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HELP!! What are the BEST ASIAN MARKETS around town?

l
Liquid Sky Dec 5, 2006 07:37 PM

Hi Chowhounders,

I moved from the West Village (NYC) to West Hollywood this year, and I am seriously in need of finding a decent Asian supermarket. Of course, I know I'll have to travel a bit...

I hear mixed things about Ranch 99. Sounds like the one in SGV is much better. I'll plan to check that out. How about some other places?

Of couse, would consider Korean, Japanese markets, etc., also. Looking for a mix of already-cooked food and raw ingredients, produce, etc. For example, dying for some decent dumplings!

Many thanks.

  1. j
    jbentley4 Jul 28, 2012 11:06 AM

    Thoughts about H-Mart anybody?

    2 Replies
    1. re: jbentley4
      c
      catbert Aug 1, 2012 11:09 AM

      h-mart in diamond bar used to be my family's go-to market, but the prices have gone up and we've been shopping around at different markets. the db location is still the better of the one's i've been too. the produce isn't that good at the garden grove and irvine location. irvine is higher priced too.

      1. re: jbentley4
        n
        ns1 Aug 1, 2012 11:10 AM

        the meat selection at h-mart is out of this world.

      2. m
        meg3325 Dec 20, 2011 04:53 PM

        I'm Japanese and biased so I love Japanese markets! Since you live in West Hollywood, Mitsuwa, Nijiya and Marukai are your best bets for all things Japanese. They are all located on the Westside, but it also pays to drive a bit to Torrance. The Mitsuwa and Marukai stores in Torrance are much larger with better selection. Marukai is a membership store. I think it's $10 a month and it's like a Japanese Costco. Nijiya has a great assortment of ready made J-food and excellent dumplings too. The Japanese have dumplings very similar to the Chinese. Gyoza, shumai, nikumanju - were all copied from the Chinese.

        8 Replies
        1. re: meg3325
          liu Dec 20, 2011 05:13 PM

          Hello, meg3325!

          I agree with your recommendations! Mitsuwa and Marukai in Torrance/Gardena are much larger than anything on the Westside. Nijiya on Sawtelle in West LA is wonderful for their sushi and prepared items!

          Marukai membership is $10 for the year and $15 for two years. One can also obtain a day pass for $1: http://www.marukai.com/membership-en....

          1. re: liu
            i
            ilysla Dec 21, 2011 02:24 PM

            +1 on the Mitsuwa in Torrence. Not only is it significantly larger than the one in Santa Monica/Venice, but the bakery is on-site, so I think you get fresher baked goods. And the food court in Torrance has a place that has *fantastic* berkshire pork cutlet. If the elderly man is cooking, the cutlets are relatively flaky and delicate w/ little oily residue. The whole place also just has a more vibrant feeling....

            1. re: ilysla
              liu Dec 21, 2011 04:56 PM

              "The whole place also just has a more vibrant feeling..."

              Yes, ilysla, I LOVE that alive feeling at both the Torrance Mitsuwa and the Gardena Marukai! I like the Nijiya Market on Sawtelle, too, for this same reason; there are always lots of people shopping in all of these markets and somehow ??!! this makes the food more colorful and delicious!

          2. re: meg3325
            DMasut Dec 20, 2011 06:26 PM

            AN EARLY CHRISTMAS GIFT FOR YOU FOODIES... my private stash of Asian food stores.

            Yes... the best Japanese markets in So. Cal are my favorites Mitsuwa and Marukai... and Mitsuwa's food courts always have the best ramen shops outside of Japan. Especially Miso Ramen... Oishi neh!?

            But for Thai and Vietnamese food... there really are only a handful of places that carry fresh specialty items like Thai basil, lemongrass, kaffir lime leaves, Thai curry pastes like ARoy-D and with the increased prices of coconut based products buying them from other markets is just WAY TOO EXPENSIVE.

            HERE IS EVERY MARKET YOU WILL NEED IN So. Cal for Chinese, Japanese, Korean, THAI and VIETNAMESE FOOD ITEMS AND PRODUCE

            The KING of Thai food in LA is: (It's the COSTCO of Thai Food and ingredients serving most Thai restaurants in So. Cal)

            Lax-C Inc
            1100 North Main Street, Los Angeles, CA

            Below are all the same Shun Fat Market Chain with GREAT prices on produce, though not always 'showcase quality for a restaurant', but excellent for home. Their mostly catering to the Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai market.

            http://www.shunfatsupermarket.com

            WESTMINSTER SUPERSTORE
            15440 Beach Blvd
            Westminster, CA 92683
            Tel: (714) 891-6288
            Fax: (714) 891-6298

            SF SUPERMARKET
            4562 Mack Road
            Sacramento, CA 95823
            Tel: (916) 395-6868
            Fax: (916) 395-8788

            SAN GABRIEL SUPERSTORE
            1635 S. San Gabriel Blvd
            San Gabriel, CA 91776
            Tel: (626) 280-9998
            Fax: (626) 280-5938

            SHUN FAT SUPERMARKET
            421 N. Atlantic Blvd
            Monterey Park, CA 91754
            Tel: (626) 308-3998
            Fax: (626) 308-9072

            THUAN PHAT SUPERMARKET
            6935 Linda Vista Road
            San Diego, CA 92111
            Tel: (858) 565-0398
            Fax: (858) 565-2038

            EL MONTE SUPERSTORE
            2650 Rosemead Blvd
            S. El Monte, CA 91733
            Tel: (626) 279-7898
            Fax: (626) 279-7269

            SF SUPERMARKET
            18475 Colima Road
            Rowland Heights, CA 91748
            Tel: (626) 581-7068
            Fax: (626) 581-9516

            SAN PABLO SUPERMARKET
            1188 International Market Pl.
            San Pablo, CA 94806
            Tel: (510) 215-0888
            Fax: (510) 215-1111

            GARDEN GROVE SUPERSTORE
            13861 Brookhurst St.
            Garden Grove, CA 92843
            Tel: (714) 539-6688
            Fax: (714) 539-6188

            SF SUPERMARKET
            6930 65th Street Suite 123
            Sacramento, CA 95823
            Tel: (916) 392-3888
            Fax: (916) 392-2888

            and another Westminster store is

            T & K Food Market
            9681 Bolsa Avenue, Westminster, CA

            IF YOU WANT THE REAL BACK COUNTRY TASTE OF THAILAND'S Isaan region.... YOU MUST TRY THE LITTLE 'hole in the wall' restaurant next (actually connected) to the Thai and Laos Market. You feel like you are actually in Thai market. With some hard to find items. Their 'deli' counter food is better than inside the LAX-C store. But the weekends at LAX-C outside vendors are still best... except for my food... which is on a different plane altogether anyway.
            Thai & Laos Market
            1721 West La Palma Avenue, Anaheim, CA

            JAPANESE MARKETS

            MITSUWA STORES: http://www.mitsuwa.com
            TORRANCE STORE
            21515 S. Western Avenue, Torrance, CA 90501
            (310) 782-0335

            IRVINE STORE
            14230 Culver Dr., Irvine, CA 92604
            (in Heritage Plaza Shopping Center
            )Tel: (949) 559-6633

            COSTA MESA STORE
            665 Paularino Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
            (714) 557-6699

            SAN GABRIEL STORE
            515 W. Las Tunas Drive, San Gabriel, CA 91776
            (626) 457-2899

            SANTA MONICA STORE
            3760 S. Centinela Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90066
            (310) 398-2113

            SAN DIEGO STORE
            4240 Kearny Mesa Road, San Diego, CA 92111
            (858) 569-6699

            SAN JOSE STORE
            675 Saratoga Avenue, San Jose, CA 95129
            (408) 255-6699

            CHICAGO STORE
            100 E. Algonquin Road, Arlington Heights, IL 60005
            (847) 956-6699

            NEW JERSEY STORE
            595 River Road, Edgewater, NJ 07020
            (201) 941-9113

            MARUKAI Membership stores http://www.marukai.com

            ◆Gardena Store
            1740 WEST ARTESIA BLVD., GARDENA, CA 90248
            (310)660-6300
            Mon-Sat 9:00AM-9:00PM /Sun 9:00AM-8:00PM
            Furniture 2nd Floor (Waraku): Mon-Sat 9:00AM-8:00PM /Sun 9:00AM-7:00PM
            Detailed Map
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            ◆Costa Mesa Store
            2975 HARBOR BLVD., COSTA MESA, CA 92626
            Mon-Sat 9:30AM-8:30PM / Sun 9:30AM-8:00PM
            Detailed Map
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            ◆West Covina Store
            1420 SOUTH AZUSA AVE., WEST COVINA, CA 91791
            (626)214-9590
            Mon-Sat 9:30AM-8:30PM / Sun 9:30AM-8:00PM
            Detailed Map
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            ◆West LA Store
            12121 WEST PICO BLVD, LOS ANGELES, CA 90064
            (310) 806-4120
            Mon - Sun: 9:00AM - 9:00PM
            Detailed Map
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            ◆Marukai Pacific Store
            1620 W. REDONDO BEACH BLVD., GARDENA, CA 90247
            (310)464-8888
            Mon-Sat 9:00AM-9:00PM Sun 9:00AM-8:30PM
            Detailed Map
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            ◆Torrance Store
            3832 SEPULVEDA BLVD. TORRANCE, CA 90505
            (310)375-4900
            Mon-Sat 10:00AM-9:00PM / Sun 10:00AM-8:30PM
            Detailed Map
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

            ◆Little Tokyo Store
            123 S. ONIZUKA ST. #105, LOS ANGELES, CA 90012
            (213)893-7200
            Mon-Fri 10:00AM-9:00PM Sat 10:30AM-9:00PM
            Sun 10:30AM-8:30PM
            Detailed Map

            ●Kawaii Little Tokyo Store
            123 S. ONIZUKA ST. #102, LOS ANGELES, CA 90012
            (213)893-7200
            Mon-THU 11:00AM-8:00PM Fri-Sat 11:00AM-8:30PM
            Sun 11:00AM-8:00PM
            Detailed Map
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            ◆San Diego Plaza
            ●食品館:8151 BALBOA AVE, SAN DIEGO, CA 92111
            (858)384-0248
            MON-SAT 9:30AM-9:00PM SUN 9:30AM-8:00PM
            Detailed Map

            ●生活館:8151 BALBOA AVE, SAN DIEGO, CA 92111
            (858)384-0245
            Mon-Sat 9:30 AM-9:00PM / Sun 9:30 AM-8:00PM

            ●Value Plus:8151 BALBOA AVE, SAN DIEGO, CA 92111
            (858)384-0240
            Mon-Sat 9:30 AM-9:00PM / Sun 9:30 AM-8:00PM
            ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
            ◆Gardena 98 Plus
            1360 WEST ARTESIA BLVD., GARDENA, CA 90248
            (310)516-8160
            Mon-Sat 9:00AM-7:45PM Sun 9:00AM-7:15PM
            Detailed Map

            1. re: DMasut
              Das Ubergeek Dec 20, 2011 09:38 PM

              Appreciate the list but I find it odd that you only find Thai and VN ingredients in a few places. There's more than Thuan Phat in Little Saigon. Even 99 Ranchcarries Thai basil. For that matter so does Bristol Farms (but $$$). Aroy-D and Mae Ploy curry pastes are everywhere too.

              1. re: DMasut
                m
                mikeinla10 Dec 20, 2011 09:54 PM

                God bless Shun Fat market for at least one thing.

                Growing up white and from the midwest, I only ever knew that one buys garlic, peels it, and then chops it.

                Several years back, I encountered 99 Ranch. It was a revelation. For $2, you can buy a whole bunch of peeled garlic and keep it refrigerated for a few weeks. All you need to do is chop. Very convenient.

                And within the last year, I found myself at Shun Fat market where, lo and behold, one can buy about a half pint of minced garlic, refrigerated, for the same $2. Thank you Shun Fat. I love you for this.

                1. re: mikeinla10
                  DMasut Dec 20, 2011 11:08 PM

                  I KNOW!!! and they're fresher than any other source of fresh peeled garlic.
                  The hours of my life I saved from prep work of just garlic alone is a long holiday on the beach somewhere.

                  Makes you wonder why Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons are still kicking around

                  1. re: DMasut
                    m
                    mikeinla10 Dec 21, 2011 10:18 AM

                    The other one that drives me nuts is basil. Why is it so hard to get at Vons/Ralphs/Albertsons... and why does it cost so much? Even Sprouts doesn't make it easy.

                    You can go to Sinai Butcher on Pico in the Pico-Robertson area... and get the largest and best Khoubideh Kabob in all of LA for $4... along with a huge bushel of basil, free. The amount of basil alone would cost you $4 at Ralph's... where it comes in those weird, think plastic containers... and you hardly get any.

                    Kaffir lime leaves... and basil should be more readily available and cheaper at standard grocery stores. They're both easy to get at 99 Ranch / Shun Fat / Thai Town grocers, etc.

                    @DMasut, just curious, (the obvious question)... what's your restaurant? Or, are you not allowed to promote here at Chowhound? Thx.

            2. DMasut Sep 16, 2011 09:28 AM

              For Asian and even more specifically Thai food and authentic ingredients in and around Los Angeles Lax-C Inc, 1100 North Main Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 IS A MUST!!!

              I own an Authentic Thai Restaurant and catering business and finding authentic ingredients is a bit of a challenge outside of Thailand.

              LAX-C is know by all Thai people and Thai restaurant owners and is like COSTCO for Thai and Asian food. It is a food warehouse style and THEY HAVE EVERYTHING! It is the best place I have found outside of Thailand to find Chinese/Thai/Laos/Cambodian/Filipino food ingredients.

              Their prices are very reasonable and are usually within a few pennies difference between Shun Fat Markets which I also like, but doesn't always have all of the Thai ingredients I need.

              You can buy in bulk or individually

              -----
              Lax-C
              1100 N Main St, Los Angeles, CA

              1 Reply
              1. re: DMasut
                Dommy Dec 20, 2011 05:13 PM

                LAX-C is a great mention. They also have some thai food in the stands outside (made to order Satay & Kanom Krok) and Chimney Brick Coffee House is in the same center...

                --Dommy!

              2. SauceSupreme Dec 29, 2006 03:42 AM

                HK Market is my local one, but if I'm feeling in the mood for something distinctly Filipino, or if I want some great fish without ordering it through Universal Seafood, I'll go to the Seafood City in the Eagle Rock Plaza.

                Yeah, it's half an hour away from me, but the seafood section enjoys massive turnover, meaning that you can buy carp, salmon and other fish still fresh (check the eyes; feel the skin) and cheap, too!

                Whole Foods has tilapia at close to $10/lb. Seafood City's got it for $2/lb!

                Really, though, that whole mall is like a scene straight out of Manila. Karaoke at a kiosk, and Filipino fast food joints inside too (Jolibee and Chowking).

                3 Replies
                1. re: SauceSupreme
                  liu Jan 7, 2007 08:21 PM

                  We enjoyed Seafood City yesterday afternoon...if you can't get to the downtown fish market, hey, they bring it right to you at this Eagle Rock Plaza Seafood City! There is an amazing variety of fish that one might see only at a large city fish mart.

                  SauceSupreme, you are quite accurate in your description of the connected mall; it has a real Filipino flavor that I have not experienced elsewhere in LA. The market also leans heavily on many special Filipino items...shelves and shelves of banana sauces and sardines and ... Thanks for recommending this area!

                  1. re: liu
                    SauceSupreme Jan 7, 2007 09:17 PM

                    You're very welcome.

                    Even if you aren't Filipino, I think a trip to Eagle Rock Plaza and its accompanying Seafood City is worth the trip just to see the fish market.

                    1. re: SauceSupreme
                      liu Jan 7, 2007 10:09 PM

                      I so agree! And what a great field trip it is for children, too!

                      I love the markets that have the mall attached, so you have a complete shopping experience. I did order a drink from ChowKing (interesting!), and then we walked the mall for more window shopping.

                2. barleywino Dec 27, 2006 03:13 PM

                  Need to find kalbi in W Hollywood (prefer near the intersections of La Cienaga and Sunset or Santa Monica). Not from the area so not sure where these groceries are relative to that vicinity-- any suggestions for closest market that would have kalbi? TIA!!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: barleywino
                    Das Ubergeek Dec 27, 2006 03:44 PM

                    Well, you might be able to get it unmarinated at Bristol Farms in WeHo and marinate it yourself, but the closest place I *know* has it would be HK Market on Beverly and Western -- if you're carless, you can do it with one change of bus, or walk down to Beverly/La Cienega and take the 14 bus.

                    1. re: Das Ubergeek
                      barleywino Dec 27, 2006 04:52 PM

                      Ubergeek, Thanks a lot!

                  2. l
                    Liquid Sky Dec 24, 2006 07:42 PM

                    This thread has been fantastic. Thanks to all who posted here to help me find Asian markets. Happy Holidays!

                    1. b
                      broncosaurus Dec 7, 2006 04:26 PM

                      A good place for bulk chinese groceries/seafood is Canton Foods on Alameda and 7th. (south of Olvera St., on the east side of the street).

                      1. r
                        rameniac Dec 7, 2006 04:22 PM

                        california market on western and 4th in ktown has some of the best kimchi around...

                        1. Das Ubergeek Dec 7, 2006 04:18 PM

                          One thing... if you're looking for Asian curry pastes, spices, oils, etc. then definitely look to an Asian market, but if it's only-slightly-esoteric produce you're after (such as real limes, fresh cilantro, Thai basil, etc.) you might look in a Latino market. There are more of them and they're thicker on the ground in LA itself than Asian markets, and the produce is usually high-quality and cheap cheap cheap.

                          For example, Ralphs has cilantro at $1.29 a bunch. 99 Ranch has it at $0.59 a bunch. El Super has it at six bunches for a dollar. Ralphs, when they have real limes, it tends to be on a per-piece basis. 99 Ranch it's usually per-pound but tends to be $2 or more a pound. El Super has bags that range between 1 and 2 pounds for $1.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Das Ubergeek
                            b
                            broncosaurus Dec 7, 2006 04:28 PM

                            That's good advice. There's a "Buy Low" market on La Brea in the northern part of Inglewood that has super-low prices for produce.

                          2. maybelle Dec 7, 2006 04:17 PM

                            Don't forget about the little stores in Chinatown! They often have produce that is half the price of Ranch 99. The ones that my grandmother most often goes to are:
                            - Tak Shing Hong (835 N Broadway) - fairly large stores that also sells a lot of herbs/medicines etc. Their fresh produce section is tiny, although usually of good quality.
                            - Far East Supermarket (758 New High St) - has a small parking lot, also has a fish/meat counter
                            - Can't remember the name of it, but the store is at the corner of Ord and New High Street. It's tiny (one cash register in the corner) but we're there all the time getting veggies.

                            1. t
                              tluu Dec 7, 2006 04:11 PM

                              I used to live in K-town and my favorite market there now is Assi Super at 3525 W. 8th St. (cross street Oxford Avenue) and I am pretty picky about markets. I live in West LA now but I still occasionally make the trek to K-town to shop there even though I'm surrounded by Japanese markets. Of all the K-town markets Assi is cheap and high quality. Their prices for produce is what you would find in a Chinese/Vietnamese market. My bf's mom who is super old school Korean and goes to different markets in K-town for produce, meat, etc. frequents Assi the most. I hear their fresh banchan is good but I haven't tried it. They did have some labor problems so if that is an issue for you, California Market is good too. Koreatown Galleria is fine but I think they're pretty expensive.

                              1. f
                                french roast Dec 6, 2006 06:18 AM

                                If you ever find yourself in the Glendale area, there is another Japanese market opening as well. (Not sure when--I got this info from one of the Japanese farmers at the Farmer's Market) It isn't open yet, but it's going to be on Brand, right across from the Jamba Juice.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: french roast
                                  c
                                  cmp Dec 6, 2006 11:59 PM

                                  Famima is opening across from Jamba Juice in Glendale. More of a glam, high quality 7-11 than a real asian market. Still very fun for take-away foods though!

                                2. c
                                  chowmominLA Dec 6, 2006 06:16 AM

                                  For great dumplings and a good Chinese market, I go to the same place: the juicy pork dumplings at Din Tai Fung on Baldwin and Duarte in Arcadia, and the Chinese supermarket in the adjacent mini mall (forgot the name.) I got 2 wonderful lobsters there for $7.99/lb. It was a better deal and bigger selection of lobster than the 99 Ranch Market on Atlantic in Monterey Park (I went to both markets that day on a lobster hunt.)

                                  Downtown, for Japanese markets I love the Marukai Market in the Weller Court (by the New Otani, at 2nd and Los Angeles) and Mitsuya on 3rd and Alameda. Marukai's shop is nicer and slightly less expensive, Mitsuya is bigger and has an AMAZING sashimi selection.

                                  More locally (to me, anyway), I love Safe and Save (yes, the little market next to Hide on Sawtelle.) The guy behind the counter is so friendly and their stuff is good and really affordable too. E.g., beautiful avocados for $1. But the other day I was shocked to find they don't carry milk!!! Doesn't that seem odd, that a market would carry fish heads and littleneck clams but wouldn't carry milk??? I just thought that was weird (guess I should have gone to Nijiya and gotten organic milk, no less). Still like 'em tho. Much better market than Granada.

                                  One thing I do sometimes is get sashimi at Mitsuya or Safe and Save and sushi rice by the pound at Bristol Farms, which makes for a good and affordable sushi feast. Just a bit of a hassle though.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: chowmominLA
                                    Will Owen Dec 7, 2006 12:29 AM

                                    The market on Duarte is Arcadia Supermarket. Yes, the best seafood etcetera in that area. Chang's Garden, a Shanghai-style restaurant of which I did a limited review today, is in the same mall.

                                    1. re: Will Owen
                                      h
                                      Hailyn Dec 7, 2006 08:11 PM

                                      I love Arcadia Supermarket -- really, really clean fish and meat section, huge selection of produce, from banana flowers to okinawan purple sweet potatoes to garlic chives and Chinese greens for which I don't know of any English translation ("ei chai," a Shanghainese vegetable, is a favorite). They also have, interestingly, a whole aisle of Malaysian/Indonesian foodstuffs, if you're in the market for, say, belacan, candlenuts, rendang sauce packets, or Dutch chocolate sprinkles to sprinkle on your buttered toast for breakfast.

                                      In addition to Chang's Garden, there's also, in the same minimall, the wonderful SinBaLa, for Taiwanese sausages in various delicious iterations. And, of course, the ubiquitous Lollicup for your boba tea fix.

                                    2. re: chowmominLA
                                      chica Dec 7, 2006 01:13 AM

                                      There's also a small, Korean-owned Japanese market (hehe..) on Baldwin, next to the BoA and Papa John's. They have all sorts of organic veggies and fruits, and neat candies and pastries you don't see elsewhere (ie british candies). They also have Greenstreet Restaurant's zucchini bread, mochi, Japanese snacks..

                                      1. re: chica
                                        c
                                        calabasas_trafalgar Dec 27, 2006 04:42 PM

                                        That's Sierra Produce. See my separate thread on it.

                                        1. re: chica
                                          c
                                          calabasas_trafalgar Jan 7, 2007 03:47 AM

                                          BTW, the owner(and most of the employees) of Sierra Produce is Japanese, not Korean. Hearing them all speaking Japanese, we were curious, so we asked them.

                                      2. l
                                        Liquid Sky Dec 6, 2006 03:24 AM

                                        You guys are great... my head is spinning right now. And I accidentally re-started an old dumpling thread because I forgot to check back on this thread first... duh!

                                        Folks, I'm having major noodle AND dumpling cravings.

                                        There was this place in NYC Chinatown I used to go to. For $4, you get a generous serving of a delicious fried chicken leg (or pork chop if you prefer) with these fantastic sour vegetables over rice. Comes with optional tea egg. It's called MAY-WAH. Apparently it's closing down because the owners are tired. Good thing is, in Manhattan's Chinatown... yes, it's touristy -- but you can still find decent places to eat amongst all the touristy stuff. Just have to ask around. You don't necessarily have to travel all the way to Flushing. Unless you WANT to.

                                        Cheers!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: Liquid Sky
                                          Das Ubergeek Dec 6, 2006 03:45 AM

                                          Well, for dumpling cravings, you're spoilt for choice in the SGV -- Triumphal Palace, Mei Long Village, 888, NBC, CBS, Ocean Star, etc. etc. etc.

                                          Noodles -- I loves me some Malan Noodles.

                                          As for fried chicken leg (gi tuai fan) or pork chop (pai gu fan), which come with rice and often the sour vegetables, you can get that and much much more for cheap at Kang Kang food court (aka Shau May, aka Xiao Mei) on Garfield and Garvey. You can get tea eggs (chaa yip daan in Cantonese, not sure about Taiwanese) too.

                                          1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                            l
                                            Liquid Sky Dec 6, 2006 03:52 AM

                                            Thanks, Das!!

                                        2. c
                                          cpanagakis Dec 6, 2006 01:07 AM

                                          I would also recommend Wing Hop Fung in Chinatown (Broadway between College and Alpine - you cannot miss it) as a fantastic place to get a lot of Asian kitchen staples. They've an excellent selection of dried herbs, mushrooms, sea veg, etc. It is also the only place to get really good quality imported whole-leaf teas at a reasonable price as far as I'm concerned.

                                          1. tatertots Dec 5, 2006 10:03 PM

                                            KOREAN - KTOWN

                                            Galleria Market on the corner of Western and Olympic Blvd., parking is decent, banchan service is clean, meat and seafood are good quality, veggies are fresh. Food court on top floor is nice. My recommendation, go on Sunday mornings when the Korean folk are at church.

                                            Hannam Chain on the coner of Vermont and Olympic has better hot food and banchan variety, but not as clean in my opinion. If you care about things like that.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: tatertots
                                              n
                                              norton44 Dec 7, 2006 03:59 PM

                                              We've gone to Hannam Chain since I was a kid. I would say it's clean, but because it's one of the older Korean grocery stores, it doesn't have that shine to it as some of the newer ones.

                                              I've found that the produce and fruit are consistently fresher and cheaper. Definitely cheaper than American markets and usually cheaper than most other Korean markets. The quality is much better also. Plus, the prepared food items are more authentic and taste better. Check out the banchan counter. Yum! And the hot foods counter - we like the bin dae duk (mung bean pancakes). The pre-marinated beef in the bin is also good. Try the kim bap from Seoul Rice Cake House (or something like that) - we like the ones with beef. We also get frozen mandoo (dumplings) every time we go. We prefer the O'Hana brand. The one that has beef and leeks. The package is orange and has a picture of green leeks. Great for a last-minute meal.

                                              And Hannam Chain is more convenient because it has a large open parking lot in front of it. Some of the other places have lots that are smaller and hard to maneuver in or you have to go inside a parking structure, which I find to be less convenient.

                                              Hannam Chain is on Olympic, just west of Vermont, on the south side of the street.

                                            2. i
                                              igj Dec 5, 2006 09:34 PM

                                              For Thai foodstuffs, I hit up the Bangluck Market on Sherman Way in NoHo, as detailed above. But if I am in Thai Town, then I usually only go to that location of Bangluck after I have checked out the Silom market, as well as a trip to Bhan Khanom Thai. BKT is a great source for fresh snacks, but also for packaged snacks. Bangluck is especially good for curry pastes, drinks (num dtaan sot is a favorite - translated as palm sheath nectar, whatever that means) and various sauces. We had a really great experience there recently - we wanted to make pak boong fai dang which requires some bean sauce or other, but we didn't know which one. Some guy noticed our confused stares at the packed shelves and asked if we needed help. We told him what we wanted to make and he said, "Ah, you need [insert name of the sauce that I have again forgotten].' He then proceeded to take us around to another aisle and point out the sauce to us. Then he went to the checkout and bought his own groceries - he was just a really friendly customer and didn't even work at the store.

                                              For Korean things, I hit up either Assi Market on 8th in K-town or the supermarket in the basement of the K-town Galeria. Assi had some major labor problems that left a bad taste in people's mouths I guess, but they have decent preprepared items (spicy tofu, kimchis, etc.), a great selection of rice cakes, frozen dumplings - including my favorite kimchi dumplings, and a house brand that has a great ginger tea. If I want to try before I buy, I head to the K-town Galeria's market because there are often like a dozen different sample tables set up.

                                              For Japanese, I use Nijiya, as well as Safe and Save on Sawtelle - but I live 3 blocks from there, so I walk. I will have to make the short trip to the newly refurbished Mitsuwa to check it out.

                                              6 Replies
                                              1. re: igj
                                                nakni Dec 5, 2006 09:53 PM

                                                Is the Safe and Save market the really tiny one further up the street on the same side as Nijiya? I guess it'll do if you're not getting a massive amount of groceries. Otherwise I'd stick with Mitsuwa or Nijiya.

                                                I feel so grateful to live in a city that has so many options. I'm probably moving to Boise next year. I e-mailed a friend up there a few weeks ago and asked if there are any Japanese markets. He never replied (uh-oh).

                                                1. re: nakni
                                                  k
                                                  krushdnasty Dec 5, 2006 10:07 PM

                                                  yep, thats the one. I have "heard" that can get kobe beef. Anyone else know for sure?

                                                  1. re: krushdnasty
                                                    s
                                                    Sgee Jan 4, 2007 04:08 AM

                                                    Mitsuwa in Torrance had fresh wasabi root and ..... the real deal Kobe Beef. Holy cow!!! Unbelivable marbling, you won't mistake it for american wagyu / kobe style beef.

                                                    1. re: Sgee
                                                      l
                                                      Liquid Sky Jan 4, 2007 02:50 PM

                                                      What is so special about Kobe Beef... just curious. I heard that in Japan there is a beef considered higher than Kobe that everyone loves. Forgot the name...

                                                      The few times I've tasted Kobe here I've really liked it. Is it really the way they treat the cow??

                                                      1. re: Liquid Sky
                                                        SauceSupreme Jan 4, 2007 03:55 PM

                                                        It's juiciness and tenderness are its siren song. Beef handled in the same manner but not located in the Kobe Prefecture are referred to as wagyu beef.

                                                  2. re: nakni
                                                    i
                                                    igj Dec 5, 2006 10:53 PM

                                                    Yes, that's the place. Nijiya has only prepacked fish/seafood, whereas Safe and Save has a fish counter. So, if I am cooking some seafood dish, I'll often end up at S&S for the actual seafood and at Nijiya for many of the other items.

                                                    Also, oddly enough, Nijiya has a very good price on organic milk and 1/2 & 1/2. I'd much rather buy those things from Nijiya than Ralph's!

                                                2. e
                                                  estone888 Dec 5, 2006 08:33 PM

                                                  In the San Gabriel Valley, the Ranch 99 in San Gabriel Square at the corner of Del Mar and Valley is one of the best Chinese markets anywhere. Across the street (Del Mar) from it is the Hawaii Supermarket. It seems to have slightly more southeast Asian stuff (they also have whole, frozen armadillos - I don't know what to do with them.)

                                                  There is a truly astounding supermarket - a WalMart-sized Asian supermarket - on Rosemead, just south of the 10 Fwy on the east side of the street. I can never remember its name - it's a Vietnamese name and calls itself a grocery warehouse. The seafood section is like an aquarium - but you can eat everything. The fresh fruits and vegetables department is the size of some other respectable markets. And it's all really cheap.

                                                  Closer to West Hollywood you've got the Bangkok Market on Melrose a few blocks east of Western. (There's another Thai supermarket in Silom Plaza on Hollywood Blvd. just east of Western.) Down Western you have the HK and California Korean markets. There are also excellent Korean markets in Koreatown Plaza on Western south of 8th street and the Koreatown mall on the corner of Olympic and Western.

                                                  There's a surprisingly good, small but well stocked, Asian (southeast Asia bias - it's run by Vietnamese) market on Sunset Blvd. in Echo Park called A Grocery Warehouse.

                                                  In Little Tokyo there is an excellent Japanese market in the mall at 3rd and Alameda. Although the best Japanese market in the region is to be found in Gardena: Marukai, 1740 West Artesia Blvd. (a little east of Western). It costs $10 per year to join, but it's well worth it. There's another, non-member Marukai nearby, but the one on Artesia is a lot better.

                                                  For my money, the best Shanghai dumplings - juicy pork, or pork and crab xiao long bau in a restaurant are at J&J Shanghai - conveniently near the Hawaii and Ranch 99 markets at Del Mar and Valley (301 W. Valley - ground floor at the back of the strip mall.) You can also do a whole lot worse, if you want frozen dumplings to take home, than Mama's Kitchen on New Ave. between Valley and the 10 - Mama's dumplings at the restaurant are pretty good, not great, but for some reason they seem to be the best frozen dumplings I've found. (12 minutes once the steam gets going.)

                                                  That ought to get you started. Welcome to L.A.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: estone888
                                                    Pei Dec 5, 2006 08:52 PM

                                                    The huge place on Rosemead is called something Superstore. I can't ever remember the whole name either.

                                                    The most impressive place I've been lately is 168 on New and Valley. Very clean, lots of nicely pre-packaged fresh items (again, clean), the food I've eaten so far has been very fresh, and...all the carts work! The place is pretty new, so that's probably why.

                                                    1. re: Pei
                                                      w
                                                      will47 Dec 21, 2011 03:21 PM

                                                      Yeah - 168 is pretty good.

                                                      Also pretty good is The Square (正方; Zheng Fang) in Rosemead.

                                                    2. re: estone888
                                                      b
                                                      BobMack Dec 5, 2006 09:08 PM

                                                      It's called Vien Dong III Superfood Warehouse and it's located at 2650 N Rosemead Ave in South El Monte.

                                                      BM

                                                      1. re: BobMack
                                                        e
                                                        estone888 Dec 5, 2006 09:20 PM

                                                        Thanks. That is the one. I was there on Sunday so I should have remembered.

                                                    3. t
                                                      theboatmanscall Dec 5, 2006 08:29 PM

                                                      For Korean, I go to California Market on Western and 5th in Koreatown (450 S. Western Avenue). Their produce section is pretty neat and orderly.

                                                      For Japanese on Sawtelle, I like Nijiya, but I also like to support Safe and Save, mainly b/c the owners are cool and the fish mongers are really knowledgeable.

                                                      1. Das Ubergeek Dec 5, 2006 08:20 PM

                                                        Let's see...

                                                        CHINESE

                                                        99 Ranch (also known as Tawa) has a bunch of branches that vary in quality. The Van Nuys one is just "OK" -- it's in the Valley, which is easier to get to for Westsiders and us Valleyites. The best is probably the one on San Gabriel and Garvey, though the one on Atlantic and Garvey is also OK.

                                                        There's Hong Kong Superstore, on San Gabriel and Valley.

                                                        There's Hawaii, which is, er, a bit lacking in housekeeping but by FAR the cheapest, on Del Mar and Valley, across from Focus Plaza.

                                                        And then there's Shun Fat, on Atlantic north of Garvey, which is just gross.

                                                        VIETNAMESE

                                                        I don't know the name of the store at Bolsa and Magnolia but it's probably the best I've seen.

                                                        Phu Ky, on Valley between Atlantic and Garfield, is OK but housekeeping sometimes not OK.

                                                        KOREAN

                                                        Han Kook Market on Pacific and Glenoaks in Glendale is my destination, with the pre-marinated barbecue meats and the "Wall O'Kimchi" along the left side. There's another in K-town (on 6th?).

                                                        THAI

                                                        In Thai Town, the two contenders, both on Hollywood Blvd., are Silom and Bangluck. There's also Bangkok Market but I haven't had good luck pricewise there.

                                                        Bangluck also has a branch in North Hollywood, on Sherman Way between Coldwater Canyon and Ethel. It's bigger and (I think) better than the one in Hollywood and has the required Sanamluang Cafe adjacent.

                                                        New King Seafood, just off the corner of Coldwater Canyon and Sherman Way, is the cheapest I've found but it's also the dirtiest -- I only buy canned or jarred things here, never frozen or fresh.

                                                        JAPANESE

                                                        There's a Mitsuwa in West LA on Sawtelle, and another in Little Tokyo, and another in Torrance on 215th. There may be others. They're huge, they tend to have food courts (try Santouka Ramen for a bowl of shio ramen, you'll thank us after).

                                                        On Sawtelle north of Olympic is Nijiya, with another branch in Little Tokyo in the little shopping plaza. This is our usual destination for Japanese-specific products as they trend cheaper than the Taiwanese-owned stores.

                                                        INDIAN

                                                        I always go to India Sweets & Spices, of which there are four -- one's on Parthenia, one's at Topanga Canyon and Sherman Way, one's on Venice Blvd. near Versailles and one's in Los Feliz. Housekeeping can be a bit squicky (the Topanga Canyon branch is the cleanest), but that isn't true of the amazingly tasty, unbelievably cheap takeaway vegetarian restaurants attached -- they're usually scrupulously clean.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                          t
                                                          Tmblweed Dec 5, 2006 10:27 PM

                                                          wait...are you saying that Mitsuwa is owned by Taiwanese??

                                                          1. re: Tmblweed
                                                            Das Ubergeek Dec 5, 2006 10:39 PM

                                                            No, sorry, I meant such as 99 Ranch, Shun Fat, etc., which carry some Japanese products.

                                                          2. re: Das Ubergeek
                                                            boogiebaby Dec 7, 2006 08:03 PM

                                                            the Jawa brothers sold several of their stores -- they had like 20 stores in CA and Las Vegas before selling several of them. The Parthenia/Lindley store in Northridge was one of the ones sold, but they kept the Topanga/Sherman Way location. I hate the Northridge location now -- the new owners don't carry any of the brands I use (I'm indian, so do a lot of indian cooking) and they aren't very helpful when I need to find something.

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