Best Place to Get Into a Fender-Bender With a Black Hat: Elat Market Parking LotThe frenzied chaos that overtakes the Elat Market parking lot must be a testament to how good their groceries are. Whether it’s innocent-looking Orthodox mothers (with infants in car seats) crossing off their produce list, or hungry men in traditional garb on a Talmud break, or eager yeshiva students racing for the last box of matzah, no one gets in, out of, or through the Elat Market lot unscathed. Just try to enter, exit or drive safely up Wooster Street without honking your horn, slamming on your breaks, stopping short, cursing your brains out and then, finally, getting hit — this is what happens when Jews go food shopping. 8730 W. Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 659-7070.
Best Kosher Market on Pico Boulevard Where You Can Turn Your Cart Around Mid-Aisle: Glatt Mart
The Glatt Mart, on Pico Boulevard and Elm Drive, was just about a year old when it burned down, in December 2004, devastating the group of owners who had invested years and hundreds of thousands of dollars in designing and building the spacious and well-stocked kosher supermarket. The fire was determined to be arson, but because of a glitch in their insurance policy, the owners received only a fraction of the store’s worth. Still, the five owners pooled their resources, got loans and invested $3 million in the market, and after sitting behind scaffolding for more than three years, Glatt Mart reopened in April, just before Passover. Modeled after a European supermarket, with discreet sections for the butcher, a fresh fish counter, an in-store bakery, a well laid out produce section, a computer-controlled refrigerator/freezer case and a room for candy, nuts and wine, it’s also unlike any other kosher market on Pico, with aisles wide enough to fit two or even three carts side by side. While co-owner Meir Davidpour’s claims of Glatt Mart being a “kosher Whole Foods” is a bit hyperbolic, Glatt Mart has many attractions: There are seven cash registers, so lines are minimal, and 25 parking spaces in back alleviate a small bit of the usual parking headache on Pico. Glatt Mart also has an extensive take-out section of prepared foods, including sushi, deli, and Persian, Israeli and American dinner items. Davidpour says the market is intended to cater to Americans and Israelis, but it does carry a wide selection of Persian foods. The entire store is under the kosher supervision of the Rabbinical Council of California. 8708 W. Pico Blvd. 310-289-6888.