I'm going to spend several days in LA next week and would love to buy ingredients for ethnic cuisines that aren't well-represented in Seattle, where I live. I can easily find most Asian ingredients here, but I cook food from all over and hate to substitute ingredients for what's called for in the cookbooks!
I'll be staying in Santa Monica so any place within 45 min. driving distance would be great. Neighborhoods with great, moderately-priced restaurants are a bonus, and I'll drive longer if the whole neighborhood is interesting!
I'm also likely heading to Westwood for a Persian restaurant TBD - any great Persian (or other) grocers in that area?
Any and all suggestions are helpful - the more exotic and hard-to-find the cuisine, the better!