We just discovered The Spice Station last weekend - Feb. 18, 2012 and the place is a foodie's dream come true. I have never seen such an array of spices. I had just read about a spice that was unknown to me on David Lebovitz' food blog called Urfa Biber and I was so intrigued I had to have some. Online I found The Spice Station in Silverlake in Los Angeles. I live in Santa Monica about 40 minutes away. It is worth a trip to the store for the scents and odors in the place alone. The store is located down a picturesque alley and is all exposed wood and glass jars filled with spices. Heaven. It is a very customer service heavy sort of business and the two women (on that day) who were helping out were top notch - friendly and so very welcoming. At one end of the store there are smelling/tasting jars for each of the spices they sell. Each jar corresponds with a card that describes the spice in detail and you simply call out the spice you need and how much and the clerk weighs it was puts it in a thick ziplock bag with a label, of course. Again, the person weighing the spices and the person behind the till were simply charming. I find this a lot in Silverlake. People are friendlier there than on the Westside of L.A. Silverlake is the San Francisco/Greenwich Village/Berkeley part of L.A. and people dress and act accordingly. The shops sells many, many spices (including Urfa Biber) as well as some teas and infused sugars and their own spice blends for various applications. I discovered something I had never known called Grains of Heaven. It is a place to make discoveries. The shop is located on a busy stretch of retail shops that include a comic book shop, a hip LP music store, a gelateria and a nifty restaurant for Berlin Currywurst (a rare treat!) Meet you at The Spice Station! We'll be going back often! (Their website lists a store in Santa Monica but it is closed.)
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