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Costco - Which one is best?

LuluTheMagnificent Jan 23, 2013 10:51 AM

maybe a crazy question, but for meat which costco has the best meat in your opinion? I frequent the los feliz, the MDR and the inglewood ones the most. For meat I usually avoid the inglewood one, and go to MDR. But wondering which ones in general might have the best, freshest meat?

I know people will say the meat is all the same, but I get better meat at the ralphs on labrea and third than I do at any ralphs in the hood.

  1. m
    manku Jan 24, 2013 12:40 PM

    Best Costco's are those in most affluent neighborhoods...in my experience, Westlake, Laguna and Carlsbad are the best.

    However, they're mostly the same...slight differences in wine selection (which has gone significantly downhill since they got rid of web department) and cheese/processed foods.

    9 Replies
    1. re: manku
      carter Jan 24, 2013 08:56 PM

      I'm glad someone mentioned the wine selection, and its continued somewhat downhill slide.
      The fact that we have so many discount wine shops offering the same bottles, and often at even cheaper prices, is probably a major culprit.
      As to the cheese/processed foods - who cares?!

      1. re: carter
        ns1 Jan 25, 2013 10:57 AM

        Cases of chateau st michelle riseling for ~$6/bottle + beringer white zinfandel @ ~3/bottle

        Magnums of decent prosecco for $15

        Pretty nice champagne selection too

        At least @ Burbank Costco

        Years ago they had mondavi cab private reserve @ $90 when it was $120 everywhere else.

        1. re: ns1
          mc michael Jan 25, 2013 12:15 PM

          That La Marca Prosecco is a good deal. Tasty too.

          1. re: ns1
            linus Jan 25, 2013 02:37 PM

            i've had bad luck buying wine at costco. i'll occasionally pick up a bottle there, but i think there's more value for money at places like top line and k and l.

            1. re: linus
              ns1 Jan 25, 2013 03:55 PM

              Funny, I always feel ripped out at places like that ;)

              1. re: ns1
                linus Jan 25, 2013 05:35 PM

                i guess i don't feel cheated, per se, at costco. it just seems like the wine's often not been in good shape, or just poorly selected by them, and, then, me.
                whereas, at the above mentioned places, following the recommendations has more often than not proved...fruitful.

                1. re: linus
                  ns1 Jan 25, 2013 06:12 PM

                  Maybe someone would enlighten me, but at one of those wine stores I just feel like I'm being hustled.

                  At costco I just browse the selections and pick based on points.

                  Of course, I might be getting hustled by wine spectator...but Costco's been pretty good to me so far.

                  1. re: ns1
                    linus Jan 26, 2013 06:17 AM

                    well, everyone's different. i've never been treated anything but patiently and kindly at topline and k and l.
                    no pretense, no aloofness, no pushiness at either venue.
                    and if i'm not in the mood for human help, which is the vast majority of the time, i find the staff recommendation cards helpful at both places, more so than the points listing at costco.

                2. re: ns1
                  carter Jan 25, 2013 06:19 PM

                  I cannot imagine feeling ripped off at Topline. Charlie and both Michaels have very good tastebuds, will describe the wine in as best a detail as they can, and then it is your turn to believe, or not.
                  However, one reason may be that from your few mentions of wines you like at Costco, we do have VERY different tastebuds. I basically only drink red wine, except during the summer I will indulge in a rose called Cuvee Clarendon from Domaine Gavoty. Last 3 vintages have been VERY good.
                  I really do not like bubbly wines, although the California Roederer rose is quite good, yet also in the mid-20s price-wise.
                  But I do feel a bit ripped at K&L - not badly, but just feel the staff is too aloof for its own good.

        2. l
          LuluTheMagnificent Jan 24, 2013 07:35 AM

          Delete sorry

          1. l
            LuluTheMagnificent Jan 24, 2013 07:28 AM

            What about the Burbank one? How does it compare to MDR? Also, does anyone know which store carries the popcornopolis nearly naked bag? The MDR store rarely, if ever has it.

            1 Reply
            1. re: LuluTheMagnificent
              Jack Flash Jan 24, 2013 11:18 AM

              I've been to Burbank, Irwindale, Alhambra and San Dimas. Of those 4, Burbank has a much bigger wine selection than the other three (San Dimas probably comes in second). I haven't paid much attention to how they're stocked, comparatively, other than for the wine. Of those 4, San Dimas has been the least crowded & has the easiest parking.

              As for the meat, I know that Burbank usually has some prime beef but it's usually limited to New Yorks and Ribeyes.

            2. m
              miteymike Jan 24, 2013 01:55 AM

              where is MDR ?

              8 Replies
              1. re: miteymike
                Feed_me Jan 24, 2013 02:13 AM

                miteymike, just use google maps and type in Costco Marina del Rey and it comes up. Oddly the map calls it Costco Culver City, but the address is in Marina del Rey. It's in a pretty nice neighborhood so it should have pretty good stuff in general. I know they do seem to have a bit of selection difference depending on the store. My sister goes to the Torrance Costco and she tells me it's a zoo, compared to Hawthorne which is the one I go to. I sometimes used to hit the Inglewood one once in a while because they had some heat and eat jumbalaya which I liked, but everybody else in the family found it too spicy. Been a while, so perhaps it's not there before I send anybody on a wild goose chase.

                1. re: Feed_me
                  bulavinaka Jan 24, 2013 04:30 AM

                  The property that the MdR Costco sits on is actually Culver City. The property uaed to be a dog racing track back in the day. The Culver City govt wanted to capture tax revenue from the gambling receipts so they offered the race track owners a deal to set up and maintain utilities and services (mainly road building, public transit and police) in exchange for a small cut of the revenues.

                  What Culver City didn't want was any of the adjacent areas along either side of Washington because the land at the time generated little to no tax revenue. So the city only encorporated land directly adjacent to Washington from Culver City-proper, all the way west to just shy of Lincoln.

                  Long story short, Culver City collects the taxes, the post office labels the area MdR for zip code expediency, but the lot is actually directly adjacent to Venice 90291. Why not label the lot Venice? No one wanted to be labeled with a Venice address back in the day. Times have changed...

                  1. re: bulavinaka
                    Servorg Jan 24, 2013 07:36 AM

                    My understanding is two brothers from Germany drew up the Culver City boundaries, Gerard and Anders. Eventually the two brothers became linked in history as the term Gerrymander entered into history... ;-D> (sorry for that)

                    1. re: bulavinaka
                      Jase Jan 24, 2013 02:33 PM

                      I read somewhere that's why the parking lot entrances are set that way. Horrible bottle necks especially with the In N Out drive through line snaking out into one of the lot entrances. Then the Costco gas station by the only other lot entrance.

                      Warning to anyone going there on the weekend, have lots of patience.

                      1. re: Jase
                        spoonlicker Jan 25, 2013 12:18 AM

                        That's my local Costco, and you are absolutely right -- the traffic flustercluck there will grind your nerves down to the nub. I once made the tactical error of going there the day before Thanksgiving to pick up a prescription...I found myself wishing Costco carried Xanax in a five-gallon tub.

                        Meat selection is legit, however.

                      2. re: bulavinaka
                        Feed_me Jan 25, 2013 02:20 PM

                        bulavinaka, thanks for the history. I remember some years ago when I first started reading Chowhound you mentioned Chantilly in Lomita. Many calories later I have appreciated your knowledgeable postings. Thank you sensei!

                      3. re: Feed_me
                        LuluTheMagnificent Jan 24, 2013 07:31 AM

                        Where was this jambalaya kept, I'd like to try it. Won't make a special trip, but will look out for it. I haven't seen it.

                        1. re: LuluTheMagnificent
                          Feed_me Jan 25, 2013 02:25 PM

                          Unfortunately, as I stated everybody else in the family gave the jumbalaya the thumbs down so I haven't gone to Inglewood to look for it in a few years. It came a sealed heavy plastic bag inside a cardboard outer wrapper. It's been a few years, so they may not carry it any more. It was in the refrigerated foods section where you'd find heat and eat meals like the pastas, Harris Ranch pre-cooked meats/bell peppers, etc.

                    2. l
                      LostInLA Jan 23, 2013 11:51 PM

                      Inglewood definitely has a poorer selection of cheese and alcohol compared to MDR.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: LostInLA
                        LuluTheMagnificent Jan 24, 2013 07:29 AM

                        I haven't always been happy with the inglewood stores meat either.

                      2. i
                        iiivannn Jan 23, 2013 10:00 PM

                        I have a lot of free time during the day, I've been to a few of the Costco locations, working in retail i notice subtle and not subtle differences. Is there a Costco employee in the house that can describe the features/differences in the latest builds and remodels?

                        1. l
                          LuluTheMagnificent Jan 23, 2013 08:41 PM

                          I ended up going to the MDR store and getting prime steaks, will see how good they are.

                          1. s
                            subal Jan 23, 2013 07:38 PM

                            Yorba Linda store in Anaheim Hills is one of the better ones!

                            1. b
                              bulavinaka Jan 23, 2013 05:55 PM

                              If you consider turnover to be a significant factor, the MdR store is probably worth considering. I've been told more than once that the MdR store is one of Costco's busiest units worldwide.

                              1. j
                                josephnl Jan 23, 2013 12:39 PM

                                The Costco in the Tustin Legacy is enormous and very good.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: josephnl
                                  SIMIHOUND Jan 23, 2013 02:01 PM

                                  I would think Westlake Village. They offer more high end items and more variety and that should include meats as well.

                                  1. re: josephnl
                                    A5 KOBE Jan 23, 2013 04:23 PM

                                    Both the Tustin Legacy and the Tustin/Irvine? District location are both higher end, carrying more prime meats, veal rib chops and better overall products like jewerly.

                                  2. m
                                    mc michael Jan 23, 2013 12:05 PM

                                    Can't speak specifically to the meat issue, but I have found that the calmest, cleanest of the several Costcos (Alhambra, Los Feliz, Van Nuys) I've been to is the Irwindale/Azusa location.

                                    1. t
                                      Thor123 Jan 23, 2013 11:49 AM

                                      Always had good luck with the Van Nuys Costco.

                                      1. c
                                        carter Jan 23, 2013 11:28 AM

                                        The higher the area demographics, the better the chances of better quality foods & meats available
                                        Inglewood demos are not the same as MDR or Los Feliz.
                                        Van Nuys is good, yet probably not MDR either.
                                        A Ralphs Fresh Fare store likewise carries better quality food than a regular Ralphs, similar to Pavilions vs. Vons, etc.
                                        I doubt the freshness factor should be of concern, given the turnover of all goods in any Costco store.

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