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Best pickles

mollyomormon Aug 14, 2009 04:25 PM

Either in a restaurant or available for purchase would be fine. And I wouldn't limit it to pickled cucumbers; I love all things pickled. I love the pickles at both Canter's and Langer's. La Espagnola's saturday paella comes with a delicious side of pickled veggies and I think I remember also having some housemade pickled veggies at Fig as well. And Surfa's carries a great line of pickled stuff that includes green beans, okra and tomatillos. Where else?

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    annapurna7 RE: mollyomormon Aug 14, 2009 04:31 PM

    The Alpine Village market in Torrance sells a variety of imported pickled vegetables, mainly the Zergut products from Bulgaria. They are very good.

    1 Reply
    1. re: annapurna7
      joshekg RE: annapurna7 Aug 21, 2009 09:58 PM

      No wonder they named themselves Zergut ;-)

    2. Phurstluv RE: mollyomormon Aug 14, 2009 04:32 PM

      The Bear Pit in Mission Hills has the BEST pickles.

      1. t
        TomSwift RE: mollyomormon Aug 14, 2009 04:43 PM

        The "new" pickles at Langer's are great. Also, you can get Guss pickles at Whole Foods markets (at least in Woodland Hills).

        1 Reply
        1. re: TomSwift
          Jwsel RE: TomSwift Aug 17, 2009 08:23 AM

          Although I hate everything else they have on their menu, I absolutely love the "new" pickles served complimentary at Jerry's Deli. (That is assuming they still serve them. I haven't been to Jerry's in a few years.)

          For someone who generally loves pickled vegetables, get some good banh mi sandwiches. Those are loaded with pickled vegetables.

        2. goodhealthgourmet RE: mollyomormon Aug 14, 2009 05:20 PM

          - TomSwift beat me to the Guss suggestion. though buying them at Whole Foods in CA isn't quite as satisfying as getting them straight from the barrels on the Lower East Side, they're still darn good pickles. i always get the full sours.
          - for jarred sour pickles, my go-to is Ba-Tampte. you can probably find them at many of the Fairfax or Pico-Robertson Kosher markets
          - Rick's Picks products always get great reviews, but i wasn't all that crazy about the only item i tried - the beets. they do have a pretty varied/extensive product line, though, so i'm sure some are better than others. there's a "retail partners" link on their website to find local stores:
          - also, Japanese markets always have a great selection of pickled & fermented vegetables. pop into Mitsuwa or Nijiya and check out their offerings.

          22 Replies
          1. re: goodhealthgourmet
            mollyomormon RE: goodhealthgourmet Aug 14, 2009 05:22 PM

            Thanks! If you're willing to give Rick's Picks another shot, try the smokra (okra with smoked paprika). I love them!

            1. re: mollyomormon
              goodhealthgourmet RE: mollyomormon Aug 14, 2009 06:37 PM

              okra and smoked paprika...2 of my favorite ingredients. thanks for the rec, i just might try it!

              1. re: mollyomormon
                trojans RE: mollyomormon Aug 14, 2009 06:37 PM

                Bubbies pickles at any market are absolutely fantastic. You can even dress them up by dropping in some tarragon into the jar and letting them sit a while. Also for Persian pickled veggies go to canary restaurant on Westwood Blvd. They have a very large and extensive collection of pickled veggies. If you like pickled mangoes, they go great mixed with basmati rice and kabobs, go to any Persian market and buy sadaf brand Ambeh.

                1. re: trojans
                  goodhealthgourmet RE: trojans Aug 14, 2009 06:44 PM

                  trojans, have you had Ba-Tampte? i've seen Bubbies but never tried them and i'd be curious to know how they compare...

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                    mrfood16 RE: goodhealthgourmet Aug 14, 2009 09:58 PM

                    Ba-Tampte is good. I've seen them at Trader Joe's and super markets.

                    1. re: mrfood16
                      goodhealthgourmet RE: mrfood16 Aug 15, 2009 08:10 AM

                      mrfood, not sure if you understood my post. i do like Ba-Tampte - i've been eating them for many years...which is why i wanted to find out if he has had both - i'd like to know how they measure up.

                    2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                      trojans RE: goodhealthgourmet Aug 14, 2009 11:17 PM

                      Goodhealth, I have not, to my knowledge, tried Ba-Tampte. I will however search them out. and try them. Please do the same with the Bubbies. Get the kosher dill pickles not the bread and butter chips, which I find horrible in any brand. I hate the sweetness.

                      1. re: trojans
                        TomSwift RE: trojans Aug 17, 2009 09:08 AM

                        Of the two, my preference is Ba-Tampte - they are less mushy than Bubbies (both of which you can find at Gelson's). But still, because of the rapid turnover, Langer's is my go-to for a couple of jars. But bear in mind what Professor Salt has noted: pickles are a living thing and the "new" dill you buy today will not be the pickle you wil eat the next day. A good argument for eating them al on the day ou buy them!

                    3. re: trojans
                      Dogbite Williams RE: trojans Aug 15, 2009 01:46 PM

                      About 10 years ago I bought my first jar of Bubbies Pure Kosher Dills. They're all natural with no vinegar and no MSG. They tasted great. I consumed the entire second jar in one sitting!

                      Unfortunately, the third jar was mushy and I haven't bought one since.

                      1. re: trojans
                        LAKingman RE: trojans Oct 17, 2009 06:00 PM

                        Doesnt Bubbies make a pickled Tomatoes in a jar also. I have had them if so, they are yummy

                      2. re: mollyomormon
                        goodhealthgourmet RE: mollyomormon Aug 21, 2009 08:46 PM

                        ok, i just had to report back. i picked up a jar of Smokra today, and while it's a bit too salty for me, the flavor is pretty terrific. i'm just going to dilute it with a little more vinegar & spice and it'll be perfect. thanks for the rec!

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                          mollyomormon RE: goodhealthgourmet Aug 24, 2009 02:42 PM

                          I'm so glad you liked it! The texture of the okra is pretty amazing.

                          1. re: mollyomormon
                            goodhealthgourmet RE: mollyomormon Aug 24, 2009 05:46 PM

                            the texture is amazing...but it's definitely only for okra lovers. have you noticed that whenever you pick one of the pods out of the jar it comes with a long tail of okra "goo" attached? :)

                            1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                              mollyomormon RE: goodhealthgourmet Aug 24, 2009 06:39 PM

                              Oh yeah, people who don't enjoy the texture of okra would be completely disgusted but that just leaves more for us okra lovers! i'm dying to try these in a good bloody mary...

                              1. re: mollyomormon
                                goodhealthgourmet RE: mollyomormon Oct 14, 2009 02:26 PM

                                ok, i have no idea if you'll even see this 2 months later, but they were offering Rick's Pick's samples at WFM yesterday, so i tried a couple of other products. the Mean Beans were pretty good, they have a mild cayenne kick. the demo guy claimed they were "hot," but to me and my asbestos palate it was more like a whisper of heat ;) what won me over, though, was the Low-sodium Garlic Dill Pickle slices. damn, they're good! heavy on the garlic, with a good level of pucker-inducing acidity/sourness. i'm not usually a fan or additives/replacement ingredients, and they use calcium chloride in these to keep the sodium content down. but i'm so salt-sensitive that i'm willing to make an exception for such a good pickle. definitely recommend.

                                1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                                  mollyomormon RE: goodhealthgourmet Oct 14, 2009 02:41 PM

                                  I did see it. thanks, ghg!! sounds fantastic. i'll definitely check my local Whole Foods this weekend to see if they're carrying them.

                      3. re: goodhealthgourmet
                        TomSwift RE: goodhealthgourmet Aug 17, 2009 08:59 AM

                        You know, there are so many things that we can get here in So Cal that have their origins elsewhere and our versions are probably not "quite as satisfying as getting them straight from the barrels".

                        1. re: goodhealthgourmet
                          ozhead RE: goodhealthgourmet Aug 18, 2009 01:24 PM

                          I've noticed that some Vons stores carry Ba-Tampte kosher dills.

                          1. re: ozhead
                            Phurstluv RE: ozhead Aug 18, 2009 01:44 PM

                            My Ralph's does also, will be giving them a try next time. My kids are partial to Mt. Olive's brand of kosher baby dills, nothing remarkable about them however, pretty standard.

                            1. re: ozhead
                              joshekg RE: ozhead Aug 21, 2009 10:00 PM

                              The venice wholefoods does as well. Both the venice and the santa monica wholefoods don't carry Guss's though (the santa monica used to).

                            2. re: goodhealthgourmet
                              a_and_w RE: goodhealthgourmet Aug 29, 2009 09:22 AM

                              You might want to check the origin of those "Guss's" pickles at Whole Foods. There are actually two different stores in the NY area by that name (one is in Cedarhurst) and the LES shop lost their rights to the name when they moved to Brooklyn.

                              1. re: a_and_w
                                TomSwift RE: a_and_w Aug 31, 2009 08:39 AM

                                This is apparently true as discussed in other posts, including discussion of the lawsuit which resulted in loss of the name. So it seems that WF pickles are not the real deal, although I hanve not verified this with the store.

                            3. Mattapoisett in LA RE: mollyomormon Aug 14, 2009 09:44 PM

                              The Farm Store @ Cal Poly Pomona has lot of things pickled. including Sweet Fire [Bread and Butter with Jalapeños]

                              FARM STORE AT KELLOGG RANCH
                              4102 S. University Drive
                              Pomona, CA 91768

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: Mattapoisett in LA
                                Harry Nile RE: Mattapoisett in LA Oct 15, 2009 10:20 PM

                                I keep hearing about this place, Mattapoisett. Do the Farm Store jalpeños have a good texture? It's difficult to find pickled ones that aren't mushy.

                                1. re: Harry Nile
                                  Mattapoisett in LA RE: Harry Nile Oct 16, 2009 12:18 AM

                                  Most of the Pickled things I've gotten there are really fresh but i did get on Mushy batch when I took it off the shelf and not from the refrigerated case but it wasn't a jar of the very popular Sweet Fire. Take a Trip it is worth it.

                              2. s
                                schrutefarms RE: mollyomormon Aug 14, 2009 10:03 PM

                                I love the super cheap, yellowish (in the aisle, not the fridge) pickle spears that you buy at any supermarket. But my favorites are the cornichons at Gelsons. They are my go-to snack.

                                1. ipsedixit RE: mollyomormon Aug 14, 2009 11:26 PM

                                  Pickled ginger at Hsi Lai Temple.

                                  1. m
                                    mdpilam RE: mollyomormon Aug 15, 2009 10:57 AM

                                    I love the little pickles they give you at Clementine with a sandwich. It's odd too, because they're sweet and I don't like sweet pickles, but these are delicious! Not sure if you can buy them though...

                                    1 Reply
                                    1. re: mdpilam
                                      maudies5 RE: mdpilam Aug 15, 2009 05:49 PM

                                      I love those little pickles at Clementine. My go-to-pickle place is Nate 'n Als. The half-sour are perfect as are the pickled tomatoes. I love that they put those pickles along with divine sauerkraut on the table as soon as you are seated. (except at breakfast)

                                    2. m
                                      Michelle RE: mollyomormon Aug 16, 2009 05:45 PM


                                      The *best* pickles are at Phillipe's in downtown LA. I wish I could buy them by the jar!

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Michelle
                                        schrutefarms RE: Michelle Aug 16, 2009 05:49 PM

                                        MMMMM!!!!! Those ARE good! Esp paired with their lemonade!

                                        1. re: schrutefarms
                                          Dogbite Williams RE: schrutefarms Aug 16, 2009 05:54 PM

                                          Whenever I have a sandwich at Philippe's, I also order a pickle. The hot mustard kicks up the sandwich one notch and the pickle adds another.

                                          I have never asked, but do they add onions on request? I'd love that third notch.

                                          1. re: Dogbite Williams
                                            schrutefarms RE: Dogbite Williams Aug 16, 2009 10:01 PM

                                            You know, I have no idea. I have ordered the same thing for twenty five years-roast beef, double dipped, side of macaroni salad, a pickle and lemonade. Maybe a baked apple if I'm extra hungry.

                                        2. re: Michelle
                                          Phurstluv RE: Michelle Aug 16, 2009 05:57 PM

                                          OMG - I can't wait to go now - Lamb saniiwches au jus, hot mustard AND pickles!!!

                                        3. Servorg RE: mollyomormon Aug 16, 2009 07:14 PM

                                          I do like the house made zucchini pickles they serve on the burgers at Hole in the Wall in WLA. I don't know how they would be on their own, but as a burger add-on they are damn good.


                                          1. y
                                            yumyumintumtum RE: mollyomormon Aug 17, 2009 06:53 AM

                                            The fresh pickles at The Stand are pretty good. Once saw a couple of old women fighting over them until the guy brought out another tray full.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: yumyumintumtum
                                              Das Ubergeek RE: yumyumintumtum Aug 18, 2009 09:40 AM

                                              I like those too. With a brat and kraut, they go well.

                                              But I think my current favourite is the pickled salad from Moscow Deli in Costa Mesa.

                                              Oh my GOD. NOBODY pickles vegetables like the Russians do -- and while you're there, get an Odessa sandwich with your various pickled vegetables.

                                              1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                a_and_w RE: Das Ubergeek Aug 29, 2009 09:23 AM

                                                The Koreans have it all over the Russians. Best pickles I had in Russia were actually carrots sold by little Korean ladies.

                                            2. h
                                              huaqiao RE: mollyomormon Aug 22, 2009 10:28 AM

                                              The large Marukai in Gardena has a great "wall of pickles".

                                              1. j
                                                JosephEBacon RE: mollyomormon Aug 22, 2009 06:27 PM

                                                Nate 'N Al's fresh bright green pickles. mmmmmmmmmm! SOmtimes I have them with scrambled eggs and toast there. HEAVEN!

                                                1. n
                                                  Neta RE: mollyomormon Aug 23, 2009 09:49 AM

                                                  I know I'll probably get blehed off this site but for years my favorite go to pickle when I was craving salty and sour was Del Monte's dill pickle halves. They were large salty crisp pickles that just seemed to do the trick. All of a sudden, they have disappeared off the shelves of my local markets. I was told that they can be found still at Stater Bros. but don't have one close by.
                                                  I tried a box of 12 "Pickles In a Pouch" that I purchased from Sam's Club. They were the big fat pickles in that strong plastic pouch. Way too salty and huge. I like the half sour pickles you get at Trader Joe's. Very tasty. I also recently purchased a jar of Costco's Kirkland brand Carnegie Delicatessen New York pickles. They are snappy with a good garlic flavor. I would buy them again.

                                                  1. m
                                                    MelanieB RE: mollyomormon Aug 24, 2009 05:13 PM

                                                    Ciudad serves a DELICIOUS side of pickled veggies with their El Cubano sandwich - celery, green beans, peppers, etc.

                                                    7 Replies
                                                    1. re: MelanieB
                                                      Jeryy RE: MelanieB Aug 24, 2009 05:46 PM

                                                      Too bad so few Canadians on here- the finest pickles in LA, or anywhere else for that matter, are imported from Canada - Strubs! They're available at selected Ralphs and Albertsons stores and crush Ba-Tampte, Bubbies and all the rest in terms of flavor and crunch. This is thirty years of Strubs eating experience talking. Nothing has come close in NYC, LA, Toronto, Montreal or Chicago.

                                                      1. re: Jeryy
                                                        mrfood16 RE: Jeryy Aug 24, 2009 06:22 PM

                                                        Oh yea, I like Strubs too. Forgot about them.

                                                        1. re: Jeryy
                                                          SoCal Foodie RE: Jeryy Aug 30, 2009 03:43 PM

                                                          Bought a jar of Strub's half sour pickles today and was very disappointing since they were extremely mushy! I brought back pickles from Canter's and Philippe's afterwards to satisfy my craving - yum!

                                                          1. re: SoCal Foodie
                                                            Jeryy RE: SoCal Foodie Sep 4, 2009 07:04 PM

                                                            My apologies -I only buy the full sours and they're always great. I didn't even think about the half-sours. I still stand by my rec of the Strubs full-sours.

                                                          2. re: Jeryy
                                                            stuffed RE: Jeryy Feb 28, 2010 09:35 PM

                                                            Strubs are very good. Trader Joe's private label is actually Strubs relabeled. They are a fine example of the Toronto pickle. Ba-Tampte is an excellent example of an NYC pickle. Bubbies', as noted by several, are often mushy here in CA. I wonder if they have some difficulties with their supply chain. Another good one, surprisingly, is Nathan's, as in the hot dog joint. They are made by Hermann's Pickles in Ohio. There are many other regional brands that are quite good: Topor, Schwartz's, etc., but hard or impossible to find. I find the regional differences in pickles quite interesting, although somewhat more nuanced than those differences in barbecue, bagels, "Mexican" cuisine, pastrami, or other frequently discussed regional variants..

                                                            1. re: stuffed
                                                              kiwi RE: stuffed Mar 4, 2010 09:07 PM

                                                              Living in Chicago now, and they (TJ's out here) stopped carrying my pickles about a year ago. Are they still carrying the fridge pickles in the west coast locations?

                                                              1. re: stuffed
                                                                mikester RE: stuffed Mar 5, 2010 08:27 AM

                                                                Very interesting. Have you tried the Korean pickles (usually available in multiple variations and manufacturers at Korean markets) ? They are interesting (kind of sweet/sour), though some use HF corn syrup, which I try to avoid. They also have a salted pickle IIRC, haven't tried that one yet.

                                                          3. kungfuey RE: mollyomormon Aug 29, 2009 10:49 AM

                                                            I'm no pickle expert by any means, but I really liked the fried pickles at Gus's Barbeque in South Pasadena. They don't even have it on the menu. It was very delicious and goes great w/ beer (then again most things go great with beer).

                                                            1. lil mikey RE: mollyomormon Aug 31, 2009 09:01 AM

                                                              I like the pickled carrots and onions at the Mexican restaurants.

                                                              Also the pink pickles (radishes?) at Zankou, et. al.

                                                              2 Replies
                                                              1. re: lil mikey
                                                                a_and_w RE: lil mikey Aug 31, 2009 09:36 AM

                                                                Also pickled onions and jalapenos. I especially love putting pickled onions on the tacos at Tacomiendo.

                                                                1. re: lil mikey
                                                                  LisaN RE: lil mikey Sep 4, 2009 11:31 AM

                                                                  The pink pickles are pickled turnips

                                                                2. s
                                                                  Scootrvil RE: mollyomormon Sep 4, 2009 10:34 AM

                                                                  Canters Deli on Fairfax has great pickles!
                                                                  You get a little plate of them just after you order


                                                                  1. b
                                                                    badvlad RE: mollyomormon Oct 15, 2009 10:09 PM

                                                                    The Golden Fork in Hollywood has a great pickle plate. The previous poster was right on that the Russians do the best pickles. You should probably bring a cold pocket flask of vodka though to complete the meal.

                                                                    1. h
                                                                      Hackenbush RE: mollyomormon Oct 16, 2009 12:30 AM

                                                                      I've had pickles in all the great delicatessens of the world. I've never found any better than Bubbie's, which you can find in the refrigerated cases at most markets.

                                                                      1. h
                                                                        Heidi RE: mollyomormon Oct 16, 2009 06:03 PM

                                                                        Oddly enough, I love the pickles sold in the jar at Vallarta's meat departments. They are dill, and not kosher dill, so they are strong and most closely resemble my memory of buying dill pickles out of a barrel as a kid.

                                                                        I always look hopefully at my local Whole Foods but the pickles consistently seem to look old with cloudy liquid.

                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: Heidi
                                                                          allyoucanet RE: Heidi Mar 1, 2010 09:09 AM

                                                                          They're supposed to look that way. Read the label.

                                                                        2. Peripatetic RE: mollyomormon Mar 2, 2010 03:00 AM

                                                                          I guess I missed this topic the first time around. I'll add the following recommendation: Wickles Pickles. They're sort of like Bubbies bread and butter pickles (which I also love), but thicker, with peppers to give them some heat. I used to get these via mail order but recently discovered they're available from Henry's Market -- at least the Arcadia location. Henry's also carries Wickles Relish, which is by far my favorite commercial green relish.

                                                                          1. r
                                                                            runwestierun RE: mollyomormon Mar 4, 2010 09:37 PM

                                                                            I also like Bubbies, but my all time favorite pickle in the universe is Just Jordie's Sweet and Sour Chunks. I bought some from her at a farmer's market, but now I order them online. This is sick, but I ordered 14 jars last month. I know that's alot, but when she sells out for the year, it is very sad. They are not as sweet as a Bubbie's bread and butter, but they are just a little sweet with some dill, mustard seed and red chili. I love them. My 70 year old cooking partner and expert canner, Georgia, also says they are the best pickles she's ever had in her life. She's smarter than I am.

                                                                            1. dougnutz RE: mollyomormon Mar 4, 2010 11:13 PM

                                                                              The spicy pickles that come alongside the french dip sandwiches downtown at Cole's.

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