Call it completism, call it compulsion, call it category-killing; the obsession to be the best in any one area is something that always impresses. Especially in the culinary field.
Which is why the Spice Station is such a Godsend. Any serious cook knows some of the hardest ingredients to obtain are freshly dried, accurately sourced herbs and spices. Spice Station’s Peter Bahlawanian and wife Bronwen Tawse aim to do nothing but solve that one serious problem. Their space, finished entirely with reclaimed wood, has a wall of sample jars and a wall of the pure ingredients—over 200 spices, herbs, chiles, salts and on average, which they grind to order (as well as special spice blends), charging by the ounce.
Looking for Ajwain seed from India? Done. Sumak from Syria? Sure thing. Peruvian paprika? But of course. As well as epazote, chervil leaves, vintage merlot sea salt…the list, needless to say, goes on.
Oh wait, that isn’t all they do. How could I forget? Spice station also offers more than 70 loose teas from all over the planet, too—from Organic Nightshadow and Pai Mu Tan white tea to rare Japanese Precious Dew Drop and Chinese Milk Oolong Superb. Take as much time as you like to savor their delicate aromas. They also have some sure-to-impress gift sets.
The courtyard-centered alley-access Silver Lake boutique has had such a great response that they are already planning to expand westward. But in the meantime, there’s a slight hitch: the remodeling of their original spot has caused the city of LA to request a temporary closure while proper permits are obtained. When they reopen, look for cooking demonstrations and other social events.
In the meantime, buying is by appointment only. Which in a way, makes it even more special. You will get the lovely staff’s undivided attention. Now, that’s Haute.
Spice Station is located at 3819 West.Sunset Boulevard (323) 660-2565