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Old 05-28-12, 12:32 AM   #1
Koobazaur
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LA - where are the European / Polish bakeries and delis at??

Being Polish, one of my latest biking escapades has been exploring my areas trying to find some of the yummy Polish cuisine elements. Sadly, I have quickly learned that the US definition of a "bakery" is a muffins and scones shop you gulp down with a super-mocha-late-chino, and a "deli" is a place where you eat a pastrami-on-sourdough sandwich with some chips for lunch. Needless to say, not exactly what I hoped for; to me a bakery is a place that sales tons of (preferably freshly and still warm!) bread, and a deli should be but an endless counter of diverse hams, sausages, meats and cheeses!

I'm curious if the people living in LA can recommend some places that would fit the bill I am near El Sereno / Alhambra so the closer to here the better.

I want LESS of this:



And more of this:



Basically I am sick of local bakieries that have only prepackage square toast breads and which 'gourmet' selection ends at sourdough or "look we put flax seed!" bread. Or Safeway-like delis sporting only variations of turkey breast, black forest hams or salami, and ten types of cheddar cheese.

Last edited by Koobazaur; 05-28-12 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 05-28-12, 01:08 AM   #2
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The "more of this" is what I see when I go shopping here... my Polish store and deli are so Polish that sometimes you need a translator.



My wife and daughters all have Polish heritage...
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Old 05-28-12, 02:19 AM   #3
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I'll be watching this thread. The only good kielbasa I've had out here was flown in from Toledo.
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Old 05-28-12, 02:34 AM   #4
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I'll be watching this thread. The only good kielbasa I've had out here was flown in from Toledo.
Must have been from Kilgus Meats. They make some of the finest sausages I've ever eaten, anywhere in the world.
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Old 05-28-12, 10:50 AM   #5
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For sausage and other meat-based specialties, you want this place: http://continentalgourmetsausage.com/index.html

There are not a lot of great European-styled bakeries, but Europane in Pasadena does sell breads (more French-styled) and many excellent pastries. They have two locations on Colorado Blvd. http://www.yelp.com/biz/euro-pane-bakery-pasadena
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Old 05-28-12, 06:19 PM   #6
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the one I go to is in the city of Orange but I understand that they get their sausage from the one in Santa Monica.

http://www.lapolonia.com/index_files/links.htm

The closest community in Orange County is around the John Paul II Center in Yorba Linda. I think that's where you will find the home cooking.

http://www.polishcenter.org/
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Old 05-28-12, 09:20 PM   #7
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Oooh those are all great. None of them are even remotely close to me, but I guess it's better than nothing. I also need to go to Little Armenia, it might have come similar places as well!
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Old 05-28-12, 09:31 PM   #8
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No restaurants will sell blood soup, kielbasa, or other ethnic foods.
Everything is either homogonized, pre-packaged or made from undistinguishable 'meats' and addatives.
If it does not have monosodium glutamate as an ingredient the FDA may not allow you to eat it!
Little Armenia may have some great yogurts without addatives!
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Old 05-28-12, 09:38 PM   #9
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And next door... home made perogies and another deli counter and a lot of Polish goods. This is where I get my real sauerkraut and pickles from.


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Old 05-28-12, 10:02 PM   #10
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Koobazaur - are you actually *from* poland or just polish?

Not that it matters, when you find what you're looking for, report back so the rest of us can go enjoy it too. There's nothing out by me, everything's a road trip.
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Old 05-28-12, 10:46 PM   #11
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No restaurants will sell blood soup, kielbasa, or other ethnic foods.
Everything is either homogonized, pre-packaged or made from undistinguishable 'meats' and addatives.
If it does not have monosodium glutamate as an ingredient the FDA may not allow you to eat it!
Little Armenia may have some great yogurts without addatives!
You clearly haven't been to LA... There are zillions of little chinese restaurants in the San Gabriel valley that are selling every part of the animal, and listing it as such. In some cases you might need a chinese translator to know, though. Similar with mexican/central/south american cuisine (except for the chinese translator part).

For central european baked goods, I usually go to Canter's. It's one of a small number of places I've found in the US that does mohnschnecken, which I developed a weakness for in germany. I'll drop $20 on various poppy filled things, and they also have a few items that secretly are ~50% almond paste. For Polish, you probably have to go to Detroit, though (actually Hamtramck..)-- I don't think there are any big neighborhoods full of Poles in LA.

Super King (3 grocery stores) has an ok deli counter, leaning toward armenian/middle eastern/balkan region. Jon's (looks like Vons with the V partly chopped) supermarkets generally have a lot of imported stuff that's localized to the neighborhoods that they're in.

Your best bet is probably to send an email to Jonathan Gold. He allegedly responds to all the emails he gets, and in my limited experience (a few emails from me and a few friends) he's always responded pretty thoughtfully. He used to be at the LA weekly, and is now at the LA Times. In a lot of cases there's some neighborhood secret store or restuarant halfway across town that has whatever it is you need.
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Old 05-29-12, 11:50 AM   #12
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Koobazaur - are you actually *from* poland or just polish?

Not that it matters, when you find what you're looking for, report back so the rest of us can go enjoy it too. There's nothing out by me, everything's a road trip.
100% Pollack, born and raised. Came to the US when I was 15, some 9 years ago now.
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Old 05-29-12, 05:17 PM   #13
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dont know about polish but if you like stale tasteless overpriced garbage , try any of the mid-eastern bakeries in glendale/burbank.
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Old 05-29-12, 06:09 PM   #14
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German delis in Orange, Alpine Village. Kosher Delis all along Fairfax and Pico West of Fairfax. Russian goods in the area too and at the Moscow Deli in costa mesa.
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Old 05-29-12, 09:54 PM   #15
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Super King (3 grocery stores) has an ok deli counter, leaning toward armenian/middle eastern/balkan region. Jon's (looks like Vons with the V partly chopped) supermarkets generally have a lot of imported stuff that's localized to the neighborhoods that they're in.
Oh man thanks so much, I just biked there today! I got myself some Cabanoses, which is kind of like a thinner and usually slightly dried up version of Polish Kielbasa. Just bit into it following with some buttered bread, mmmmm sooo much flavor They also had the Krakowska kielbasa but sadly they dont cut it, and the pieces are MASSIVE so I could never eat throguh it without wasting like 2/3 I think I also saw blood sausage there too; rest was standard deli fare though.

I wish they had more of the dried sausages tho, they are bomb. I really ought to just call my gramma and ask her how to properly dry polish sausage without it going all moldy (she makes her own sausages / pickles / breads all the time). I fear all the preservatives they put in the packaged ones would inhibit the process tho :/

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dont know about polish but if you like stale tasteless overpriced garbage , try any of the mid-eastern bakeries in glendale/burbank.
Errr not sure how to take that; just a warning to avoid that area? If you haven't eaten much Polish bread before you may learn a lot of it is much firmer and drier than the fluffy-white US counterparts. It is not stale tho, and if it's too dry, a bit of butter does MAGICAL things to bring the flavor of that slice out

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Old 05-30-12, 08:16 AM   #16
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I think I also saw blood sausage there too; rest was standard deli fare though.
Yeah, that's why they're ok, rather than impressive. They have some out of the ordinary things, but are mostly pretty standard.
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Old 05-30-12, 09:36 AM   #17
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Koob, check out the gallery at the John Paul II center in Yorba Linda. They have some kind of festival there. And notice the poster with reference to a Polish Film festival. Right up your alley.

http://www.polishcenter.org/Dozynki2011/dozynki2011.htm
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Old 05-30-12, 10:35 AM   #18
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Oooh thanks. Only problem is, it's hella far, not really a bikable or even busable distance for me :/
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Old 05-30-12, 11:35 PM   #19
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Have you checked out the Polish restaurant situated between Eagle Rock and Glendale?

http://www.polkarestaurant.com/
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Old 05-31-12, 10:19 AM   #20
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I saw that, though, I prefer to do the cooking and looking for ingredient stores mainly Havent been to Polka so can't comment how "authentic" it is.
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Old 05-31-12, 11:34 AM   #21
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Stopped by the Hungarian deli on the way home to grab sausage and need to top up the sauerkraut and pickles here... riding through my 'hood can be torture when everyone has the smokers going.
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Old 05-31-12, 01:38 PM   #22
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While it's not polish, Schreiner's in Montrose has authentic German sausage and meat. It's not too far from Alhambra. Go there and the good bakery next door and you'll need an extra 20psi in your tires to carry the weight you'll gain.
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Old 05-31-12, 02:22 PM   #23
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Stopped by the Polish shops to grab some lunch and took a bunch of pictures to torture with...

Double smoked svoyska, sauerkraut, and barrel aged dill pickles... I am off the carbs so no rye bread or home made pyrogi today.
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Old 05-31-12, 03:58 PM   #24
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I'm jonesing for some good sauerkraut...anybody ever try to make it at home??
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Old 05-31-12, 04:11 PM   #25
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I'm jonesing for some good sauerkraut...anybody ever try to make it at home??
Good kapusta is very easy to make... the process for making pickles (ogorki kiszone) is very much the same.

http://www.wildfermentation.com/making-sauerkraut-2/
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