Saturday, March 31, 2012

Teasing the Taste Buds at Epicure Imports

What would make two food geeks drive through scathing Los Angeles freeway traffic on a bustling Friday afternoon? A chance to buy exotic, hard-to-find gourmet foods in a warehouse setting for less then grocery store prices, that’s what.

The very quirky little nondescript Epicure Imports warehouse sits in a North Hollywood neighborhood brick to brick with candle manufacturing companies and other industrial spaces. A few times a year it throws its doors open to the general public for a warehouse sale. You basically grab a shopping cart from their bizarre collection of mix and match carts from various grocery brand stores like Ralphs, Albertsons, and VONS in the Southern California area and then you go to town walking down the aisles in two separate spaces – one for dry foods that can be stored at room temperature and one for cold foods that need refrigeration.

The Cute Gardener and I were on the hunt for palette pleasing items for our personal pantries as well as the makings of a deluxe Saturday night supper to share. We came away with an illustrious bounty that included the following items:

Organic Olive Oil
Rice Sushi in a 15-pound bag
Avocado Oil
Almond Oil
Soft baguette
Bonne Bouche cheese
Valrhona chocolate
Mimolette cheese
Epoisses Berthaut cheese

Organic Olive oil
Raspberry whole grain dijon mustard
Vanilla Chestnut spread
Harissa chili sauce in a tube
Peppercorn crusted duck pate
Duck liver mousse with port
Dark chocolate
Dried figs

Even though the warehouse boasted six cashiers for the occasion, we still had to stand in line for a half hour with our fellow foodie freaks. It was a pleasant experience though because everyone was so happy to be there shopping for their favorite things and finding unique culinary surprises that the line became a big chat parade about various things food related. A gay couple was hilarious in that they kept leaving their line to get more things and one half of the male duo was enthusiastically touting Bouchon’s fried chicken dinners. A woman in front of us was waxing poetic about her balsamic vinegar while enjoying the milk chocolate truffles that a kind sales person was passing around to all of us for enduring the wait.

Nice little chunk of foodie heaven and one of those little gems in life just waiting to be uncovered.

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