The San Fernando Valley has a broad range of international markets, but one stands head and shoulders above the others in terms of diversity: Sunland Produce. A shopper can easily lose track of time perusing aisles and freezer cases filled with imported foods from Russia, Eastern Europe, the Baltic states, the Middle East and the Mediterranean. It's the kind of place where you might see a bottle of Russian pear soda next to a bottle of Armenian golden walnut soda, a shelf below Peru's Inca Kola. The bakery aisle is a wondrous place with everything from pita breads and lavash to Russian Borodinsky bread and Riga Latvian rye. There's a full-service deli counter with a good selection of olives, deli meats and the best halvah we've ever had. Need cheese? There's everything from Cypriot halloumi and Georgian smoked sulguni to Bulgarian feta. There's a wine and beer selection, with Armenian, Lebanese and Russian beers among those available. Many of the products come from local dairies and bakeries, and the store has its own brand. Befitting the name, there is also a great selection of produce.
Credit: Jim Thurman