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Where to buy rambutans?

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RustyShackelford May 7, 2007 09:37 AM

So my mother has really enjoyed rambutans when vacationing in tropical places and I wanted to send her some for Mother's Day, but I can't seem to find any. There's none to be had at the Fairfax Farmer's Market and today I tried Hawaii Supermarket an Market 168 in Alhambra. Are they out of season now or does anyone know where else I should try.

Thanks.

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    estone888 RE: RustyShackelford May 7, 2007 10:12 AM

    When they are in season, which I don't think is now, I've always found them at the Ranch 99 across from Hawaii in San Gabriel, and strangely, lately I've seen them in Ralphs - both the one on Glendale in Silverlake and one in Glendale.

    1. David Kahn RE: RustyShackelford May 7, 2007 11:39 AM

      Tien Phat Produce
      9291 Bolsa Avenue
      Westminster, CA 92683
      (714) 893-7970

      The best selection of tropical fruit I've seen in the greater LA area. Call first, because I haven't been there in several months, and you never know. (Although, among the people who work there, proficiency in English is highly variable.)

      5 Replies
      1. re: David Kahn
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        BobMack RE: David Kahn May 7, 2007 02:27 PM

        Right down the street from Tien Phat is Thai Son which I think is even a little bit better (plus Thai Son's neighbor also deals in the exotics). I went to all three about 3-4 weeks ago and found some good stuff at each. Thai Son had the elusive fresh Mangosteen (I heard they are out) plus some other unique exotics. I didn't see Rambutans at any of the markets.

        If you're in the area, just hit all three.

        Thai Son
        8922 Bolsa Ave
        Westminster, CA 92683
        (714) 893-5325

        1. re: BobMack
          David Kahn RE: BobMack May 7, 2007 04:52 PM

          Seriously? They had fresh mangosteens?

          1. re: David Kahn
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            revets2 RE: David Kahn May 7, 2007 05:41 PM

            have they become street legal?

            1. re: revets2
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              BobMack RE: revets2 May 7, 2007 11:19 PM

              They were 17.99 lb right in the front of the store, I brought a couple home and found them quite tasty. They were much too expensive to buy any large quantity of.

              They've been legal from about 18 countries for awhile (including Mexico and some Carribean locations) but none of them are known to grow them. There's a grower in Puerto Rico who is supposedly going to ship them this year.

              The fresh but irradiated Mangosteens from Thailand should be available later this year.

              1. re: BobMack
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                revets2 RE: BobMack May 14, 2007 11:30 PM

                were they great?

      2. meesha RE: RustyShackelford May 7, 2007 12:22 PM

        If you cannot get fresh ones, you can get freeze-dried ones at some Trader Joes. They are crunchy and very sweet.

        1. Kitchen Queen RE: RustyShackelford May 7, 2007 12:43 PM

          .......And, always in a can w/syrup at any Thai or other Asian market. Not in season now for fresh.

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            artichokey RE: RustyShackelford May 7, 2007 01:24 PM

            I've seen them at the Pavillions on Melrose (but not lately).

            1. liu RE: RustyShackelford May 7, 2007 05:34 PM

              There are two Westminster produce stores mentioned on this post, and while I am not sure which one we have been to a number of times (it is on a corner with a lot of flowers outside on the sidewalk), we have purchased heavenly rambutans at one of these, along with some other hard-to-find produce.

              I completely agree with both David Kahn and Bob Mack that these two stores have some of the most interesting produce that we have seen in the Los Angeles area...when they have it!

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                revets2 RE: RustyShackelford May 7, 2007 05:40 PM

                i've purchased them at TJ's but haven't seen them there lately. they weren't very sweet.

                1 Reply
                1. re: revets2
                  liu RE: revets2 May 7, 2007 05:45 PM

                  revets2, You just reminded me that I also purchased one this past year sometime at one of our local markets, either Pavilions or Trader Joes -- can't remember where -- and they did not compare with what I have had from the produce stores in Westminster.

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