"Not only has URBAN RADISH become my shopping destination, it has become my social
center."
 Allon Schoener

Friend, neighbor and Boyle Heights resident, Allon Schoener

Friend, neighbor and Boyle Heights resident, Allon Schoener

I have been a regular at URBAN RADISH since the day it opened over two years ago. On entering for the first time, I was greeted by two handsome people at the check-out counter: Mackenzie Aivazis and Michael Aivazis, daughter and father. Michael announced proudly that this was a family operation. I later met, the third equally handsome member of the family, Keri, Mackenzie's mother. I call it "a 21st century mom and pop operation." This is a rare commodity in our times.

Prior to the opening of Urban Radish, I traveled from Boyle Heights, where I live, to food stores in: DTLA, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Hollywood, Santa Monica and to various farmer's markets in different parts of the city, seeking quality organic food products and fresh organic fruits and vegetables. At URBAN RADISH, I found everything that I wanted and needed in spades, virtually at my doorstep!

With exaltation, at URBAN RADISH I did not find the packaged or loose so called "organic" fruits and vegetables, bi-products of agribusiness supposedly without GMO's, that are common at many independent and chain food stores. At URBAN RADISH, their suppliers are individual growers (always identified). Shopping there, is like a trip to ten farmers' markets with the best selection from each.

Although I don't know the count of the loose, packaged seeds, legumes, boxed and canned products that stock its shelves, I have been able to find everything that I needed. Solid paper containers are provided for those items extracted from  bins. Every time that I have shopped for similar bulk items at other stores, disaster awaited as the thin plastic bags were severed by the protruding wires of shopping carts. 

Being a lacto ovo vegetarian who eats fish, I marvel at the selection of fresh fish. On any day, you can find fresh caught one or more of the following: ahi tuna, swordfish, red snapper, and petrale. In order to find anything comparable, one must travel to Santa Monica. Since I don't patronize the meat counter, I can't make an assessment. However, it appears to have an extensive selection of meats and sausages. I do patronize the charcuterie counter (cheese not meat). Here, I find a constantly evolving "top of the line" selection of domestic and foreign cheeses.

With such an incredible array of culinary opportunities, one would hope that the food served
(breakfast and lunch) and prepared for take  out, could take advantage of these potentials. It does! There is an extensive take out menu of many dimensions. Whenever I purchased any of these items, they were fresh and delicious. Although this is hardly a health food diet staple, I am a fan of the cream cheese and lox served on a bagel. It is as good as anything one can find in New York. I know, because I am a New Yorker.

Not only has URBAN RADISH become my shopping destination, it has become my social
center. Weekly Wednesday night jazz when dinner is served from an outdoor grill is "club night out" for a tribe of regulars as well as for always welcomed  visitors.

On my gradient scale, URBAN RADISH  deserves ten stars.