anything worth paying a premium for at Gelson's.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Pei

          We exchange our milk bottles at Vons/Pavillion and Whole Foods without any problems... And to stay On topic, I never liked Gelson's either. Most of my exposure has been to the Pasadena one and it always left me kinda frustrated in it's selection and set up... I MUCH perfer bristol farms...


        2. I love Gelson's..the produce is top notch, meat is good, and the service is the best in any S.Cal supermarket.

          I would seriously tell the manager, or go on the website and comment on the Sushi in their "comments" section. I've done that before, and gotten a very quick reply and good results, like th time I asked them to chop the broccoli and the cauliflower on the salad bar into smaller pieces!

          The problem with the cookies and cakes were Sweet lady jane's., NOT Gelsons's.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Diana

            I disagree that the problem with the Sweet Lady Jane's is Sweet Lady Jane's and not Gelson's. In fact, the Sweet Lady Jane's issue typifies exactly what is wrong with Gelson's.

            In Century City, they have a huge display case with Sweet Lady Jane's atrocities. We are talking a large refrigerated display case holding just this stuff. And yet, didn't the Gelson's buyer taste the stuff before dedicating all this real estate to it? If Gelson's really wants to carry this and people really want to spend $7 for a piece of not very tasty cake laden with trans fats, I really don't care, but for the fact that Gelson's never seems to carry any brand or variety of anything that I really want (space, I bet they would tell me). They are just clueless.

            1. re: omotosando

              Have you spoken to the manager or used the online Gelson's comment board to REQUEST the stuff you want? Try it. They are probably clueless to youur private wants because you have never shared them. Gelsons has good customer service and tri to make people happy, when the people take the time to expalin what they want.

              It is wrong to complain about a store not carrying anything when you don't ask them to.

              Sweet lady jane is a suprememly popular bakery (although I don't know why..I hate it myself) probably this popularity is why Gelson's is carrying it.

          2. I don't care for the Northridge location. Customer service there is pretty weak.

            2 Replies
            1. re: deana

              I really like the Gelson's in Northridge. I have found good customer service and very helpful and polite checkers. But, like all markets, they carry what they carry, and rarely change.

              I'll go to Trader Joe's for some things, Whole Foods for others. I even shop once in a while at Von's and Ralph's. And you can't beat the lox at Costco!!! There is no one perfect market for everyone, and for me, there is close to perfection in three or four (or more ) markets.

              1. re: deana

                I like the Northridge location. I live right near Whole Foods but will often make the drive to Gelson's because the produce is much better, their salad bar is much better and cleaner. They carry live lobsters which Whole Foods doesn't and they steam them for you quickly. I've found the fish to me more reliable at Gelson's, I got some bad trout from Whole Foods on one occasion. Both are way overpriced on the meat, I usually go to How's for that.