Whole Foods’ stock may be in the clearance bin, but their presence in Los Angeles is on the upswing. They just opened a Playa Vista store, are putting the finishing touches on a DTLA outpost, and recently announced that one of their first 365 stores, a more affordable version of the WF experience, is opening in a former Ralphs in Silver Lake.
We all know the old jokes of “Whole Paycheck,” but aside from dealing with the inflated prices of the Texas chain, there are parking conundrums that usually go hand-in-hand with the organic grocer. To make it easier for you Kombucha Heads, we’re assigning grades to each WF parking lot or garage in L.A., as well as including tips for getting in and out as fast as possible. Read our rankings of the Westwood and West L.A. stores here and check out more reviews every Thursday.
Our third and fourth stores:
Brentwood: This San Vicente boulevard store is known as one of the city’s smaller outposts, but it has most of the goodies you’ll need and is located in a very central section of B’wood. A small surface parking lot is located just due east of the store and, get this, there is usually a parking attendant there to keep the peace. This addition is a huge boon, though it can still get a bit frenetic during weekend afternoons, and parking in Brentwood is quite difficult unless you snag a meter (though it’s hard to look for one with the drag race that is San Vicente Boulevard). Once you’re ensconced in the lot, you have two hours to shop away; pretty sweet.
Parking Grade: B
Santa Monica (Mid-City): There are three, count ’em three, Whole Foods in Santa Monica; there are even two on Wilshire Boulevard in the city! We’ll tackle the easternmost one here, located near 23rd Street. This urban store tucks its two levels of parking underground. The entry/exit is on 23rd, rather than Wilshire, which means you’re not backing up traffic across the Los Angeles basin when you try to pull in or head out. There are clean elevators in the garage that take you directly to the store, and even electric car charging stations. While parking in a garage is no one’s dream—there’s also free parking at nearby Douglas Park—a big surface lot on Wilshire just wouldn’t do. This is a good compromise. Note: Make sure to get your car before 10:15 p.m. or you’ll be locked in overnight.
Parking Grade: A-