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99 Ranch Market - Buyer Beware

j
johnpressman Jul 15, 2006 01:41 AM

I know that this has been brought up before, but went to 99 Ranch Market in Gardena, bought Korean Sesame BBQ Sauce and a stack of Korean-style short ribs. After marinating them in said sauce, cooked them at low temp. While delicious, they were almost all FAT!! Had similar experiences with pork chunks, boneless chicken that was all gristle, NY steak that turned out to be top sirloin (tough), and ground beef that was dark in the middle. That's 5 for 5. I do like the canned and bottled stuff and the produce but meat.. no more!!

  1. Funwithfood Jul 17, 2006 09:20 PM

    The Anaheim store is pretty good for fish and produce, but the meat has always looked poor to me.

    (The Pho restaurant in the pad directly in front of them is excellent.)

    1. j
      jenn Jul 17, 2006 08:56 PM

      I would imagine there could be vast differences based on the clientele. We shop at the one at Del Mar and Valley. I think its a pretty nice store---huge too. From time spent there, the clientele at that store is about 99% asian and with higher incomes to boot [well at least based on the fancy pants cars in the lot that cost about 2-3-4 times that of our Prius]. With those types of clients, I would think that 99Ranch has to keep stuff in good shape plus there is a huge turn-over. I have never been able to shop the meat counter without a 5-10 minute wait and the fish counter is similiar.

      I buy fish at 99 ranch out of the tanks and haven't had any problems. I do notice that lots of people have them grind the pork for them. Just lazy rushed people like me point at the pre-ground stuff!

      1. wilafur Jul 17, 2006 06:24 PM

        weird, but it seems like irvine 99's are all so much better than the ones in the LA area, for the exception of the branch in arcadia. what gives?

        1. Das Ubergeek Jul 17, 2006 06:21 PM

          I buy meat from Korean markets such as HK on Pacific in Glendale -- the meat is consistently higher quality. I don't buy meat OR fish at 99 Ranch... not when Fish King is a mile and a half east.

          The Van Nuys 99 Ranch is not one of the shining stars of the chain... the one on Garvey and San Gabriel is much, much better.

          1. f
            FED Jul 17, 2006 04:48 PM

            the fish market at 99 ranch is a crap shoot. you can get really, really good stuff here, particularly whole fish which can be hard to find anywhere else. on the other hand, i've seen stuff i wouldn't serve to a cat, and i hate cats. you really have to use your judgement. if you want really high quality fish, practically guaranteed, go to a japanese market, such as mitsuwa or marukai. they have very little whole fish other than sardines, mackerel and the occasional tai snapper, but everything is in perfect condition ... and pretty reasonably priced.

            1. Dommy Jul 17, 2006 01:30 AM

              I just buy seafood at 99 ranch, their meat just scares me LOOKING at it. For meat deals, I go to Mexican Markets, Hispanics consume more meat than average so the turn over there is also better...

              But when it comes to Steaks in the pricer cuts, it's honestly WORTH the splurge and go to a butcher and get prime stuff...

              --Dommy!

              1. c
                carter Jul 17, 2006 12:04 AM

                Go to the one in San Gabriel, which is the largest and best one, and you will do much better than many of the satellite locations like the one here in the Valley.

                1. jake Jul 16, 2006 10:59 PM

                  A note on shrimp from Ranch 99: I've gotten some from SoCal branches, and its been pretty good, when cooked. But back when I lived in Berkeley, I bought some from the Richmond branch and used it to make ceviche. Bad news. It didn't make anyone sick, but it did have an, err, earthy taste you don't want in your ceviche.

                  1. j
                    johnpressman Jul 16, 2006 10:37 PM

                    I forgot to mention that my niece got some takeout basil chicken and rice dish. Inedible! I go to 99 Ranch often but have learned my lesson regarding their meat.

                    1. boogiebaby Jul 16, 2006 05:48 AM

                      I stopped buying meat at 99 Ranch a long time ago. I go to the Van Nuys location and had several bad experiences (smelly ground pork, gristly pork chops, etc). I buy everything else from there but the meat.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: boogiebaby
                        f
                        fdb Jul 16, 2006 10:45 PM

                        I buy ground pork at 99 Ranch, but I usually pick a piece of the butt or shoulder meat and ask them to ground it for me. The already-gound-pork usually contains too much fat hence to smell.

                        1. re: fdb
                          j
                          JudiAU Jul 16, 2006 11:00 PM

                          Why would fatty ground pork smell? Fresh pork fat doesn't have an odor.

                      2. paulj Jul 15, 2006 09:19 PM

                        Speaking of 99 Ranch meats, does anyone know how their 'drop flank' cut compares with more conventional flank or skirt steak cuts? It is thin, with connective tissue on both sides. With a long cooking it makes an interesting stew.

                        paulj

                        1. j
                          jenn Jul 15, 2006 06:28 PM

                          Sorry you were disappointed. I get meat at 99 Ranch [ground pork and various chunks of pork] and haven't had any complaints. One thing to remember is that Chinese taste in what makes for good meat versus "western" is very different. From what I can tell for just about everyone in the world, lots of fat on something is a good thing and not necessarily a negative. I know that much of the meat I see at 99 Ranch and at the Hawaii market and at Bangkok Market in Hollywood and at the California market [all catering mostly to Asians] seems to have a lot more fat on it than most Americans are used to. Similar views on texture--Think of that tendon stuff. Its just a cultural difference.

                          That said, if you didn't like it, you certainly shouldn't shop there.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jenn
                            j
                            Jwsel Jul 15, 2006 09:01 PM

                            I had a great New York steak from 99 Ranch last week. It was definitely not top sirloin. It had a lot of fat, but I trimmed a lot of it before cooking -- and at $3.99 per pound, even trimmed, it was a lot cheaper than buying meat at Ralphs, Gelsons, or Whole Foods.

                          2. OC Mutt Jul 15, 2006 01:44 AM

                            Go to any Asian market in Westminster for more selection and often 1/2 the price. Their "sushi grade" fish is a joke.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: OC Mutt
                              davinagr Jul 17, 2006 03:23 PM

                              I can't even handle walking by the fish dept at my 99 Ranch on Sepulveda in Van Nuys. The smell is putrid and I agree with you on the Sushi Grade fish (Give me a break)! The produce at this location is also abysmal. I've taken this market off my shopping route.

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