If you didn’t believe Melrose Hill is the next “it” spot, enter LA Grocery + Café, the newest addition to the area. LA Grocery + Café goes beyond just a new trendy market, its goal is to become a neighborhood destination for anyone of any economic status to find exactly what they wanted – making LA Grocery + Cafe not quite a Microgrocery store, but we’ll still count it. One immediately feels like they are in a small-scale Whole Foods or Erewhon, equipped with all your everyday basics and beyond. It even has its own parking lot (suddenly every Los Angeles local is excited!). What really differentiates La Grocery + Café is its big focus on sourcing locally.  

Upon entering from the parking lot, one is immediately met with a central island that is the home of their huge produce section filled with fresh seasonal produce from local farmers including Tamai, Tutti Frutti, Finley Farms, Roots Organic Farm and Underwood Family Farms.  On the non-produce side of the island, there is a full meat and cheese section with meats from local butchers such as Cream Co., Marin Sun Farms, and Peads & Barnetts.

The shelf stable aisles match that of a classic grocery store from frozen to dairy, to pasta, grains and legumes, to wine and n/a. There are even aisles for baby necessities, beauty, household cleaning and laundry. The products range from those that you would find nationwide to niche and specialty. All fall under the better-for-you and natural categories.  

Around a third of the space is dedicated to their café. This section feels incredible special to this market given the two owners come from Honey Hi in Echo Park. The café style mirrors that of an Erewhon with a hot bar, salad bar and coffee station. The hot bar dishes range from steelhead salmon, grilled tri tip, rotisserie chicken, roasted potatoes and roasted vegetables such as cauliflower and garlic yu choy. It seems like this menu will be rotating with seasonality. A good excuse to constantly visit for a lunch time meal. A deli style fridge features bowls of different salads like farro salad, arugula salad, romanesco cauliflower pasta salad, and a wedge salad with cashews green garlic ranch. The coffee bar features the beloved Echo Park’s Canyon Coffee with milk options that include raw organic milk and housemade sprouted almond milk. There is small section of the store dedicated to tables and chairs for customers to eat their meals inside. If one is short on time there is a grab and go section with housemade sandwiches and wraps as well as other items like Perilla LA’s gimbap.

LA Grocery + Café is a beautiful open space with lots of natural light, high ceilings and wooden beams. It is a space one would want to just hang out in beyond grabbing groceries and a bite to eat. The space feels nice without being too fancy. It makes a beautiful additional to the ever expanding Melrose Hill area, and will most likely influence more groceries to come with its more inclusive format.