Quality Smaller Markets in Echo Park/Silverlake?
Basically I'm trying to find a decent butcher and fishmonger in the Echo Park / Silverlake area (maybe with a 5 - 10 mile radius). I don't like the quality at the supermarkets around here and would love to find someplace smaller to support that can offer a better product without the premium that WholeFoods would charge. They don't really know what the hell they're talking about half the time anyway, so it'd be great to find nice small niche markets where I could satisfy my culinary needs. A place with decent veg variety (or where I can buy whole vanilla beans for cheaper than $11 a pair) would be wonderful as well.
Anybody have suggestions?
The pork and chicken at A Grocery Warehouse on Sunset, just east of Echo Park Blvd, north side of the street, are excellent. They tend to be either whole chickens or cut to suit Asian recipes. Some of the butchers speak Spanish, some Vietnamese or Cantonese, but they don't speak much English which can be a problem if you want something different. But for straightforward pork loin or shoulder or butt, or whole chickens, I think their prices and quality are excellent. They are also great for live fish, some live shellfish and shrimp. Their fish on ice is okay, not fantastic. They will do a rough job of filleting it for you. Their shrimp are pretty much identical to the shrimp you'll get at Gelson's or Whole Foods, just not displayed as nicely - but at about 1/4 the price.
If you want Asian produce, they will do just fine. Anything else, I usually go elsewhere.
If you are ever in N. Hollywood or Pasadena/San Marino, Hows has some of the best meat & seafood, Choice & Prime, none of this select or rancher reserve. I bought Choice Tri-Tip for $2.99lb and boneless skinless chicken breasts for $1.99lb. The N.Hollywood store is like a shrine, Peet's Coffee, B-Man Teriyaki, Fresh Sushi, Great Deli/Hot Foods, breads, desserts and their famous weekend BBQ's. I Love this place!
http://hows.foodmagic.com/fmap/jsphow... just look at the specials that start tomorrow, they post their ads 1 day before the sale starts, I like that.
Other than of course Gelson's and Trader Joe's, there's not that much in the immediate area that will be too helpful in the meat and fish areas. I find myself driving around Glendale on weekends to fill in the gaps.
Cheese Store of Silver Lake for cheese, of course.
The Vietnamese supermarket on Sunset in Echo Park is good for some vegetables and Asian products, but the fish doesn't look that good to me.
The best fish is at Fish King in Glendale.
For cheap meat and a huge selection of Middle Eastern products, I go to Jon's on Vermont or Super King on San Fernando.
For better quality meat, Whole Foods Glendale.
For an interesting selection of whole fish varieties you won't see elsewhere, Seafood City in the Eagle Rock mall.
Best bet for produce are the Silver Lake and Atwater farmers' markets.
Anyway, those are my usual destinations, don't know if that answered your question.