BEST LOCAL EATERY WE WISH WERE A CHAIN - 2007
La Grande Orange Grocery
We're convinced that Arcadia's premium real estate values have something to do with the cachet of La Grande Orange. After all, who wouldn't want to live near this place? It's that perfect corner cafe we've always dreamed of, where we can settle in with the New York Times and a latte at a table in front, or bring along a friend for salads on the shady patio and some chit-chat about the eye candy all around us. (As you might've guessed, there's no way we'd stop by on a bad hair day.) The grocery selection is more about gourmet treats than pantry staples, but whenever we're at LGO, imported cheeses, fancy crackers, and squid ink pasta suddenly seem essential. It's supposed to be dangerous to shop on an empty stomach, but even after we fill up on a tuna melt or a Tammie Coe Ooey Gooey cupcake, we can't help it when we fill our shopping basket with impulse buys. For one thing, there's the wine aisle, stocked from floor to ceiling with boutique-y labels. And then there are all the inedible must-haves, like stationery, magazines, and upscale pet toys. We want it all, we want it bad, and we know we're not alone in wishing LGO was in every 'hood. You'd be surprised at how many miles your fellow shoppers drove just to "drop by" this casual hot spot.