One day several months ago, after getting thoroughly irritated with people who seem to lose their common sense as soon as they enter a Trader Joe’s parking lot, I ended up across the street at Ralphs. I haven't stepped foot inside that TJ's since. Not during the after-work rush, anyway.
This is the only supermarket that I know of that has the produce section in the middle of the store. I love that. It opens up the air space in the middle so the whole store feels more open and makes the produce section feel more integral to the layout. I find that it also helps with the shopping – it’s hard not to walk past it on your way to the checkout so I’ve often been reminded of something I forgot the first time around. I wish more supermarkets would do this. The quality and selection are good too - they have obscure items like miniature shiitakes and other things that you would only find in more “upscale” markets like Gelson’s/Bristol Farms/Whole Foods, or “ethnic” markets.
I’ve never had to wait more than a minute or two for a checker. This is in contrast to the Ralphs on Hollywood/Western where I’ve waited as long as 15 minutes, though it has felt much longer when standing amongst certain... uh, shall we say, “Hollywood” types.
They actually have a seafood counter, not just pre-wrapped seafood - but they have that too if you're in a hurry.
Parking is never a hassle and is at the same level as the store!
The people there actually talk to you and ask if you need help finding something if you’re standing around looking lost.
Compared to some other Ralphs markets I used to frequent, this one is so much better. Hollywood & Silverlake Ralphs could really use a lesson from this store.