Hawaiian groceries - where can I find them?
Hi there! MY boyfriend lived on the Big Island for several years & he's been missing the authentic foods of Hawaii ever since he returned, but it seems like lately the longing has been growing at an exponential rate!
So, I've decided to surprise him w/ an authentic Hawaiian meal & I'm also stocking the pantry w/ some of the products that are exclusive to the islands. The problem is, I have no idea where to find this stuff! Can anyone suggest a market where I can go? I live in the Agoura area, & I know there's nothing up here, but I'd prefer not to drive too far if I can..the carbon footprint of hauling these items over is already big enough!
All of the suggestions thus far have been for you to drive to the South Bay. Here are a couple of other options. The suggestion of NOH Foods seasonings, etc., is pretty decent, I've used some of it, and it works pretty well. Many grocery stores carry these products in the Asian section. All of the Ralph's here in the SGV carry about 1/3 of the items, not sure, but you can just go to the closest Ralph's and browse around. If you're in Thousand Oaks area for a visit, try Ralph's at 1500 N Moorpark (they have more exclusive and gourmet items at this one) I know for a fact that all HOWS markets have NOH, Aloha Sodas, Linguisa, etc.. There's one in Malibu near Trancas or up in Granada Hills. Have a look at the NOH foods website, they will ship items to you, but you'd have to pay the shipping fees. Lots of recipes etc on there as well.
Marukai hands-down is easily the best place to go for one-stop shopping when seeking those hard-to-find goods from the Islands... You may want to stop by Bruddah's in Gardena and pick up some kalua pork, lau lau, and spam musubi - foods that travel and keep well - for a feast for two. Maybe even some poke to start and clue him in that something special is coming (bring an ice chest)...and if you really want to go a step further, pick up one of those hand-cranked shaved ice appliances along with some syrups and tsubuan (red azuki beans in syrup) (all also available at Marukai) to top off your meal.
1740 W. Artesia Blvd
Gardena CA 90247
1033 W. Gardena Blvd.
Gardena, CA 90247
This would be my personal recommendation for authentic Hawaiian foodstuffs. Marukai has Hawaii distributors supplying the mainland with fresh fish and ogo (seaweed) and also many local Hawaii brands not available at other ethnic markets. Things like any specialized-typed ingredients for poke (roasted kukui nut, limu kohu, etc), must be hand carried directly from Hawaii. General things like Aloha Shoyu, Portuguese sausage, Noh's spices, Kona coffee, etc., are available most of the time. 99 Ranch Markets are generally Chinese but they do carry a limited stock of Hawaii things like Aloha Shoyu and Noh's mixes.
I have only visited the West Covina location of Marukai Market when eating at Rutt's Cafe located inside the store. When walking inside however you do get a feel of being on the islands. Some island items and Asian foods in general.
Gardena, Costa Mesa, West Covina, Torrance and Little Tokyo.
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