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May 8, 2010 02:06 PM

One Stop Grocery Shopping in Downtown/Silverlake/Echo Park or nearby vicinity?

I'm a recent SF transplant spoiled by stores like Berkeley Bowl, Bi-Rite, etc.

Searching for a market with a wide selection of produce & gourmet items alongside asian/middle-eastern/european specialty items and a decent selection of organic/free range meat & sustainable seafood.

I know about LAX-C and A-Grocery Warehouse for SE Asian ingredients. Also familiar with Bristol Farms for hi-end stuff and Super King for middle-eastern. Having to sometimes hit 3 stores or more for one dinner party, though, is a killer.

Basically, I'm looking for Berkeley Bowl South, or the closest thing I can find. Does such a place exist here?


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  1. Nope. Gelson's and Whole Foods are probably your best bets for one stopping, although ridiculously expensive. I manage with a combo of Trader Joe's and either Super King or an Asian Market and the odd farmer's market and once in a while Costco. Toto, you're not in Berkeley any more...

    5 Replies
    1. re: Layne Murphy

      but in fairness, how many Berkeley Bowls exist anywhere?
      Gelsons on Hyperion @ Griffith Park Blvd. and the Whole Foods in Glendale on Glendale Avenue would be the tandem.
      Trader Joe's is basically across the street from Gelson's, yet steadily finds ways to lose my business as the months go by. Not at all what it used to be - now it is sodium/sugar city. I won't buy their meat or fish, their produce, their wine, their flowers, so basically it might be stuff in cans or jars, and hence the sodium/sugar comment.
      Gelson's has good sales on soap and paper goods, just watch for their every 2 week Tuesday flyer in the mail, assuming you live close enough to get one.
      The Sunday Hollywood Farmer's Market on Ivar, between Selma and Hollywood Blvd.
      is quite good, and I hear the Silver Lake one is pretty good also, although never been.

      1. re: carter

        Good point and Berkeley even has 2 Bowls. In yonder parts I have enjoyed shopping at Santa Cruz' New Leaf and Shopper's Corner and at Lazy Acres in Santa Barbara but there's just no such animal in L.A. I find the Atwater farmers market on Sundays less expensive and more manageable than Silver Lake and the Sunday market at the Eagle Rock Plaza is starting to grow on me. There's also one near Kaiser on Sunset but I've heard no reports.

        Eagle Rock Plaza
        2700 Colorado Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90041

        1. re: carter

          I think that's a pretty harsh read on TJ's; while it's not what it once was, they still have some perfectly good produce, and some perfectly good, albeit not very inspiring wine. Their dairy and cheese is still good, as is their bakery stuff and much of their frozen stuff. I find myself working the same circuit that cynwash and Layne do,(the trick is to go up the 2, one off-ramp, to get to and from Superking, and to do it EARLY) with Ralphs or Vons thrown in for stuff like dishwashing soap and Rosarita canned beans, when they're on sale. Since the Pup went away to school, we hardly ever need a Costco-quantity of anything frequently enough to justify using the storage space...

          1. re: silverlakebodhisattva

            OT, but I'm with carter on TJ's (except for the flowers. There are sometimes good deals at TJ's and Gelson's flower prices make me choke.)

            1. re: cls

              Gelson's is like Jurgenson's used to be: great if money is no object.

      2. If you want to look for Berkeley here, you will be disappointed. The trick is to find things here that they don't have there or don't do as well. Think Asian. Think Latin. Think Armenian. Happy hunting.

        1. Since the last time a Berkeley transplant asked this question several years ago, at least we have gained McCall's Meat and Fish, Super King, Cheese Store of Silver Lake, several coffee places, Spice Station and Figueroa Produce in Highland Park, where by the way, the grass-fed beef is very reasonably priced.

          McCall's Meat and Fish
          2117 Hillhurst Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90027

          1. I have to concur with most of the replies to your post. This ain't SF - I actually get a lot of pleasure out of venturing out to various markets around town and making new discoveries. You might find it injects a lot of variety into your weekly menu planning (and I say this as someone who suckled solely at the teet of Fairway for many years in NY).

            I live in your general neck of the woods and here's how it breaks down for me.

            A-Grocery is the go-to store. Yeah it ain't certified organic but they source way better than whole foods and at literally a teeny tiny fraction of the price. (I go there weekly)

            Hollywood and Atwater Farmer's markets - Try to hit one of these once a week. Hollywood is bigger but Atwater has Big Mista BBQ - a must try if you haven't yet. (Silver Lake FM kind of blows) Don't be afraid to bargain either. Too many timid yoga mat-toting first time home buyers (I'm talking to you atwater village) are f'ing it up for everyone with their liberal guilt. It is okay to say something costs too much - "organic" is not a sacrament.

            TJ's basically for canned stuff, maybe some beer. (hit it maybe 2 time a month)

            I still believe Gelson's is a Ralph's with Whole Foods prices but in the interest of playing fair I did get San Marzano canned tomatoes for $3.69 a pop (thanks for the heads up CH!). Still it is in the main a miserable and appalling place to spend money for food.

            Super King - as noted go off hours. Also avoid their deli for everything but feta - very little in the way of quality control on the meats - but hey it's cheap. (once a month or two)

            Little Tokyo Marketplace (or the market formerly known as Mitsuwa) - pretty good fish. hit or miss on the produce (but the hits can be great) - a good one stop shop when you need both Japanese and Korean ingredients. (once a month)

            Han Nam Chain - getting out of the hood a bit but really the best seafood market in the city. btw, what's up with all the Fish King love? Made a special trip last week and it was okay quality and a little pricey.

            Alpine Village - not in the neighborhood at all but I need to wrong down there every couple of months to get my liverwurst and brat fix.

            Now that I've traveled all the way down to Long Beach I'll rein it in. I guess that's the point though. If you don't like it move to Westside and hook up a cash IV to Whole Foods.

            Little Tokyo Restaurant
            150 E Bonita Ave, San Dimas, CA 91773

            Alpine Village
            , Compton, CA 90221