Move Over, Variety. Spice is the Spice of Life.

Ah, New Years resolutions.  They’re on all our minds now, and while we’d rather not be trite and go with the old standby (I vow to cut out chocolate and lose weight this year), a resolution that focuses on the way we eat isn’t a bad idea.  Let’s get off the scale, move away from the mirror, and focus on what we’re eating and cooking.

Resolving to cook more creatively and with fresher ingredients is a noble cause and that redundant roast chicken you’ve got in the oven right now doesn’t satisfy it – even if you did use thyme and sage this time.

The newly opened Spice Station, in Silver Lake, will inspire a whole new world for your taste buds, potentially coercing them to forgive that “hangover cure” breakfast you inhaled on January 1.  With more than 140 various herbs, chiles, and spices in the shop, there will be plenty you’re familiar with and then more than enough you’ve never tried before.  You can pretty thoroughly check out the spices before digging through your purse for your wallet – you can smell items like black lava sea salt, Indian kalonji seed, Syrian mahleb, and Spanish saffron, while the vibrant colors in their silver jars tempt and tantalize.

Specialty shops and markets aren’t rare in LA, of course – India Sweets and Spices in Los Feliz has a nearly overwhelming stock of anything you’ll need to cook curry and naan like a pro.  Bay Cities Italian Deli in Santa Monica, while known for its popular sandwich bar, offers a wide array of Italian spices, cured meats, and cheeses.  In West Hollywood, Joan’s on Third’s marketplace is impressive and you could way too much time in there just poking around.  For a more Japanese experience, Mitsuwa on Centinela in Santa Monica is your destination.

It’s 2010.  Time to up the ante, no?