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Where are the Spices in L.A.?

  • k

I am having trouble finding a good spice shop in Los Angeles. I live in the San Fernando Valley (Studio City). Does anyone have any recommendations? Whole Foods does not carry what I am looking for...thanks!

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  1. Probably the best stand alone shop in LA is Penzeys (unfortunately it's in Torrance - but you can shop online and have them sent to you). If you haven't checked out places like Smart & Final or Costco you might give them a try (Costco is a membership store but S & M is not).


    5 Replies
    1. re: Servorg

      Penzey's has an excellent selection of spices, and you can purchase bottles and then bags to refill them later.

      1. re: Servorg

        ITYM "S&F"... S&M is a different thing altogether.

        I shop from Penzeys... even though I live near enough to Torrance to make the trip, I have it shipped for convenience -- and for the free samples they always include.

        1. re: Das Ubergeek

          We were antiquing near Torrance last year and took the opportunity to stop in the Penzey's store. I enjoyed it almost enough to justify going there again, though I'm in Pasadena. The downside is I couldn't stop buying stuff, and now I have too many bags and jars of stuff I've barely used, and it's almost a year old …

          Santa Monica, however, is a place I go just about every time I have an excuse to, which I will next weekend. I will definitely check out that Penzey's store then.

          1. re: Will Owen

            Did you really not know about the Santa Monica store until just now? It's been open for several years.

            Be sure to sign for their mailing list- each issue of their catalog has a coupon for a completely free bottle of one of their spices. Periodically they send out $5 free towards a $10+ purchase, which is when I stock up on my Kashmir saffron. (Occasionally it's "one free bottle of anything") This month's freebie is a bottle of "Raspberry Enlightenment".


            Mr Taster

        2. re: Servorg

          There is a Penzey's on 4th St between Arizona and SM Blvd in Santa Monica. Sign up for a catolog by mail and you get free offers with every catalog.

          1. India Sweets and Spices might be worth checking out, depending on what you are looking for.

            India Sweets and Spices
            3126 Los Feliz Blvd.
            Glendale, CA 90039
            Phone: (323) 345-0360

            6 Replies
            1. re: rastan

              I agree... for cheap and bulk spices, the larger Indian markets are the best. I like Bharat's Bazzaar at Samosa House near Culver City. Surfas is great, but not a huge selection and it's all so huge. I almost KILLED P. over buying a BRICK of cream of Tartar yesterday (I guess another post for the home cooking folks...). Pezeys is great for spices and spice mixes...

              Finally for the truly exotic and precious, there is Le Sanctuaire in Santa Monica...



                1. re: Dommy

                  LE SANCTUAIRE is sadly no longer in santa monica. their only retail store is in san francisco and they run a wholesale-only warehouse out of orange county.

                  1. re: revets2

                    Really! I was just there a few months ago but it was a Sunday and they were closed! :(


                  2. re: Dommy

                    Dommy, did you & P. ever make it through that brick of cream of tartar? I'm picturing hundreds of angel food cakes exploding out of your windows.

                    Mr Taster

                2. One other thought (thanks to a recent post by Bulavinaka sp?) is:


                  on Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice.

                  1. I think personaly the best spice store is Bodega Central in Los Angelese. Ive been to many spice stores before but this place caught my eyes not just because of the qualitlyof the spices, it was also because of the cheap prices.

                      1. re: bg90027

                        I don't think that the Spice Station was in existence when the original post went up 5 years ago, was it?

                        1. re: Servorg

                          I think so but I'm not sure. I didn't notice that the original post was that old or I wouldn't have replied at all though.

                      2. Have you been to the Studio City Farmer's Market on Sundays lately? There's a very nice spice stand there, or at least there has been most of the summer. All kinds of blends, salts, teas. Not as extensive as Surfas or the mexican spices you can get at Vallarta's, but fun to see and try the different blends.

                        1. There's a fancy looking spice stall that opened in the LA Farmer's Market several months back. Although I have browsed, I have not tasted their stuff.

                          I was initially excited at having a spice shop so close to home, but the magic went away when I saw one of the workers emptying a large container of Costco marcona almonds into little store-labelled bags (which go for a significant markup, of course). I don't know where the spices come from (hey, who knows-- maybe they buy them in bulk from Penzey's) but quite frankly I'd rather get a little closer to the source to buy my spices. Besides, I kind of look forward to my semi-monthly excursions to Santa Monica.

                          Please note the same logic does not apply to the Spanish restaurant/market... I VERY much appreciate not having to drive to San Pedro on a Saturday every time I need paella rice :)

                          Mr Taster

                          1. your best bet would be to order online from penzy's or savory spice shop (www.savoryspiceshop.com)

                            1. Penzy's in Santa Monica