Epicure Imports Warehouse - Open Next Weekend
I just received notice that Epicure Imports Warehouse will have this year's final public opening next weekend: December 18 and 19:
Friday, December 18: 1:30pm - 6:00pm
Saturday, December 19: 9:30am - 2:00pm
6900 Beck Avenue in North Hollywood
Call them if you have any questions.
For Hound reviews and opinions, you can check previous Epicure Import posts. We seem to be a mixed bunch on this place. Some of us really enjoy the experience while others are less enthusiastic. I consistently find their cheese selection to be extraordinary.
i went for the first time and spent far too much, but much of what i bought will end up as christmas gifts. it was frustrating that there weren't any prices except in the walk-in area but i didn't find the checkout experience to be any different from another store during the holidays. if you want good deals, you have to be willing to brave a crowd. it was pretty crowded for a friday afternoon and i ended up piling cheeses, chocolates, and truffle butter and honey into my cart like a crazy person. my best score was rabitos - liqueur drenched chocolate dipped figs that are sold on la tienda for $20 for only $8.95 and a 17.6 oz foie gras terrine (rougie) for $60 which was going for over $100 on some websites. the tasting areas were wine, urbani truffle products (the white truffle butter and truffle honey made it into my cart), and some cheeses and charcuterie - many of which are available at surfas. i was pretty disappointed in the "baguette," which was NOT an baguette traditionnel, but an elongated, tasteless fluffy thing, and not an appropriate vehicle for the cheeses i had hoped to snack on later but didn't since i was out of time to stop somewhere and pick up proper bread.
So did anyone go today? I went last time and found some yummy product, but not too many amazing deals. I want to go back and get some more walnut mustard and smoked duck.
I had lots of problems last time with them telling me one price, and it ringing up another. They told me $8.50 on the mustard but then in rang up $2.50. That was great. However, my mom got screwed on some truffle oil that rang up close to twice what they told her it would be. We didn't notice the mistake until we drove away. I hope they fixed that problem or have more price lists so you can check yourself.
I went Friday. Got there about 1;45pm, the parking lot was full as well as both sides of the street. Inside, was pleasant until you got to check-out, then it became a hassle, and the wait was long. Too many item's bar-codes haven't been put into the system, so when the scanner reads the code, sometimes the item is rejected and then it must be manually typed in - time consuming. Another problem was that many people loaded their carts, only to reject the item at check-out because they (a) didn't know the price and (b) found out it was too costly. (Even the pages they print AND DON'T HAND OUT, you have to search for them, don't have everything listed in them - VERY FRUSTRATING.
That said, I think the deals on cheese are the best buys, and all the prices are clearly marked. The roquefort (3.5oz. package) I bought back in September and thought I had paid $9 was only $3.23. However, the epoisses, which was marked $18.50 in the cheese room, I found out I had paid $20.62 (read by bar-code) when I later looked at the receipt.
This time the serrano ham was in 1/4 lb packaging for $7.25 each. I bought two and paid $14.58.
I certainly wouldn't go near Epicure today - it'll be a madhouse !!
Next sale - February 12-13, 2010.
I picked up a few cheeses for under $12, plenty of jars of mustard for under $3, some French accoutrements each under $3, a lovely pork-rabbit sausage for under $9/lb., the $7 jamon serrano package, one of their pre-packaged gift baskets, truffles sauce for $10, truffle butter for $10, and an assortment of wines. While I was there, I was tempted to purchase the macarons (50 for $50), foie gras terrine for well over $100, foie gras for $60 a chunk, and duck charcuterie for $23/lb. But I had to stop myself because my husband would probably never let me go there, again. I had a delightful experience. The staff was super friendly and helpful in describing the products (and how they're made). The tasting stations were great...I had a pre-dinner snack and a ton of wine. I arrived a little after 4:00PM, and browsed and shopped until a little after six. I did not encounter a huge line (there was only one person in front of me), but they opened up another check-out station just for me. I chatted with the owner and one of the managers to find that Epicure Imports supplies Michael Mina, Bouchon (BH and LV), and The Bazaar (the jamon serrano is the same one that ends up on your plate, but they do not carry the Iberico or the Iberico Barlota). I can't wait to come back in February!
I'm of two minds about the warehouse sale. I did find some great salted caramels, duck sausage, and liked the truffle items (though they were not particularly cheap). However, some other items I purchased, like dried cherries, were ridiculously expensive, something I only learned at the checkout aisle. I also was disappointed that they did not have D'Artagnan products, like I had read, but instead carried the Fabrique brand, which I do not find as good.
As for the cheese selection, I found it quite ordinary and about the same price as I would pay at the Cheese Store in Beverly Hills. I was very disappointed about the lack of bleu cheeses and roqueforts.
I went a few months ago. I thought I got great buys on French cheeses. I bought one pound of very good prosciutto for about $14 and 1/2 pound of Serrano ham, which was exceptional for about the same price.
When I went through the warehouse where the other items were, I wasn't that enthused by what was offered - some items with 'use-by' dates, had dates that had passed or were about to.
But for the cheese - superb !!!
Just know what you are buying. Their Jamon at $13 or so a pound is the exact same brand that Jons carries at $7 or $8 a pound. Got to be an informed shopper. I do not think the current owners or whoever started this a couple of years ago, they used to have great deals.
re: Burger Boy
BB - you are correct, the place was sold about 2-3 or so years ago and even the name was not exactly the same.
These owners seem less knowledgable and a bit confused as to how to run the weekend sale - total chaos as to pricing, checking out, etc.
One checkout line for wine, and another for all other items, as an example.