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From Los Angeles:
Low-Carb Shopping in Los Angeles

An Atkins Adventure

Without strip malls, it wouldn't be much fun discovering those little gems surrounded by video stores, take-out pizza joints and nail salons. No irony in (the since-departed) Ginza Sushi-Ko's less-than-grand surroundings, or the mirage-like existence of Josie's elegant dining room. Imagine not being able to pick up a dozen freshly made samosas next door to the dry cleaner, or not having an impossibly perfect mole just steps from the dentist's chair.

So, that's what happened the other day while we were picking up matzo ball soup from a local deli. Just beyond the Supercuts and the dry cleaner, the sign said Pure Foods—low carb market. Frankly, we love carbs and are not willing to give them up. What's life without pasta?

Maybe a venture into Pure Foods would adjust our attitude. It turned out to be a no-nonsense shoebox of a place, strictly utilitarian but plenty friendly, with great music, friendly help and lots of ketosis-inducing merchandise. The low carb/no carb set has developed a stunning array of products that make it possible to respect Dr. Atkins or South Beach and still eat well. Pure Foods strictly carries low carb, low fat and sugar free foods. All you have to do is decide what sounds good and pay for it.

Naturally, we were drawn immediately to the freezer section and its shelves groaning with ice cream. There were Atkins Endulge Super Premium Fudge Bars and Ice Cream Bars in peanut butter swirl and vanilla fudge swirl. Pints of chocolate, vanilla, strawberry and butter pecan competed with all sorts of dessert bars from Controlled Carb Gourmet and Pure Foods' own frozen desserts, including gourmet cheesecake, chocolate fudge, key lime, and chocolate swirl.

Dixie Carb Counters™ Chocolate Truffle Mix

There were endless varieties of breads as well as rolls, bagels, and tortillas. Mini Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas, and wraps filled with mozzarella, tomatoes, peppers, onions and soy sausage shared space. And, delightfully out of place stood our favorite Kozy Shack puddings—sugar free!

There's plenty to drink—all sorts of sodas, waters, and high protein coffee "boosts" from Achiev One, in flavors like hazelnut cream and vanilla nut. Low carb types must like to snack because there was no shortage of pork rinds, soy crisps and wheat chips. A low carb gift basket anchored a display of Keto tortilla chips, in nacho cheese, cool ranch and classic corn.

Pure Foods also carries tasty-sounding soup mixes from Dixie Carb Counters: chicken noodle, broccoli and cheese and chicken/cheese enchilada. Mixes for oven stuffing, pancakes and waffles, bread, chocolate truffles, cakes and everything in-between lined the shelves. There's hot cereal, cold cereal, turkey sticks and turkey jerky.

Ketato® Potato Mix

Keto's "mashed potato" mixes look like a friendly substitute, and the salad dressings, sauces, syrups and jams had us nearly convinced that this is a sustainable lifestyle. It's a generous inventory, but you won't find fresh foods and produce. It's geared toward high-quality convenience snacks, desserts, mixes, condiments and ingredients. But there's certainly more to come, including frozen meals.

Quite a line had formed when we went to pay for a raspberry brownie. Apparently there was a debate at the cash register about the best way to eat the Strawberry Banana Roll from Robbins Nest Bakery. These are cream-filled jellyroll cakes also available in Mocha Kahlua or Wild Berry. The three people in front of me were big fans and all agreed you should zap this dessert in the microwave for a few seconds before consuming. Their enthusiasm was unanimous... about everything Atkins.

Well, we have to admit we couldn't wait to eat the brownie. It was a surprisingly delicious way to drive home.


Pure Foods has two locations in Los Angeles, with more planned:

Pure Foods #1
1820 Wilshire Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90402

Pure Foods #2
350 N. Canon Dr.
Beverly Hills, CA 90210

Castus Low Carb Superstores has one location in Los Angeles. More are planned.

Castus Low Carb Superstore
1103 Aviation Blvd.
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254

Additional low carb markets:

Heavenly Low Carb
4621 Van Nuys Blvd.
Sherman Oaks, CA 91403

Lo Carb-U Foods
5770 Melrose Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
323-460-6222, 877-LOCARBU

The LoCarb Life
10655 W. Pico Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90064

CarbSmart Low Carb & Sugar Free Market
Plaza de la Playa
19142 Beach Blvd., Suite Z
Huntington Beach, CA 92648

(Updated: 06/10/09 KR)

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