A DJ was playing Prince music, TV news cameras were out in full force, and the line was 5-deep…at the teaBOT. No, this wasn’t a Hollywood premiere party, but excitement was palpable for the May 25 launch of 365 by Whole Foods Market, a new grocery store concept from Whole Foods that debuted in Silver Lake and will slowly expand to other cities.
This 28,000-square-foot store is more geared toward grab-and-go in six key areas: Meat & Sea, Veg, Beverage, Chilled, Total Pantry, and Allegro Brew Bar. Shelves are shorter than at other stores, allowing for clearer sight lines. The color scheme is bright, including a “Silver Kale” mural from artist Sebastien Leon Agneessens.
-content/uploads/2016/05/365-Whole-Foods-Market-Tomatoes.jpg” alt=”Grocery Store Los Angeles” width=”2048″ height=”1536″ class=”size-full wp-image-69045″ /> As soon as you enter the front doors, crates of fruit and vegetables are available to your left.[/caption]
365 by Whole Foods Market doesn’t have a butcher, fishmonger or deli person on-site, but they do sell plenty of pre-packaged, hormone- and antibiotic-free items in Meat & Sea.
Total Pantry is devoted to frozen meals, pet foods, body care, snacks, baking supplies, and bins of grains, flours, nuts, spices, and candies, all sold by the pound.
Chilled area houses dairy, cage-free eggs, yogurts, alternative milks (this is Silver Lake, after all), and 124 feet of frozen cases to hold ice cream and frozen foods.
A window with digital menu under a “Pick Me Up” sign includes options like hot dogs, grain bowls, and pizzas. My initial foray included a Carrot Dog with mashed avocado, cilantro, and tamarind slaw on a vegan bun; and a Jersey Dog with marinara, mozzarella, sauteed onions and peppers on a Portuguese bun.
Centrally located self-serve kiosks house eclectic prepared foods, including pizza, chicken verde enchiladas, West African peanut soup, and schichimi togorashi Brussels sprouts. They sell four kinds of rotisserie chicken: Classic, Lemon & Herb, Salt & Pepper, and Shichimi Togarashi. 365 devotes a whole case devoted to soups, salads, sandwiches and sushi.
One eco-friendly initiative I appreciate involves digital price tags, reducing printing and paper.
Allegro also serves craft beer, wine, and cold-pressed Juicero juice, which comes in pouches that gets squeezed on the spot. If you’re looking for a place to hang out at 365 by Whole Foods Market, this is it, with 65 seats indoors and outdoors.
I saw bottles from local favorites like Smog City Brewing Co., The Bruery, and Strand Brewing Co. on shelves. In this section, you’ll find an iPad starring Banquet by Delectable, an app that scans labels and immediately provides tasting notes and ratings.
Near the beer, a shelf hosts “Flash Finds,” limited edition items that initially involved Momofuku Ssam Sauce and cans of Green Gold olive oil from Italy.
The entrance is also home to teaBOT, a customizable tea machine that allows you to choose from or blend 18 teas and herbal ingredients. Each $3 cup pours hot water right over your selection, which comes with a lid that contains a built-in filter.
Chloe also has the distinction of winning a Coral Tree Cafe Panini Competition I helped judge in early 2010. Now she’s serving signature dishes like quinoa taco salad, sweet potato mac-and-cheese and “Kale Cookies + Cream” ice cream.