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Where are the Spices in L.A.?

kateD Jul 11, 2007 11:45 AM

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. Servorg RE: kateD Jul 11, 2007 11:53 AM

    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
      rlknapp1 RE: Servorg Jul 23, 2007 09:14 PM

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

      1. re: Servorg
        Das Ubergeek RE: Servorg Jul 25, 2007 12:59 PM

        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
          Will Owen RE: Das Ubergeek Sep 15, 2012 03:26 PM

          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
            Mr Taster RE: Will Owen Sep 15, 2012 07:50 PM

            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
          dgusanz RE: Servorg Sep 14, 2012 08:25 AM

          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.

        3. julietg RE: kateD Jul 11, 2007 11:57 AM

          Surfas https://www.surfasonline.com/index.cfm

          and what are you looking for?

          1. r
            rastan RE: kateD Jul 11, 2007 01:38 PM

            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
              Dommy RE: rastan Jul 11, 2007 01:44 PM

              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
                julietg RE: Dommy Jul 11, 2007 02:12 PM

                There are several India Sweets and Spices, too


                1. re: Dommy
                  revets2 RE: Dommy Jul 25, 2007 01:23 AM

                  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
                    Dommy RE: revets2 Jul 25, 2007 12:27 PM

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


                  2. re: Dommy
                    Mr Taster RE: Dommy Sep 14, 2012 01:46 PM

                    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

                    1. re: Mr Taster
                      Mattapoisett in LA RE: Mr Taster Sep 15, 2012 10:30 AM

                      In a word...... No.

                2. Servorg RE: kateD Jul 11, 2007 01:57 PM

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


                  on Abbot Kinney Blvd. in Venice.

                  1. t
                    ThisuraDesilva RE: kateD Sep 13, 2012 12:44 PM

                    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. b
                      bg90027 RE: kateD Sep 13, 2012 02:41 PM

                      Have you tried the Spice Station in Silverlake?


                      2 Replies
                      1. re: bg90027
                        Servorg RE: bg90027 Sep 13, 2012 02:48 PM

                        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
                          bg90027 RE: Servorg Sep 17, 2012 11:42 AM

                          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. t
                        TimToyGeek RE: kateD Sep 14, 2012 10:27 AM

                        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. Mr Taster RE: kateD Sep 14, 2012 01:48 PM

                          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. jpr54_1 RE: kateD Sep 15, 2012 06:49 AM

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

                            1. j
                              JudiAU RE: kateD Sep 18, 2012 01:20 PM

                              Penzy's in Santa Monica

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