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Kaffir lime leaves, galangal on the Westside?

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  • Rummy Nov 30, 2006 02:00 AM
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I need your help! The whole family has colds and we're craving a spicy bowl of tom yum gai to clear our heads and warm our souls. This afternoon I travelled to five stores in the marina area (the usual suspects Ralph's, Gelson's, Von's plus Marina Farms and Bristol Farms), but had no luck finding kaffir lime leaves or galangal. I was surprised by this since the smallish town I grew up in always stocked both. I would greatly appreciate any advice on where I might find what I'm searching for.

Thank you!

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  1. The closest is:

    Bangkok Market
    4757 Melrose Ave
    Los Angeles, CA 90029
    (323) 662-9705
    (323) 644-4985
    (323) 662-0977

    1. A bit closer is the tiny Simpang Asia Market in Palms at 10433 National Blvd., near the intersection of National and Motor. Phone # is (310) 815-9075.

      1. A second recommendation for Simpang. While you're there, relax and have some lunch. The have a really nice menu.

        1. I was able to find kaffir lime leaves at India's Sweets and Spices on Venice in Culver City. They keep them behind the counter - you need to ask for them.

          1. I prefer the thai market in Thai town on Hollywood Blvd. just east of Western. I think it's in the "Siam Square" plaza, or something to that effect. Heading East, turn left into the parking lot. It's kind of difficult to spot but you'll see a large spirit house in front, the parking lot driveway is right there. I've found their produce to be better than Bangkok's (even though, I know, they are supposed to be the best). You can get a small bag of fresh Kaffir lime leaves for $1 Galangal, holy basil, thai eggplant, everything. They even have some little prepared dishes there near the checkout - I found the Chiang Mai sausages there and went nuts! On Saturday and Sunday you can also buy fresh curries from them. I took 5 days of thai cooking classes in Chiang Mai and love going there.

            4 Replies
            1. re: cinzia

              The store is called Silom, and it ROCKS! Just don't look too closely at the state of the store, and you'll be fine. Cleaning isn't top on their list of things to do... You can, however, get frozen bags of chicken, beef, and pork bones for next-to-nothing that are excellent for making stocks.

              1. re: cpanagakis

                I remembered as soon as I got in the car - thanks!

                1. re: cpanagakis

                  Went there today, and they did not have any. Darn it! Really wanted to make Tom Yum Soup tonight!

                  Any place in the valley that has them? I am actually in North Hills.

                  1. re: jonahlee

                    Either of the Bangluck Markets always has them.

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/77637

                    http://maps.google.com/maps/place?hl=...

              2. This won't help for today, but at the Santa Monica Wednesday farmers' market, I have spotted bai makroot (kaffir lime leaves). They were being sold by a vendor near the Wilshire end of 2nd Street - also selling bai grapow and good looking curry leaves. I have not spotted galangal at the farmers' market - but I haven't really looked for it either.

                1. I appreciate your help and all of the great suggestions. Thank you, thank you!

                  1. $15-20 or so at a place like San Gabriel Nursery will get you a kaffir lime tree of your very own and thereupon a basically unlimited supply of leaves (and limes). I have two. They grow just fine in pots given a moderate amount of direct sunlight.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ladelfa

                      I got a small one in a 6" pot outside of the Wat Thai L.A. for $5. It's my backup stash. The big lime trees were $30 on up. I also bought Thai basil and bird chili plants for $3 each.