Wholesome Choice is the sort of detailed, worldly market that Chowhounds lust for, says Das Ubergeek.

There are two branches. The Anaheim branch is, in general, better, and oriented toward Indian and European stuff. It’s more friendly, too.

The Irvine market, however, features an excellent Persian food counter. You can get “a pint or so of gheimeh (beef and lentil stew), a huge amount of basmati rice, and a 4-by-6 piece of rich, buttery, crispy tadig (rice crust). $4.95, fragrant, delicious, filling. How can you beat it?” says Das Ubergeek.

Or $7.95 will get you a “small mountain of zereshk polo (basmati rice cooked with caramelised onions and barberries) with a whole half chicken cooked in saffron,” says Das Ubergeek. “The dark meat is better than the white, but make sure you eat it all, including where the chicken juices soak into the rich, tangy rice.”

After you raid the prepared food counter, shop for cheap but excellent meat and incredibly cheap produce. Also, “Breads and tinned goods and frozen goods from absolutely everywhere. Impossible-to-find juices and liquors at reasonable prices. More brands of yogurt than Carter has pills. Mashti Malone’s ice cream. A selection of Russian charcuterie and smoked fish. … Hot bread baked to order for you,” says Das Ubergeek.

Wholesome Choice [Orange County]
18040 Culver Drive, Irvine
949-551-4111

Wholesome Choice [Orange County]
5755 E. La Palma Avenue, Anaheim
714-779-7000

Board Link: REVIEW: Wholesome Choice, Irvine and Anaheim

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