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May 21, 2007 11:14 AM

Korean Grocery, Union City

When I poked my head into Gulistan to see a menu, we also noticed a small Korean grocer in the same strip mall over by Jiro Restaurant. Compact, but quite complete in terms of seasonings and also has a small selection of fresh produce used in Korean cooking. Even more impressive, it has a cold bar set up with panchan and marinated meats sold by weight. You serve yourself using the disposable chopsticks provided.

Francesc selected three kinds, and of course, I had to taste them immediately back in the car. The seaweed salad had a strong sesame signature and a bit of tartness. The kimchi made with what I think is Chinese bellflower was quite delicious with chili heat and abundant garlic. My favorite was the sticky sweet dried cuttlefish floss.

Nice little store.

Image of store façade and panchan bar –

Korean Grocery
34555 Alvarado Niles Rd (off Decoto
)Union City, CA 94587
(510) 471-4892

Nearby businesses –

Gulistan – Bangladeshi in Union City,

Jiro Restaurant in Union City,

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  1. thanks for the report. I'll have to explore it more soon.

    1. is that pic on the bottom of the korean grocery the bellflower kimchi? Looks more like a dried radish kimchi, at least to me.

      6 Replies
      1. re: choctastic

        That's the photo. It well may be dried radish kimchi. It seemed like it was made of shoots or root material in its natural form, not sliced into shreds.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          It also looks to me to be the dried radish kimchi. It should have a nice chewy texture yet slight crunch at the core when bitten in. I really enjoyed this growing up and one of my favorite panchan items, though we don't see it that often at restaurants.

          That grocery store seems to be one of the few Korean groceries around Fremont/Newark/Union City area. The other one I remember being near Mowry/Fremont in Fremont.


          1. re: tanspace

            Thanks, guys, for the correction. The two store staff didn't speak enough English to answer our questions. The signs on the panchan bar are in Korean. . . with prices easily readable in $XX.xx.

            1. re: Melanie Wong

              I think the fact that the shreds still looked gnarly and not totally sticklike is a good sign. For this dish, the dried radish is reconstituted for a period of time in water, yet it shouldn't be totally reconstituted or it will be waterlogged and not have that chewy yet crunchy texture. However, of course some places will soak it longer because they get more money that way. Hmm, too bad I"m not in the area, sounds promising.

              1. re: choctastic

                Ok. Love finding something ready-to-eat in small grocers like this. Everything at the panchan bar looked very fresh on Saturday afternoon. Normally I'd be concerned about turnover.

                Now, was I right about the sticky dried shreds covered in golden syrup being cuttlefish?

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  I couldn't see your picture of that dish just below the dried radish dish. It seems to be cut off... But from your description and my psychic powers, I think it may very well be cuttlefish.