You can go to Gelson’s and buy the biggest and most beautiful peaches, grapes and strawberries, and one bite tells you how tasteless produce is because grocers today order for size and color, selling us bland beauty. Woodland Hills Market is doing a booming business — and charging rock-bottom prices — selling funky-looking produce and not-so-huge apples, plums, strawberries and figs that are actually ripe and, frankly, far superior to the plastic fruit at Gelson’s, Ralphs or Vons. And like many ethnic grocers in L.A., this Persian-oriented market includes a little butcher counter (lamb chops go on special Fridays only, $7 a pound), and a good cheese and cold-cuts deli with fancy marinated olives priced about 40 percent below the chains. Cold cases offer pre-made Middle Eastern chicken, lamb and veggie dishes to heat at home. Probably the best buy: yummy homemade hummus for 99 cents per container — far cheaper than Trader Joe’s. 19964 Ventura Blvd., on the Tarzana/Woodland Hills border. (818) 999-4477. —Jill Stewart

LA Weekly