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Hunting for Harissa

Just found a delicious fish-pie sounding tagine recipe from the NY Times -- but, alas, have no harissa to go with. Anyone know where I might be able to find some harissa, ideally in West Hollywood/Hollywood area -- but could go Studio City direction as well...

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  1. Surfas has it but since you have specified your geographical range, have you tried Gelson's?

    1. I'd try Jon's market. The one I go to at Vermont/Hollywood seems to have everything from the Middle East, former Soviet Republics, and Latin America.

      7 Replies
      1. re: dtochs

        I am pretty sure they have Harrisa, there is also a Jons at Fountain & LaBrea.

        1. re: dtochs

          For sure they have it at the BBC Cafe in Beverly Hills under side orders for $4.00 with "all items can be packaged to go":

          Also, you could give Light My Fire a call which has hot spicy sauces, which is all they carry, from all over the world:

          Light My Fire
          3rd & Fairfax - Inside the Farmers Market - West Hollywood (ish).
          (323) 930-2484

          Backup, maybe?, also in the F.M.

          Mr. Marcel Gourmet Market

          1. re: JBC

            Updating my post - I also tried a version at Whole Foods but found it untasty and do NOT recommened it; Instead I really like the brand they sell at the Jordan Market (it comes canned in 2 sizes = $2 to $5 ?):

            Jordan Market (Persian/Middle Eastern).
            1449 Westwood Blvd., Westwood
            (310) 478-1706 or (310) 914-3361

            1. re: JBC

              Update on My Update ~ I've stopped by the Jordon Market 3 times in the last 2-3 mnths and they haven't had any. They say it's on order but to take this long, it must crossing the Atlantic by canoe

              1. re: JBC

                I had a terrible time trying to find it last weekend. Not at Jons, not at Whole Foods (Glendale), not at Cost Plus World Market, not at Gelson's.

                Is there some kind of harissa shortage going on or something? I didn't think it was *that* exotic of an ingredient.

                I ended up making my own and, I have to say, it was delicious -- and easier the schlepping to four stores to find it. I essentially followed Clifford Wright's recipe, but added some tomato paste and a lot more olive oil because I couldn't get the darn chiles to blend down.

                1. re: JBC

                  Update #3 ~ Stopped by The Jordon Market and they said they could no longer get the old Harissa any longer (it came in a yellow can, made in France) and was very smooth & creamy & spreadable (1 step thinner than your normal tomato paste).

                  Their replacement Harissa is:

                  Jericho - Tunisian Harrisa (Spicy)
                  Manufactured by Jericho Foods of North Hollywood, CA.

                  It looks very similar to the hot sauce you'll find in a small jar at a Vietnamese restaurant (grainy, chili seeds, ect.) and IMHO, it is so unlike the French version that I can NOT recommend it to anyone. You might as well get the Vietnamese (?) Chili sauce at your local market.

            2. re: dtochs

              FWIW, I couldn't find harissa at the Hollywood Jons today. I was told they don't carry it, which seems surprising.

            3. Larchmont Wine & Cheese has it.

              1. I would likewise check Latin markets, as I was in Farm Fresh on Sunset and thought I saw it also.

                1. Le Pain Quotidien sells a good version.

                  1. Thanks all. Was at the Farmer's Market yesterday so got the harissa at Monsiur Marcel's for convenience sake -- but at $12.99 for a small jar doubt I will make them my regular supplier.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: bite bite

                      Whoa, that is an insane price for harissa. Go to any of the Persian markets on Westwood (Jordan, or that one two blocks south of Santa Monica) and you can pick up a small can for < $5.

                    2. Whole Foods has it as well, usually in the section with bruschetta toppings, pickled peppers etc.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: DonnyMac

                        yep, just saw it @ the hollywood whole foods yesterday. i'm pretty sure erewhon also has it...and since you're in weho you could also check gelson's or bristol farms if you happen to find yourself in either store.

                      2. I saw several brands, not just one, in the charming Mr. Marcel market within the Farmer's Market at 3rd and Fairfax.

                        1. Harissa is so uneven. The little yellow french cans - they can be as little as 50 cents - are the best in my opinion. Aromatic. They aren't just spicy and they aren't overpowered by garlic. I used to get them at the little israeli market just north of rosewood on fairfax. They don't have them all the time (and the owner once gave me his homemade harissa in its place), but it's worth checking out.

                          1. Just called around in the Pasadena area to find it. Bristol Farms and Good Food Market were both out of stock- Golden Market has it in (formerly Family Grocery). Address is 1511 E Washington Blvd- near the intersection of Hill & Washington.

                            9 Replies
                            1. re: laurenstrine

                              I had been looking for Harissa for one recipe, so when this popped up today, the place being on my way home from work, I stopped by.
                              They had NO harissa! The three store owners first thought it was some form of semolina - when I pulled up pictures of the Tunisian Harissa in cans, they said - no we don't carry it!

                              1. re: suvro

                                If you're in that neighborhood, suvro, I'll GIVE you a tube! Lemme know. Six four four seven one seven three … 626, of course.

                                1. re: Will Owen

                                  I stopped by and got a tube of Le Cabanon Harissa from Will. Thanks for your graciousness! I also got to meet Will!

                                  I looked at the tube - it is imported by Eurocorp Imports of Vernon, CA. Here is their website with the product:

                                  While I could not find a link to place orders, the page above has a 323 number for contact. I wonder if they only sell wholesale or retail also.

                                2. re: suvro

                                  I'm sorry that happened, suvro! That is bizarre because I bought it on Tuesday and they had at least 8 more cans on the shelf. They were 1.50 each. Glad you got some from Will!

                                  1. re: laurenstrine

                                    What is the name on the can? Does it say Harissa clearly? I spent a lot of time looking at the jars they had - none said Harissa.

                                    1. re: suvro

                                      If you're ever down Culver City way then Surfas http://www.culinarydistrict.com/12054... definitely still has it.

                                      1. re: Servorg

                                        I was in Surfas yesterday, and the tube version was out of stock. The jar version they did have.
                                        The woman I talked to regarding the tube version says it comes and goes quite fast, which left me to wonder why they don't order more at a time, but....

                                        1. re: carter

                                          Slightly tangential - but when we visited Austin, TX for the first time last July, we wanted to get some barbeque. On the bus tour, the guide mentioned Franklin Barbeque:


                                          but said that they are usually open for a few hours in the morning, and sell out way before noon - and close shop. So it was NOT worth waking up early - and also made me wonder why they did not expand.

                                          They have now featured in a Chase Sapphire commercial where Nobu is eating cue at this place. One website says Franklin invented the barbe-queue! The Q will now be longer!

                                      2. re: suvro

                                        I'm afraid I've already thrown it away, I moved the contents to a glass jar after opening it. It did say Harissa, but it was small and written in a cursive font. The can was a dark red color, 7.5 oz I think. The woman at the store (who I had first spoken to on the phone first) showed me where it was- she was probably about 45. When I called, she put me on hold awhile to see if they had it. So maybe none of the employees are familiar with it?

                                3. Every time I scroll down and notice this headline, I think it would be a perfect title for a movie!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: carter

                                    I figure the OP has probably found some in the intervening (almost) 7 years since they posted their request looking for it.

                                  2. The kind I've been using might be what someone mentioned he got in cans, but I get it in tubes; in fact, the label proclaims, "En Tube!!" The brand is Le Cabanon – French, of course – and I got my first one at the Pasta Shop up in Berkeley. Surfas has it sometimes, but never when I'm there, so I buy it six at a time on Amazon (shipping for one is $$$, for six it works out better). I love to mix some into mayonnaise as a cooking marinade for meat or fish; I slathered some onto a couple of barramundi slices I'd gotten from Trader Joe's and thawed overnight and roasted them on a rack in a pan at 350º for 30 minutes, and that was lunch.

                                    Hot tip: if you do get several, refrigerate them! I packed my first shipment into a canister on the kitchen counter, and when I went to open #3 they'd all burst open and were corroding the nickel canister lining. In the fridge they keep just fine.