This isn’t our first time writing about Cookbook. However, we thought it is worth it to bring it back to the Microgrocery Series to do a 2.0 version, which is what Cookbook did with their new Larchmont location. Since Jon and Vinny, famous chefs of the LA restaurant scene, bought this once, hole in the wall, local mini market in Echo Park – we knew they had big plans to expand the store. Larchmont was their first location to really show that. Right off the main Larchmont strip (but still on Larchmont Blvd), the new Cookbook is in a stand-alone, small home-like building with a white picket fenced patio and a large bright poppy orange billboard with their signature Cookbook logo.  

When one walks in, the first thing one immediately notices is how big the space is compared to the other two locations, especially the original Echo Park location where 5 people inside can feel like a crowd. This location feels like an expansion of their Highland Park location that has a larger bakery and meat section as well as a large natty wine section.

The other immediate differentiation from the other two locations is the coffee bar featuring a full menu of caffeinated beverages from a classic coffee, a cortado and even a Rocky’s matcha latte. The coffee bar is part of the bakery and refrigerated meat section (that both the Echo Park and Highland Park locations have as well). This coffee bar hints to the fact that this location is not just a microgrocery store, but also a dining destination. Besides the grab and go coffee bar with pastries and house made rotating sandwiches, there is a small sit-down, all day café with tables both on the upper level of the store as well as the patio. One can get dishes like a power toast, buttermilk short stack and herb soft scramble for breakfast or pan con tomate, pasta al limone, and chicken pillard for lunch and dinner. As well as a list of wines by the glass and bottle.

What this location does is merge the two businesses together. It features everything one knows and loves about Cookbook as well as brings in what Jon and Vinny do best – make delicious food. The café menu shows this meshing as well. The menu brings in the fresh farmers market produce and high-quality sustainable meats and cheeses from Cookbook and adds a Jon and Vinny’s Italian flair to it.

Cookbook on Larchmont has us thinking about the next wave of microgrocery stores. Compared to a traditional grocery store, there is a certain level of leisure attached to shopping at a microgrocery store because of the more niche and innovative products in it. Shopping at a microgrocery store is more an outing versus an errand. It becomes more about exploring and discovery rather than I am out of eggs and need to pick up a carton to make breakfast. Adding a restaurant to such space makes it even more of a destination to hang out at during the weekend. A one stop shop. Since Cookbook has always been at the forefront for this style of a market, we wonder if we will see more of this new style of microgrocery stores – store + café/restaurant.