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Olives in LA

After a recent trip to Italy, I've returned addicted to olives. My local Ralphs and Pavilions have "olive bars" but my experience there had been erratic at best. When I catch them at the right time they are pretty good, but at the wrong time it's pretty disgusting. What I'm looking for is simple: fresh non-pitted green olives. Any insight would be helpful.

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  1. In the larger WFoods markets, they have a decent selection as does Bristol Farms.
    Not sure of the freshness and turnover issues though.
    Surfas in Culver City has some as well.

    1. I've had surprisingly good non-pitted green olives in a jar from a company called, "Gaea." They're organic, from Greece, and the ingredients are pretty basic: organic green olives, water, salt, lemon juice. I found them at Bristol Farms...

      1. the olives at the bev hills cheese shop are pretty good. worth checking out.

        1. Papa Cristo's at Normandie and Pico has a good selection of green olives, the Greek Festival is this weekend across the street. You might also try any of the Claro's Italian Deli's in the San Gariel Valley & OC.

          1. You might want to check out the selection at Jon's Markets.


            1. Mr. Marcel Gourmet Market in the farmer's market at the grove. Very extensive selection

              1. I buy good olives from the various Greek/Med vendors at farmers markets. There is one vendor in particular at the downtown Thurs, Echo P Fri, Silverlake Sat they have really good stuff, better than the Papa Christo selection (which is fine for what it is). Goat's milk feta, too, which is best feta I ever tasted in the US.

                1. I love the Whole Foods olive bar, mostly because they have lucques. Love those lucques!

                  1. absolute best, and where many if not most other stores get them, is guidi marcello in santa monica.

                    1. These people used to sell their olives at the Pasadena HS Farmer's Market, but they have not been there for a while - sob! Their olives are great (as are their cheese spreads and marinated garlic!). Not sure if they are currently doing any farmer's markets (altho their site still indicates that Pasadena one). I believe they are near the airport. My faves are the big green Sicilians YUM!

                      1. gelson's has a good bar.

                        1. Bay Cities has a decent selection as well.

                          For a bargain on Kalamatas (and Feta), I go to Tehran Market on Wilshire near 14th. But that's not what you're looking for...

                          1. I just discovered that they have pretty good lucques olives (my favorite!) at Say Cheese in Silverlake. I was buying them at the Silverlake Cheese Store, they're good there too, but hadn't seen them in a few months. I actually don't shop at Say Cheese but I think they had the best lucques I've tasted in the States, so I now have a reason to go there. I personally think they taste better than the ones at Mr. Marcel's and Whole Foods which can sometimes be too salty, and not as firm and meaty as I like them to be.

                            1. Gelsons and Whole Foods both have great olive bars. Also peppers, cornichons, pickled onions, mushrooms, assorted pickled veggies, and sometimes artichoke hearts. And they have those wrinkly salty black olives that I LOVE!!

                              1. This is my strategy now:
                                1) I try any available "olive bar".
                                2) If I find anything I like, I buy the whole can. Most olives come in 5 Kg cans.
                                BTW that usu. means 10~15% discount.
                                3) At home I dump the entire contents into one of those big Italian Bormioli glass jars they sell at Surfas, keep the jar in the fridge.
                                4) Favorite species: Bella di Cerignola, black (Best!) or green.