I've been going to Catalina's Market for a couple of years to buy Argentine foods. Catalina's is small and does not loo impressive at all, it is a hole in the wall but lots of good stuff awaits inside, and the prices are good. This is what a buy here:
*dulce de leche: They have many brands; I have tried many and my favorites are Chimbote --not always in stock-- and San Ignacio. The Gandara brand in the plastic containers is one of the most common in Argentina; it is good, just not one of my favorites.
*yerba mate: many of you are familiar with this dried herb used to make an infusion, like a tea, very strong flavor, lots of antioxidants, the national drink of Argentina. They have many brands and the good thing is that they have a high turnover so the yerba mate is never stale. Among my favorite brands: Rosamonte and Cruz de Malta. Very cheap, about 3 bucks for a kilo (compare that with buying the stuff at Whole Foods for exponentially more).
*Empanada shells: they are in the frozen foods case, a very good brand (La Saltena). In the same case you can get very good pie shells, same brand.
*Good cheap cold cuts and cheese at the deli: I like the spicy cappiccola, and a lot of the farmer-type cheese.
*Good meat, Argentine cuts: the tiras de asado are excellent (beef ribs, cut across the bone) and the chorizos are pretty good. The milanesa meat is good, but they don't always cut it well. Good steaks too.
Many of the products in the store are your typical small grocery store items, not interesting. The aisle with the Argentine products is the one all the way to the left by the deli. Near the registers they also have Argentine and other wines; haven't had those. If you find other good products, let me know. Also, please recommend your favorite ethnic markets, no matter how small. Thanks!
The market is near the corner of Western and Santa Monica in Hollywood, a very busy intersection, but there's a narrow alley behind the store with a parking lot.
Catalina's Market 1070 N Western Avenue
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