I've purchased several whole 100 lb+ hogs here during the past few years for pig roasts. Each time I've purchased the product has been provided as agreed.
These guys have lots of other animal products including goat, lamb, etc. I've only gotten the hogs, but many of the prices on other things looked pretty good.
I've been pretty entertained by other folks coming in for their orders too. The place is bare bones in terms of decor, but delivers the goods.
It's down 3rd near Evans.
PROS: Whole Animal Products
CONS: This ain't Whole Foods
Emils bought the space next store and is in the transition phase of expanding into it. And boy do they need it.
This is a crowded little store with narrow aisles and more than a few odds and ends for sale with thick layers of dust on them.
That said, once you get over the sight of the place, most of their products are pretty well organized. And, though you may have to wait a minute or two, you're likely to actually get help with questions from someone who knows what they're talking about.
They don't sell lots of larger items like plywood, sheetrock, etc. But if you need some screws or an odd part or some cleaning supplies or a key made or many of the other hardware essentials, do yourself a favor if you live nearby and go here instead of wasting your time driving to Home Depot (only to get lost looking for something and finding no help).
Also, street parking is usually easty, but they do have some spots in the alley behind the store.
PROS: Helpful, Local, Most Smaller Items
CONS: Not Pretty, No Larger Items
I live down the street and took my older model Trek in for new tubes and tires. As I said it's an older bike and could probably use some other minor work and a new seat. When I took it in the manager did ask if I wanted a tune up while it was there. I declined since I ride it infrequently and he was not pushy at all and proceeded to show my the selection of tires available.
The "Armadillo" ones are a whopping $40 each. I opted for $20 each ones, that are mainly on-road but with some outer tread for mild off-road.
With installation labor and taxes the total was $66 and the bike was ready later in the afternoon as promised.
So it looks like this is a decent shop.
I miss this place. I lived a couple blocks away for a couple years and always made the trip to Golden Produce *after* hitting the Safeway across the street.
Family run by folks that stock high quality produce. There's some organic stuff, but mostly just well-priced high quality goods - these are grocers, not cause crusaders.
You'll also find some good canned goods and some frozen foods - if you look above and below you'll see they've managed to use every inch to increase the selection available.
Tip: They usually have frozen kaffir lime leaves at the bottom of one of their freezer units.
PROS: Quality Produce at a good price
CONS: An extra stop
I no longer live in SF, but when I'm up there on a road trip I always try to make it to Rainbow Grocery to stock up on spices, rice, and such.
You cannot beat their prices and quality on an array of spices and herbs - all sold in bulk, you can place in their little baggies, but you'll need jars at home.
They also have many teas, grains, cereals, and even chocolate chips - all for much less than most grocery stores. In addition, bring your own bottle and fill up on cooking oils.
To top it off they've got a really good little cheese section where you can usually flag down one of their folks if you need a little advice.
I had a different produce place while I was living there, so I didn't buy there's (but it looked very good, if pricey). I am also not a big consumer of diet / nutritional remedy stuff, but there was lots of it.
PROS: Herb, Spice, Other Bulk Prices
CONS: No Meat; Small Parking - Try your bike or park on streets
These guys usually have the best gas prices. There's also a convenience mart.
Note: If you need to get back on La Cienega heading south, I'd advise going down Saturn, right on Alvira, and then right on Cashio and wait for the light (unless it's off-peak and traffic is really light). If you do decide to pull out onto La Cienega note that some of the gas bays are in front of the curb, so if you pull straight out you'll have a drop!
One complaint is that the receipt printer has been broken a couple of times and I've had to go in to get one. They also do not have a window washer (squeegie).
(I've noted that the map in Insider Pages seems to indicate it's on the west side. In fact it's on the EAST side of La Cienega. I've found nearly all the maps served up within Insider Pages to be defective in this way.)
PROS: Cheaper gas
CONS: Relatively no frills
This is old school, old world. I think the folks behind the counter are German or South African.
They've got nearly a couple dozen sausage types to choose from - all made on the premises. They also have some meats - beef, some lamb, and maybe some pork, but I've not purchased those as of yet. In addition, they stock some European condiments such as mustards, jarred sauerkraut, etc.
I recommend trying the Drywurst too - those are the long jerky looking things dangling in the back. They've got a couple, but the one I like best has cardamon and a bunch of other spices.
Note: Closed Sundays
PROS: Sausages - Real Deal
CONS: Closed Sunday
I've been going to this spot for the couple years I've been living nearby.
I've had no problems in terms of quality or on-time completion. Usually if you need it in a bit of a hurry they'll be able to turn it around with no extra charge either.
As with most, they don't post prices, which is annoying to me.
I have gone to the neighboring "Pico Cleaners" a couple of times and didn't think the service was as good. They weren't as well organized. However, Pico Cleaners did do a good job repairing a jacket for me.
This is THE Cheese Shop. The quality and selection is hands down the best in LA that I know of. It makes a Whole Foods' selection look like a Vons.
It's a small, narrow shop that contains a long row of endless cheeses piled high.
It's a full service shopping experience. None of the cheeses are labeled nor is price indicated. All of the cheeses are in their original wheel or other form - nothing is prewrapped.
Once it's your turn the staff are happy to advise you and let you sample. And you can indicate how much you want either in weight or just by eye'ing it up.
These guys are serious about cheese and I've found everything I've gotten to be in excellent condition.
Also, though the prices are not indicated, I believe they are charging a reasonable sum for the cheeses I've purchased.
Tip: Ask them to write the name of the cheese on the wrapper if you want to be sure to remember it.
Unfortunately, they close a bit early - I think I stopped by on a Friday at 6:10pm and they'd just closed. It can also be crowded on weekends and the shoppers can include lame new money fools. So I advise weekdays if possible.
They also sell some wines and gourmet cheeses and some other gourmet items.
PROS: Service, Selection, Quality
CONS: Crowded Weekends; No Posted Names or Prices