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Los Angeles - Shopping

From large supermarkets, to health food stores, to tiny ethnic groceries and kiosks, shopping in Los Angeles can be quite an interesting experience. Here, you can find food from nearly any nation in the world, and just a stone's throw away, you can shop at sprawling supercenters that offer everything from produce, to furniture, to electronics.

You will find numerous Wal Mart stores throughout the city. For expats moving to Los Angeles, a visit to a Wal Mart store can be a bit of a bewildering experience. Because this chain of stores tends to offer lower prices and a greater selection than competitors, its locations can be quite busy, even in the late hours of the night. Weekends and holiday seasons bring a frenzy of customers that fill the aisles, forming a strange sort of human traffic jam. Still, if you can deal with the crowds, Wal Mart is an excellent place to find good bargains on everything from produce, to cosmetics, to toys, to furniture.

Also, most Wal Mart stores in Los Angeles are open 24 hours, so you can shop for your essentials any time of the day or night. If your schedule permits, shopping here during the off hours is a less hectic experience.

Whole Foods is one of the largest health and organic foods stores in Los Angeles, and offers four locations for health conscious shoppers: these stores can be found at 11737 Vincente Blvd.; 6350 West 3rd Street; 11166 National Blvd.; and 1050 Gayley Avenue.

These stores provide an array of products that rival all but the largest supermarkets. From organic meats, to Fair Trade items, to vegetarian specialties, you will find plenty of eco-friendly and healthy items to fill your kitchen. Keep in mind, though, that prices at Whole Foods and other "health food" markets can be significantly more expensive than in supermarkets.

Because Los Angeles has such a diverse population, you will also find a wealth of ethnic grocers and shops throughout the city. Hispanic grocers are particularly plentiful here, thanks to the city's large number of immigrants from Mexico. Here are some other ethnic shops that will allow you to fully experience the city's diversity:

Silom Supermarket is a favorite for expats wanting to sample some of the city's Thai cuisine. Located on Hollywood Blvd. in the Thailand Plaza, Silom stocks numerous essentials for home style Thai cooking.

Bharat Bazaar and Samosa House, located on Washington Avenue in the Culver City area, offers hard to find Indian produce, as well as garam masala and other spices, and packaged Indian goods and desserts. It also has a counter where customers can order pre-made vegetarian dishes.

Diar Market, located on Thousand Oaks Blvd., is a Middle Eastern and Mediterranean specialty store that sells fresh baked breads and Mediterranean specialties. There are many similar stores throughout the city, but expats from the Middle East tend to favor this shop for its fresh pitas and Afghan breads.

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