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May 26, 2008 09:31 PM

Where do you shop?

Hello dedicated chowhounders -

When you aren't eating out - where do you shop?

I'm always in search for the most flavor and lowest prices in vicinity of Glendale/Silver Lake/Hollywood, but I'd rather not drive farther for quality and reasonable prices.

In search of the best seafood, meat, poultry, fruits, vegetables, cheese, breads, cakes & cookies?

Is it Whole Foods, Hollywood Farmers Market, Trader Joe's, markets in Thai town & K-Town?

Thanks so much & I can't wait to hear where everyone shops.

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  1. In Echo Park, on Sunset just east of Echo Park Blvd. on the north side of the street is A Grocery Warehouse - an Asian, mostly Vietnamese but with all sorts of stuff - market that is very good. Excellent butcher, great and cheap fish counter, good produce and all very cheap. I shop there a lot.

    1. Trader Joes for most stuff. One of the my favorite overlooked features is perfect sizing for one person.

      Local "Superior" mexi-mart for cheap produce and things you can't get at TJs, also great for fresh tortillas and sweet bread. Finally, simple Ralphs for sales/coupon stuff.

      I'd go to more farmers markets... but i usually sleep in too late.

      1. Trader Joe's for me as well, also Golden Farms on San Fernando near Western in Glendale. It's an Armenian market with great prices for herbs and produce, good selection of bulk goods, middle eastern stuff, nuts, spices, etc etc.

        1 Reply
        1. re: bsktsngrvy

          trader joe's supplemented primarily by the bulk foods department of whole foods. also, i buy my valrhona cocoa powder for my morning ice blended at whole foods.

          trader joe's cookies can't be beat. ( i like the chocolate-dipped biscotti).

          the parking/driving to get to the farmer's market isn't worth it for me.

        2. 80% Trader Joe's and 20% Whole Foods

          1. Every Saturday I get up and I go to the UCI farmers' market, where I decide what it is I'm going to cook this week based on what's freshest and in season. I wander the market first without buying anything, then make a list (usually on my BlackBerry, how geeky am I) of what it is I'm going to cook, what I need to cook it, and where I need to go to get it. I then buy everything I can possibly get for my list at the farmers' market.

            After I buy the produce, I may hit Trader Joe's in the same plaza (but honestly, usually not). I go to any other stores that I need, which typically are 99 Ranch in Irvine or Anaheim, Gigante or Northgate in Anaheim, Wholesome Choice in Irvine, Henry's in Fullerton, Claro's in Tustin, Frog's Breath in Orange, and sometimes (rarely) Whole Foods -- it's so expensive.

            If I'm making something that requires a big chunk of meat where its quality is going to make or break the dish, I'll go to Gem Meats in Placentia and have it cut for me. If I'm not so concerned (a stew, for example, where other flavours will hide the fact that I didn't use prime beef) then I go to Stater Bros. in Anaheim, which has the best meat department.

            The same goes for fish. Normally I buy my fish from Dry Dock, but when I absolutely have to have the freshest (serving raw, for example) I go to Mitsuwa Marketplace in Costa Mesa and buy it there. It's not that Dry Dock have bad fish -- far from it -- but I have found that their fish, particularly when bought at UCI, have limited shelf life and are not suitable for raw applications.

            I buy all the stuff I can't find anywhere else (usually things like laundry soap) at my local Albertson's.

            I don't ever go to Ralphs, Vons, Pavilions, Gelson's, Bristol Farms. I very, very rarely go to Costco and only when I need things where I don't care about the quantity. Occasionally when I need olive oil or specialities I will make a trip to La Espanola in Harbor City, or for spices I'll go to Penzey's in Torrance (usually on the same trip).