35 Specialty or Not So Specialty Stores In Los Angeles

Sometimes, to get a project moving in the right direction you need a little more than whats available at your neighborhood grocery store. What if you wanted to start spinning sugar creations, buy some squid ink, or find canned cherry tomatoes from Italy ? How about cook some Paella in an actual Paella pan with imported ingredients from Spain? How about a tub of nearly impossible to find black frosting ? A rack of Lamb from California? I’m confident most of what you’ll need can be found below all in one day.

Don’t be afraid to chat up the good folks that work at these places if you can’t find what you need, many of them moonlight at other markets or restaurants and can get access to things that may not be so readily available. For example, we recently needed a few trout that had NOT been cleaned yet. Fully intact with all of the guts still in it, untouched by a knife, so that it looked like it was just caught. It took a couple of days, but by talking to the people at the markets and explaining what we needed, we were able to source some trout rather than having to go out and buy some fishing poles and a fishing license !

Alpine Village German Market – Authentic German butcher featuring handmade sausages etc, hard to find german spices, syrups and grocery items. 833 W Torrance Blvd. Torrance CA 90502 Ph. (310) 327-4384

Armstrong Garden Centers – Several locations around Los Angeles, Armstrong is a source for potted herbs ready for use.

Bay Cities Deli – Italian specialty deli with olive oils, flavored Torani syrups, cheeses, pastas, dried herbs and spices, cookies, liquor, etc. Located in Santa Monica. 1517 Lincoln Blvd, Santa Monica 90401 Ph. (310) 395-8279

Bel-Campo – Single farm meat market, grass fed and finished beef, chicken, lamb, goat, pork, tallow, lard, sausages, custom cuts, etc Located in Santa Monica 1026 Wilshire Blvd. Ph. (424) 744-8008

Bristol Farms- If your list is pretty basic but you want the best versions money can buy, then hit up a Bristol Farms. Their produce is gorgeous and their meat case is also really nice. Their are about nine of them in the Los Angeles area: Santa Monica, Westwood, West Hollywood, Hollywood, Woodland Hills, South Pasadena, Westchester, Rolling Hills and Manhattan Beach

Chefs Toys –Tools and equipment ranging from knives and squeeze bottles to three compartment sinks and deep fryers. Two LA locations, one on the westside and one in the valley. The westside location is @ 2233 S. Sepulveda Blvs, Los Angels CA 90064 Ph. (310) 477-7107. The valley location is 6178 Sepulveda Blvd Van Nuys, CA 91411 Ph. (818) 782-4460

Continental Gourmet Sausage – Purveyors and makers of gourmet sausages, Knachwurst, Swiss Bockwurst, Andouille, Hungarian Kolbasa, etc. 6406 San Fernando Rd Glendale, CA 91201 Ph. (818) 502-1447

Coosemans Los Angeles – A great source for uncommon produce like tamarillo, bittermelon, mangosteen, dragon fruit, Buddha’s hand, purple kohlrabi etc. 1601 E. Olympic Blvd. #218 Ph. (213) 689-1551

Davalan Fresh – Located in the produce market downtown. Davalan carries or can source a lot of hard to find produce. You’ll need to buy a case or a minimum amount. 1601 E. Olympic Blvd. #325 Los Angeles CA 90021 Ph. (213) 623-2500

Eagle Rock Italian Deli and Bakery – The only place I have found real home made Italian cookies. Also featuring traditional Italian baked goods, deli and grocery. 1726 Colorado Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90041 Ph. (323) 255-8244

Eataly – Large scale Italian specialty market. Hard to find meat, fish, pasta etc. Located in the Westfield Century City Mall. 10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Century City Ph. (213) 310-8000

Erewhon – Five locations around Los Angeles, beautiful produce and hard to locate specialty gourmet “healthy” items. Santa Monica, Venice, Calabasas, Hollywood, Pacific Palisades

Gelsons- Beautiful produce and meat, gourmet grocery items 14 locations around Los Angeles

Glorias Cake and Candy Supplies – Cake toppers, fondant, sprinkles, cake boxes, knowledgeable staff. Located in Culver City. 12740 Culver Blvd. Unit C, Los Angeles, CA 90066 Ph. (310) 391-4557

HK Market – Korean grocery store with a wide selection of Asian grocery items and prepared foods. 124 N Western ave, Los Angeles 90004 Ph. (323) 469-8934

Home Depot – A great source for potted herbs

India Sweets and Spices Indian grocery store with spices, rice, dals, lentils etc. Located in Atwater Village. 3126 Los Feliz Blvd. Los Angeles 90030 Ph. (323) 345-0360

Kake Kreations Cake decorating and candy making supplies, cake boxes, black frosting, cake bottoms, sugars etc. Located in Canoga Park. 21851 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, CA 91303. Ph. (818) 346-7621

La Espanola Meats – All things Spanish, Oil, Vinegar, Ham, Wine, Cheese, Meat, Paella supplies and more. Great source for all size paella pans and burners. 25020 Doble Ave. Harbor City, CA 90710 Ph. (310) 539-0455

Los Angeles Fish Co Wholesale process and a large selection. Early morning hours, many hard to find fish and grades, located downtown, 420 Stanford Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90013 Ph. (213) 629-1213

Marconda’s Puritan Poultry Located in the The Original Farmers Market at the Grove. Marconda has fresh thawed whole turkeys year round as well as a large variety of poultry. 6333 W 3rd St , Los Angeles CA 90036 Ph.(323) 938-0312

Marconda’s Meats – Located in The Original Farmers Market at the Grove. Marconda has a large selection of Prime cut meats and hard to find cuts like Tomahawk Steak and Bone-In center cut porkchops 6333 W 3rd St #514, Los Angeles CA 90036 Ph. (323) 938-5131

Marukai Market – Japanese market

Mitsuwa Marketplace – Japanese grocer, Japanese and Asian goods, produce, fish and meat. 3760 S Centinela Ave Los Angeles CA 90066 Ph. (310) 398-2113 & 21515 S Western Ave Torrance CA 90501 Ph. (310) 782-0335

Monsieur Marcel – A family owned French inspired specialty food and giftware store. Gourmet foods, spices, cheeses, wines, charcuterie, chocolates and more Located in The Original Farmers Market at the Grove 6333 W 3rd St Los Angeles 90036 #150 Ph. (323) 939-7792

Maui Fresh International – Specializing in Hawaiian Papaya, Melons, Pineapple, Pomegranate, squash, tomatillos, tomatoes, beans, bell peppers, chiles, eggplant and cucumbers. 2652 Long Beach Ave. Los Angeles CA 90058 Ph. (213) 688-0880

99 Ranch Market – Asian products and live fish tanks. Over 4000 Asian products Located in Van Nuys 6450 Sepulveda Blvd. 91411 Ph. (818) 988-7899

Santa Monica Seafood – Large selection of seafood and shellfish. Sushi grade and whole fish are available. 1000 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica CA 90401 Ph. (310) 393-5244

Sprouts – Lot’s oflocations from Thousand Oaks down to Orange County and beyond, great selection of produce and grocery items, very similar to Whole Foods but seemingly cheaper

Sur La Table -Mainly specialty cooking tools and equipment, Sur La Table also has a pretty good selection of spices, mixes and baking items. Several located throughout the city, valley and westside

Surfas Culinary District – Professional level cooking tools & gadgets. Spices, oils, sugars, cured meats, chocolate, pastas and much more. 3225 W Washington Blvd, Los Angeles 90018 Ph. (310) 559-4770

Tampico Spice Company – Large quantities or small, a nice selection of “south of the border” spices and more. 10oz to 25 pounds, cinnamon and cumin to turmeric and thyme. Lots of different dried chilis etc. Located downtown 5941 So. Central Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90001 Ph. (323) 235-3154

Vallarta – Latin grocery store with a large meat counter, panaderia, and grocery area with an extensive produce selection. There are about ten of them in the San Fernando Valley. Sherman Way in Burbank is always a great location. 10950 Sherman Way, Burbank 91505 Ph. (818) 526-0081

Williams-Sonoma – When you need a pastry tip or some other type of fairly difficult to find tool this is a pretty goos resource. They also carry a pretty extensive selection of specialty foods.

Whole Foods- They’re all over the place

Whatever it is that you’re looking for jjust know that it’s out there, you’ll find it.

Published by Jason Stroh

I am a Los Angeles based food stylist and chef

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