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Selam Market

WHY Neophytes can get a taste of the authentic Ethiopian culinary experience, and seasoned cooks can find exactly what they need (including three kinds of cardamom and green coffee). WHAT The meats are cut specifically for Ethiopian dishes, and the spice blends—including berberé, awazé and Nit’kr k’ibé spiced butter—are made in-house. Also on offer in [...]

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Liborio Market

WHY The most wondrous array of Latin American foods: Brazilian manioc meal, dried Peruvian potatoes, Guatemalan mashed black beans, the Salvadoran coffee cake called quesadilla, squishy-sweet ripe plantains, Mexican chorizos and marinated meat and, during the holidays, great tamales from many regions. WHAT This pan-Latin market draws cooks and enthusiastic eaters looking for ingredients for [...]

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Koreatown Plaza Market

WHY An extraordinary variety of mild and spicy panchan—those small, flavorful side dishes at the heart of a Korean meal—plus validated parking. WHAT This contemporary market in a Euro-chic shopping mall features an impressive array of Korean prepared foods, notably panchan, including marinated crab, pickled baby cucumbers, spicy squid strips and garlic stem salad. Other [...]

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Jons Marketplace

WHY The cheapest pita in town, a dizzying selection of Eastern European sausages and meats, fresh Middle Eastern cheeses and giant tubs of yogurt, as well as imported jams, candies and spices. The merchandise varies by the density of the ethnic groups in the area. WHAT This small chain specializes in ethnic groceries, primarily Middle [...]

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Froma on Melrose

WHY It’s one of the very few places in town to get the extraordinary (and expensive) jamón ibérico de bellota. WHAT This small, quality shop stocks top-tier products to assemble a luxe Hollywood Bowl picnic or pick up delicious sandwiches. The high-end charcuterie includes the famous La Quercia domestic prosciutto, chorizo, bresaola and soppressata. You’ll [...]

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Bangkok Market

WHY For everything needed to concoct a Thai feast, from fresh lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves and Thai basil to galangal and great deals on canned coconut milk and other essentials. WHAT The first place in L.A. to find exotic Thai ingredients is still owned by the family of popular local chef and culinary teacher Jet [...]

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Off the Vine

WHY For tasty, good-value bottles from the Santa Ynez Valley and the northern and southern Rhône. WHAT The selection is small at this tidy little shop, but it’s creative and includes some very good specials. The focus is on just three regions: California’s Central Coast, the Rhône and Spain. Regulars stop by for the Friday- [...]

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Laurel Canyon Country Store

WHY Old Laurel Canyon character, convenience and a good deli sandwich. WHAT The ghost of Jim Morrison and the spirit of Joni Mitchell live on in this historic little market. Because it’s in Laurel Canyon, the parking-lot access is hairy and the prices are high, but the place is so dang atmospheric that we love [...]

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Flask Fine Wines

WHY A chic tasting bar (Thursdays and Fridays) and a smart choice of small-producer Californians. WHAT Excellent displays and some little-seen Californian and French wines make this a fun place to browse. There are some good values on the racks, too. WHO Local tasters and producers’ assistants who were dispatched to fetch an emergency $250 [...]

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Surfas

WHY The ingredients and equipment for virtually every style of cooking in the world. WHAT This former restaurant supply store has morphed into a food-shopper’s paradise complete with a little café. In addition to thousands of fresh, frozen and packaged gourmet food items, Surfas has equipment aisles devoted to a fascinating array of large-scale appliances [...]

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