Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Le Sanctuaire, on Main St. in Santa Monica


Recommended Posts

Has anyone else been to this store? If this sort of thing might interest you, I highly recommend a visit to Le Sanctuaire. It's very much quality driven, rather than value driven - so don't expect to find a deal on a set of cute potholders. It's the opposite of a warehouse - instead of trying to stock everything, they are extremely selective in what they carry - the finest of the finest of gourmet items. Being expensive just goes along with the territory - handmade Japanese knives, every cookbook above $200 you've ever heard of (in stock), rare olive oils, and so on.

And the decor is suitably gorgeous as well.

In case anyone is wondering, I have no stake in or connection to the store. It's just that for selfish reasons, I would like to see it stay open.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Le Santuaire seems to be a sanctuary from the real world. I am very unimpressed with a kitchen store where no one seems to know anything about cooking. Their cookbook selection is effete, their equipment is for the very same people who own $100,000 kitchens and never cook. the place is phony for phonies.

Edited by archestratus (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
Le Santuaire seems to be a sanctuary from the real world. I am very unimpressed with a kitchen store where no one seems to know anything about cooking. Their cookbook selection is effete, their equipment is for the very same people who own $100,000 kitchens and never cook. the place is phony for phonies.

Just finished reading Catcher in the Rye ?

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

Link to post
Share on other sites

From their web site:

"PERENNIAL PRODUCTS

We complement our sumptuous edible offerings with highest-end kitchenware sanctioned by professional chefs and restaurants, and acquired for their proven performance. Together with chef apparel and unique cookbooks, we ensure that every single one of our items may only be obtained through the most diligent pursuance, now conveniently available at your fingertips."

So Foodzealot, how does this compare to Surfas, which bills itself as a "chef's paradise" but whose prices are rather reasonable, especially if you're in the business and you get the discount?

What are the "items only obtained through the most diligent pursuance"? Foie gras? truffles?

Note to Hollywood -my birthday's coming up- I'm soliciting for presents- so find out when that sale starts...:laugh:

We need to find courage, overcome

Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction

Link to post
Share on other sites
Note to Hollywood -my birthday's coming up- I'm soliciting for presents- so find out when that sale starts...:laugh:

I'm trying to find out. Really, I am.

Hey! Wait a minute! My b'day's coming up too.

Edited by hollywood (log)

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Le Santuaire seems to be a sanctuary from the real world.  I am very unimpressed with a kitchen store where no one seems to know anything about cooking.  Their cookbook selection is effete, their equipment is for the very same people who own $100,000 kitchens and never cook.  the place is phony for phonies.

Just finished reading Catcher in the Rye ?

Haha. Funny.

Link to post
Share on other sites

First off, welcome to eG, archestratus.

So Foodzealot, how does this compare to Surfas, which bills itself as a "chef's paradise" but whose prices are rather reasonable, especially if you're in the business and you get the discount?

What are the "items only obtained through the most diligent pursuance"? Foie gras? truffles?

monkeymay, for most of us, I imagine this place functions more as a museum or a showroom than a place to actually buy equipment or ingredients. By comparison, Surfas is like a Walmart or Target (in the best sense of practicality/wide selection/value oriented). Savvy shoppers will recognize that most prices are at full retail list price or more. There is a sale shelf, but discounting off of boutique prices still stings the credit card. Even if a restaurant could write it off, most restaurants won't have the budget to buy dinner plates at $56 apiece. It's pretty far removed from putting dinner on the table on a Wednesday night.

But that's not what it's about anyway. IMHO, taken on its own terms, it's about the fetishization of culinary apparati and fine food products, and the impractical, unreasonable, and conspicuous consumption of same. It's about the aesthetics of objects beyond their actual performance. Luxury for luxury's sake.

Will a ceramic knife make your pot roast come out better? Probably not. But might you be inspired by it, feel more satisfaction while cooking, and impress your guests, even if the food is the same? I guess each person's mileage may vary on that...

There's also a certain amount of hero worship going on in that some of the items are stocked because of the curiosity around Thomas Keller's favorite olive oil, or another chef's favorite vinegar, etc. As far as I know, they don't sell fois gras or truffles yet.

Personally, I'm a gadget guy, so I like being able to handle things in person. I like to pick up knives and feel their balance. I like to touch the paper a book is printed on. I like to see all the Ducasse books in one place. I like to handle plates to check their heft. This store stocks many of those otherwise unexperienceable items, because you won't see most of them at Surfas or Sur La Table or Williams-Sonoma or Cook's Library or anywhere else that I know of in LA. Ultimately I like deciding for myself whether an object is worth the hype or the price, since I believe that snobbery cuts both ways.

Even if all that rings hollow to you, it's close to the Main Street farmer's market (on Sunday mornings), so it could be a secondary stop, just for something else food-related to do. There are also some other nice gourmet stores not far away on Abbot Kinney. Sorry for the ramble...

Edited by FoodZealot (log)
Link to post
Share on other sites
the fetishization of culinary apparati and fine food products

Heh, you saw that site about the Orka oven mitt, too? There was something hot in THAT kitchen, and it wasn't the convection oven, let me tell you. I don't know, bit strange, but hey, whatever frosts your flakes.

I think this is yet another one of the "It's a cool store, but do people actually SHOP there?" I'm sure like you I could spend a good two hours wandering around, looking at things, imagining uses for them, and sure, experiancing them a little. I'd probably never take the next step and buy something, though. For one thing, besides the expense, (or perhaps because of) I'd probably be too nervous to actually USE anything I got there, at least anything consumable. Maybe I'm just insecure, but the fish had *already* be doing pretty well before I drizzle the hypothetical rare olive oil on it.

California gets all the fun stuff, and don't get me started on New York! I just moved near a Sur La Table, which is going to be dangerous enough.

P.S., there is no website :sad:

Matt Robinson

Prep for dinner service, prep for life! A Blog

Link to post
Share on other sites
But that's not what it's about anyway.  IMHO, taken on its own terms, it's about the fetishization of culinary apparati and fine food products, and the impractical, unreasonable, and conspicuous consumption of same.  It's about the aesthetics of objects beyond their actual performance.

mmm, I like the idea of a Pleasure Chest/Fetish shop for cooks...

Personally, I'm a gadget guy, so I like being able to handle things in person. I like to pick up knives and feel their balance.  I like to touch the paper a book is printed on.  I like to see all the Ducasse books in one place. I like to handle plates to check their heft.  This store stocks many of those otherwise unexperienceable items, because you won't see most of them at Surfas or Sur La Table or Williams-Sonoma or Cook's Library or anywhere else that I know of in LA.  Ultimately I like deciding for myself whether an object is worth the hype or the price, since I believe that snobbery cuts both ways.

Ultimately, I know what you mean - I feel the same about couture and designer shoes with impossibly high heels - totally impractical, ridiculously overpriced, but the stuff makes me tingle with pleasure :wacko:

I'll stop in next time I'm Westside - maybe Hollywood would come and we could pretend to buy each other presents.

I think Chef Shogun is referring to Le Sanctuaire's website - it doesn't show any items, just implies them. :laugh:

We need to find courage, overcome

Inaction is a weapon of mass destruction

Link to post
Share on other sites

I love that place!

Jing is shit and we talk on a regular basis. He's driving over here soon enough to deliver a rare cookbook and 10" chef's knife I've had on order. He's great, and is more obsessive about food and food culture than anybody even on these boards. He's a madman really, and sources out rare products for lots of dedicated customers. He's produced vinegars for me that I would never find anywhere, and gives me a chef break to boot.

They sell insanely difficult to find cookbooks and French Laundry china for crying out loud. Of course it's expensive and crazy high-end. It's worth every penny too.

R. Jason Coulston

jason@popcling.com

Link to post
Share on other sites
Wrapping made out of hundred dollar bills please :smile:

Well I'll give you candy,

Give you diamonds,

Give you pearls,

I´ll give you anything you want!

hundred dollar bills

Monkeymay, now you have to marry him, marry him, marry him.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Wrapping made out of hundred dollar bills please :smile:

Well I'll give you candy,

Give you diamonds,

Give you pearls,

I´ll give you anything you want!

hundred dollar bills

Monkeymay, now you have to marry him, marry him, marry him.

:biggrin: Actually, we are each happily married.... to other people.

I'm hollywood and I approve this message.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...