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Is there any specialty grocery store like Berkeley Bowl in Los Angeles???

yuka1061 Jun 5, 2011 10:19 PM

The recent revival of DTLA and all of these new food scene development in LA is making me really proud! It's been 4 years since we moved to the Bay Area and we want to come back home!

There are many wonderful food related stuff in the Bay and plenty of it, and especially we love the specialty grocery store called Berkeley Bowl. They have every kind of vegetable you can think of, edible flowers for garnishes, bulk section ranging from black rice to agave nectar. Many restaurant chefs go buy the ingredients there, and it is more convenient than farmers market, just because they are open everyday like a regular market, and they have a huge variety of stuff.

Does anybody know where we can have a similar shopping experience in LA? And yes, Berkeley Bowl is cheaper than Whole Foods and they have about 10 times more stuff!

Thank you so much for your help!!!

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  1. a
    AAQjr RE: yuka1061 Jun 5, 2011 11:23 PM


    1. b
      Bradbury RE: yuka1061 Jun 6, 2011 07:26 AM

      I can't think of any one-stop-shop in LA quite like Berkeley Bowl. Fortunately, from where we live we can easily hit Trader Joe's, the Pasadena farmers market, Asian and Latino supermarkets, an Armenian/Persian/etc specialty store, a cheese store, and Europane all within a few miles, so that covers about 95% of our food shopping (and mostly eliminates any need/desire to stop in Whole Foods).

      For grains, cereals, etc. in bulk the best place I've found is the Loma Linda vegetarian supermarket, run by (and mostly for) the SDAs. It's a long slog from most of LA but we stop there to load up the trunk on the way to/from Palm Springs, Big Bear, and other points east.

      1. mollyomormon RE: yuka1061 Jun 6, 2011 07:57 AM

        I wish so badly that there was. I rely on a combination of the SaMo farmers market, the Co-op, Whole Foods, and Surfa's to get all the stuff I want. And then I stop at Berkeley Bowl when I'm up in the Bay Area!

        1. raytamsgv RE: yuka1061 Jun 6, 2011 10:55 AM

          No, unfortunately. It's one of the places I miss the most about the Bay Area.

          You will need to go to a number of different places to get the same things. On the other hand, LA has a large number of Asian and Latino supermarkets that are often highly specialized and often carry items that Berkeley Bowl would never carry.

          1. l
            laliz RE: yuka1061 Jun 6, 2011 11:12 AM

            Surfas (culver city) and Bristol Farms are my faves.

            1. trolley RE: yuka1061 Jun 6, 2011 12:34 PM

              no, there isn't. nothing in LA has duplicated the berkeley bowl experience. while i don't miss the parking and the crowds, the shopping was amazing. i even missed it when i moved from east bay to SF. (laliz, i hope you don't take it the wrong way) you will be greatly disappointed if you go to bristol farms and surfas trying to find the same experience and goods as berkeley bowl. however, i do like the abundance of asian markets in LA which really lacked in SF/bay area when i lived there.

              1. t
                thestratbrat RE: yuka1061 Jun 6, 2011 06:02 PM

                Figueroa Produce might be a mini-version of what you describe. Lots of vegan, organic and local products as well as fruits and veggies from South Central Farmers and grass-fed meat. And the people--and prices--are super nice.

                6 Replies
                1. re: thestratbrat
                  yuka1061 RE: thestratbrat Jun 7, 2011 01:40 AM

                  Great! Finally a Yes answer! Thank you!

                  1. re: thestratbrat
                    Servorg RE: thestratbrat Jun 7, 2011 06:52 AM

                    Place Link for the Figueroa Produce Market

                    Figueroa Produce Market
                    6312 N Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90042

                    1. re: thestratbrat
                      Bjartmarr RE: thestratbrat Jun 7, 2011 09:23 AM

                      I like Figueroa Produce, it's a great little shop. But it doesn't even come close to comparing to Berkeley Bowl; BB is about 20x bigger.

                      Co-Opportunity in Santa Monica is another great store that is not even close to Berkeley Bowl. But I like that the co-op sells only organic produce. Berkeley Bowl mixes the organic and non-organic together so much that you really have to pay attention while shopping.

                      Neither of these shops is worth a drive across town.

                      1525 Broadway, Santa Monica, CA 90404

                      1. re: Bjartmarr
                        estone888 RE: Bjartmarr Jun 7, 2011 03:42 PM

                        Yep, just got back from there having become curious after reading this thread. Nice little place run by nice people but it really is not even close to comparable to Berkeley Bowl. The selection of produce was fine, but not even as extensive - including organics - as you'd find at Ralph's Fresh Fare or Gelson's, and the prices weren't anything special either.

                        1. re: estone888
                          trolley RE: estone888 Jun 7, 2011 03:59 PM

                          thanks for checking it out. i got curious from this thread as well so i was going to take a trip. i hear the people are really nice and i think they were in danger of closing sometime ago. will check it out soon but not rushing. nothing compares to berkeley bowl. one of a kind shop! but if you decide to move you'll adapt and find other great things in LA.

                          1. re: trolley
                            estone888 RE: trolley Jun 7, 2011 04:16 PM

                            I do think L.A. kicks the Bay Area's butt when it comes to Asian, Latin American and Central European markets. We've got several very good Italian markets, but it's probably about a draw overall in that department. What we lack is a truly astounding one stop shopping place like Berkeley Bowl or Central Market (in Texas.) Luckily I like to drive.

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