Saturday, August 01, 2009

Highland Park's Super A: A for prices, B for selection

Carne asada was well worth $3.09 a lb., but has anyone tried the marinated Cornish game hens?

Will the new El Super going into the vintage Safeway building on York St. be different or better than Super A? That remains to be seen, but for now, here's a brief tour of what you can find at Super A if you're not familiar with the market. The large store's deli counter, cooked foods, in-store tortilleria and bakery seem promising at the outset, but I'm not sure they pay off in quality of the products. The produce department also has great prices on limes, cilantro and all the staples, but there's nothing really surprising. Super A is pretty basic, but still a great place to stock up on fresh tortillas, carne asada, house-fried tortilla chips and anything else you might need for a grande fiesta.Bins of ceviche, nopales, salsa and guacamole are well-priced, but the ceviche is not recommended. Try their fresh tubs of salsa roja instead.El Super has a random shelf filled with their house brands -- this is the place if you need a pint of cajeta/dulce de leche or some achiote.I'm obsessed with "ethnic" brands of ice cream -- the only one here is Nestle's Delicias, just$2.50 a quart, which comes in an intriguing tres leches flavor as well as coconut and mango.
The best thing about Super A is probably their bakery, which turns out stacks of warm corn, wheat and whole wheat tortillas all day long at rock-bottom prices.They also make wheat germ-flecked bolillos -- certainly not 100% whole wheat, but they might make a nice change of pace for a rustic torta. How does Super A compare to the El Super markets?
Super A Foods
5250 York Blvd.
Highland Park

Other EatingLA market reviews:
Figueroa Produce
Pasadena Farmer's Market
Alhambra Farmer's Market
Whole Foods Pasadena
Fresh 'n Easy (Glassell Park)
Fresh 'n Easy (Alhambra)
Locali (Hollywood)
Seafood City (Eagle Rock)


uncouthgourmands said...

Don't forget Guerrero Market...that's our budget meat and produce fav

liz holly said...

super a is good, but you have to try super king, on lincoln and woodbury in pasadena, the best produce at THE best prices. the selction is between armenian and mexican. the carne asada is pretty damn good. you would love it and thank me, i promise
ps.. i am an avid folower of your blog and a local as well.

oddlyme said...

As an adventure, I checked out the El Super in North Hollywood and enjoyed it. Fab ready to eat pupusas, great deli prices, interesting stuff. So when I saw they were coming to York Blvd., I was psyched.

Until I read about how they handled the building purchase on Not very encouraging at all!

So I'll stick to Super A (they have interesting wine finds, every now and then, btw and great mangos) and Super King. I won't suffer.

And now I'll suffer even less - I had no idea about the nestle ice creams - I'm off to buy some!

chez shoes said...

Seconding Super King in Altadena. The carne asada is pretty good, but the costillas de res are fantastic.

Delicious Coma said...

Have you checked out the ice cream selection at Seafood City? There are tons of interesting ice cream flavors I've never seen anywhere else.

oddlyme said...

Pat, if I gain weight, it's your fault.

Your review made me go back to Super A. I was going for just produce and cold cuts. But I walked in right by the bakery and... Drat!

I don't know the name, but there is a mexican sweet bread in the shape of a croissant that tastes like challah - and theirs were fresh, huge and fragrant. I got three. Then I could not resist a giant cut out cookie in the shape of a pig, only to discover it tastes like gingerbread! Now just to toast it and serve it with some vanilla ice cream...

Clearly, there is no Atkins at this address.

Thanks so much for getting me into such good trouble. : )

Anonymous said...

These places are only good if you have patience enough to deal with the MADHOUSE enviroment

Anonymous said...

We have a Super A in Monrovia too. No fresh bakery, but the produce really is super fresh and cheap!

HerbyN said...

@liz holly @chez shoes @oddlyme... there is also a Super King on San Fernando Rd. near the Glendale freeway. though you are not going to get too many organic options there, it has a very wide selection of fresh (and cheap) veggies and a great deli (meat/butcher section is just okay). owned by an armenian group you also will find a wide selection of armenian, russian, and middle eastern fare. it can be crowded, but their prices are consistently 20% to 50% lower than the Ralphs and the Vons of the world and the selection is on par.

LA Times piece on Super King here: