Live in Los Angeles? Want to have pushy elderly people invade your personal space? Hear one of your favorite En Vogue songs as you peruse the produce? Stock up on delicious Armenian goodies? Then look no further…
For a couple years I lived down the street from the Hobart/Santa Monica Blvd location of the Southern California grocery store chain, Jons. In my opinion this is by far the best Jons location and will be the focus of this post. But if we’re getting technical I’d say the Glenoaks Blvd location in Glendale is my second favorite.
The fact that this was my neighborhood go-to market was both a blessing and a curse. I could literally traipse down and in a few minutes have affordable groceries, including lots of tasty deli, produce and imported items at my fingertips. I was so close, my phone would often default “geo-locate” my photos at Jons. Ah the good old days…
Here are handful of Jons pros and cons:
- A substantial selection of produce, including some hard to find items (fresh endive anyone?)
- Best music I’ve ever heard in a grocery store
- No shortage of Persian cucumbers
- Lots of labneh to choose from
- Hibiscus flowers in bulk
- Cheap booze and interesting Eastern European beers
- Almond Roca at the checkout
- Amazing check-out staff
- Next door to Paro’s Chicken
- Ample parking
- Fresh Armenian flatbreads
- Once I saw a man pushing a full-sized cart up to checkout with literally one item in it: a tall can of Budweiser
- Extreme paucity of hand-held baskets
- Long lines at peak hours (like, really long)
- Lack of respect for personal space at the checkout
- Unabashed line cutters
I’ve been back a few times recently and was definitely reminded of the cons, but nonetheless they had all the random items I was looking for: Matzos, tomatillos, tahini, labneh, pasilla peppers. I was also delighted to find that they started carrying more organic produce and had installed those thunderstorm sound effects that go off when the produce gets a misting. I love sound effects in the grocery store! And of course, I heard one of my favorite Earth Wind and Fire songs on the PA. Can’t complain there.
Jons has also introduced me to new foods – for example, this delicious Armenian eggplant “caviar.” Spread some of this on fluffy flatbread from the deli and rejoice!
Some other random thoughts: I love that they always have super glue at the checkout, booze is cheap, and there is a coinstar. Also worth noting – the restaurant next door, Paro’s Chicken, is dang good. I love the “ootee” sandwich: grilled chicken, basil, feta, grilled onions and peppers(?) and delicious pickled veges on the side. Treat yourself to one after having stood in line for a half hour and your frustrations will melt away.
Oh and there is a scene in Jons from the 1993 erotic-thriller Dream Lover, starring Madchen Amick and James Spader!