Monday, January 15, 2007

Archived Post SUPER KING 10-3-06

Tuesday, October 03, 2006
All I really care about is food. Thoughts on the Super King. Current mood: hungry Category: Food and Restaurants
In a hurry to get food for us before the start of Yom Kippur, I hit the Super King, which is, now that the crappy Albertson's on Figueroa is gone, my closest large grocery store. I have had pretty good luck with the prepared foods there in the past, but Sunday, they were kind of lackluster. I ordered chicken lula which had a weird acrid bite that none of us liked and some beef filet kabobs which were sort of on the dry side. The rice they serve is plain white, unseasoned, the pita wasn't particularly fresh, the hummous was ho-hum but the grilled pepper and tomato accompaniment was nice enough and added a nice flash of color to the Styrofoam assemblage. I'll give it another chance because previous dinners have been pretty good and the attraction of the meal being prepared while I shop is irresistible. The shopping itself is pretty wondrous and the conglomeration of folks from all over the planet makes an incredibly rich multicultural experience, even for L.A. The Trader Joe's in Silverlake has this (pretty snarky, actually) display with products purchased from the Gelson's across the street, compared with the same products from T.J.s. The bill from Gelson's was over 40% higher. I like the service and a lot of the quality at Gelson's but it will be a long time I think before I do another major shop there again. This summer we were vacationing in Santa Barbara and I fell in love with a store called Lazy Acres which makes Bristol Farms look like Food4Less. I remember looking for a jar of honey and finding nothing on the shelf for less than twelve dollars. I found a gorgeous jar of pure Acacia honey at the Super King for $3.69. The Super King also has a great collection of bulk spices. I purchased annatto, sesame seeds, sumac, garam masala and stick cinnamon all for less than two dollars a pack. I found a nice bottle of Armenian Avshar brandy for $15.99. This was the five year old. There is also a three year old variety for a couple dollars less. I'm not a big spirit head, but this tasted delicious to me, and I macerated some raisins in it for my break-the-fast kugel and it imparted a really lovely flavor.There is an excellent selection of California and imported olive oils. I bought a handsome bottle of Saifan extra virgin for $5.49 and shudder to think what Gelson's would charge for the same item. I haven't made a dent in the cheese department yet but I got an amazing French feta for $4.79 and a pot cheese/raisin spread called "Farmer's Sweet Kiss" which I put on toast for a big treat. There is also a daunting selection of yogurts which I intend to mine a bit more as well.I need to spend more time there. I bought a jar of preserved young walnuts that I have not the foggiest idea what to do with and I want to explore the other preserved fruits and jams they offer, not to mention dried fruits, frozen appetizers like blintzes and boureks and all manner of things that can (economically) add sweetness and savor to our new year.

1 comment:

Marcy said...

I too have stumbled on to Super King and love the mix of people and products. The bad news - once you go in there, cart traffic runs in a certain direction and if you need to go back for something, it will take strength, cunning and planning.

The good news? Their dried spices in bulk are cheap and fresh - and they were the only place for MILES that had decent poppyseeds, plus in their produce, meats and canned beans, there's always a steal.

They also had a nut grinder like my grandmothers, which I've never seen in a store before! So check out their housewares, you never know what you'll find.