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mangosteen available in LA yet?

  • f

Read it somewhere that it'd be allowed for import this year. Any heads up?

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  1. I had heard it was supposed to be toward the end of last month - I think around the 22nd? Maybe call some of the Chinese markets?

    1. There's a Pinkberry clone next to my office that serves mangosteen but honestly I'm not sure in what form or even what mangosteen is. But it's there if you want to stop by. At Wilshire and Ardmore.

      1. I found freeze-dried mangosteens at Trader Joes and they are pretty tasty. I wait anxiously for the fresh ones, but these do have a nice mangosteeny flavor.

        1 Reply
        1. re: zoomchic

          Imagine how excited I was when I saw "mangosteen" --even the freezed-dried ones--at Trader Joe's, but I can't really say I enjoyed it. The flavor and the texture.....no, they are not what mangosteens should be like. I WANT FRESH MANGOSTEENS!!!!

        2. yes, there are a few fresh ones here but, sadly, don't know where

          2 Replies
          1. re: epop

            Did not see any at the Chinese markets (1 6 8, Hawaii) this past week.

            1. re: epop

              you mean you've seen them, or heard of someone having them????

            2. I just read in today's NYT that fresh mangosteens (from Puerto Rico) are scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles by FedEx this morning. Unfortunately, the article doesn't mention where in Los Angeles one can find the legendary fruit. They will be expensive to be sure (one store in Brooklyn is selling them for $10/piece). I hope someone can tell us where to find them.

              2 Replies
              1. re: sweiner

                When I was at the LA County Fair, there was a booth promoting the health benefits of Mangosteen Juice. You could buy a bottle for $30! We had just got back from Vietnam where you can buy a bag of Mangosteens for $1. I think I am in the wrong business.

                I would love to see more of a variety of fruits from SE Asia available here. That is one thing I always enjoy when I go there. I did see Rambutan at Trader Joe's once and they looked terrible. Haven't seen them there in a long time.

                1. re: bsquared2

                  When in season, you can go to an asian market to get rambutan. I'd probably pass on TJ's as it would also probably be 2x as much as an asian market.

              2. Someone who speaks Vietnamese needs to call Tien Phat Produce and ask them. If anyone has these, it's likely them. I tried calling, but the language barrier was insurmountable. Their number is (714) 893-7970.

                Tien Phat Produce
                9291 Bolsa Ave, Westminster, CA 92683

                2 Replies
                1. re: David Kahn

                  Tien Phat has them now -- I just bought some. I found out about that place from this same topic, so I'd like to return the favor!

                  1. re: DogVomit

                    OMG, thanks so much for posting this. Westminster is a long trek from where I am, but we are talking about mangosteens here. I'm going!

                2. According to an article I read Melissa's/World Variety Produce, Inc will be distributor in the LA area. Call them and maybe they can tell you when and where. (800) 588-0151.

                  Mangosteen article from CNN:

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: monku

                    Oh, the picture on CNN website....I can just taste the fruit in my mouth. But guess what? I called Melissa's. A lady there told me they heard from Thailand that mangosteen season is over, so the earliest shipment will be next May!!!! NEXT MAY!!! If anyone finds out about Puerto Rican or Vietnamese imports, please PLEASE share info!!!

                    1. re: monku

                      tried that this week but they don't seem to have them-- i think the few of them
                      making it to LA are already basically accounted for.

                      1. re: monku

                        On top of that, I heard that Chef Jamie Gwen will be broadcasting life from Melissa's Produce this Saturday (8/11) on KABC790 (11AM - 12:45PM), so I guess people can call in and have her ask Melissa's, to see when they might be getting the mangosteens:

                        http://www.chefjamie.com/ (White box on right-hand side)

                      2. what the heck does a mangosteen look like?

                        does mangosteen have a bright red/magenta color to the pulp? Taste sort of raspberryish/mango/strawberry?

                        If so, then Tai Kim at Scoops has been making sorbet with it the last week. I asked what the fruit was and was told it was something from the Chinese grocery store.....

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jenn

                          monku posted a link to CNN--click on it and you'll see a picture. No, the pulp is no red--it's white. The fruit by itself is so good that it would be a waste to make it into ice cream.

                        2. Tien Phat Produce in Westminster has mangosteens now. I just bought 2 bags from there about a week ago, and 2 bags of them today, and they have a bunch more on display. The guy there said he just started getting them.

                          14 Replies
                          1. re: DogVomit

                            How much are they charging for the mangosteens?

                            1. re: glutton

                              When I first went there, they were $12/pound. When I went there today, the sign on them said $5/pound.

                              1. re: DogVomit

                                $5/pound is not bad :)
                                $12/pound is expensive though! I was gonna get some but then I'm going back home to Indonesia in 3 weeks ... if it's $12 I'm just gonna wait til I go home ..

                            2. re: DogVomit

                              Are they as flavorful as in Thailand?

                              1. re: fdb

                                I've never had them until a week or two ago, so I can't really compare to any other ones, but the ones that were most fresh were really delicious. CAUTION: however, I just realized right now as to why they were $5/pound on my second trip -- almost every single one I bought was spoiled! In that picture I posted earlier, I haven't opened any yet at that point. After posting that, I started opening them, and every single one, save for 1 or 2, was bad :(

                                1. re: DogVomit

                                  Oh, in that case I'll have to reconsider the one-hour drive to Westminster.

                                  1. re: fdb

                                    is there nowhere closer to LA with mangosteens?

                                    1. re: epop

                                      I heard that there's an area in LA called Thai Town or something. I'll bet you can find some there.


                                      1. re: DogVomit

                                        better known for restaurants than markets

                                      2. re: epop

                                        Saw them for 10.99/lb at Arcadia Supermarket this Saturday:

                                        645 W. DUARTE RD. ARCADIA. CA. 91007

                                        1. re: misseatalot

                                          Thanks for the info. This is so perfect. I just happen to be going to Arcadia tomorrow. Can't wait to taste this delicious fruit again!

                                          1. re: misseatalot

                                            Damn, now I have to consider an hour drive :)

                                            1. re: misseatalot

                                              Hey, out of curiosity, did the mangosteens you saw in Arcadia have the leaves pulled off of them?

                                              1. re: DogVomit

                                                No leaves. I picked up 3 packages to share with family today. They are delicious although some of them are really small. The cashier told me they were originally priced at $12.99/lb, but reduced to $10.99/lb because people complain about the high price.

                                  2. Here's a picture of them. You can see that the leaves have been taken off, and the guy there told me that they have to do that in order to import them or something.

                                    1. I saw them available for $10.99/lb in packages of maybe 4-5 at the Arcadia Supermarket
                                      645 W. DUARTE RD. ARCADIA. CA. 91007 on Sunday 1/28/08.

                                      That's one of a chain of the Guang Hua (sp?) supermarkets in the SGV so you might want to check the other ones out too.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Quik

                                        Do they have any of those supermarkets in Orange County?

                                      2. It seems that the mangosteens are becoming more widely available. Has anyone checked 99 Ranch?

                                        11 Replies
                                        1. re: DogVomit

                                          Actually, has anyone seen them at all in Orange County, besides that Tien Phat place?

                                          1. re: DogVomit

                                            I just bought some today for $8/lb at CC Market in Santa Ana. I ate five of them and they were all perfectly ripe.


                                            1. re: kabuki

                                              Awesome, thanks, I'll head there today! Hey, the place doesn't come up in a google maps search. Is this the place?


                                              1. re: kabuki

                                                Ugh, in order to find it in Google Maps, I had to type C & C Market. Does this address look correct?

                                                C & C Market
                                                2329 W 1st St
                                                Santa Ana, CA


                                                1. re: kabuki

                                                  I went to that address I posted, and they didn't have any mangosteens, and the guy there had no idea what I was talking about. Is there another place with that name?

                                                  1. re: DogVomit

                                                    Perhaps you could make a culinary trip to Arcadia this weekend. Lunch at Din Tai Fung (next plaza), shave ice at Sin Bala (same plaza) then get a bunch of mangosteen to go at Arcadia Supermarket.

                                                    1. re: DogVomit

                                                      CC is on Newhope and First in the Trieu Chau & Newport Seafood plaza. It took over the unit which used to be Kim Su/Kim Long.

                                                      1. re: kabuki

                                                        I went there today and picked up a bag. Thanks for the heads up! I'm glad I signed up for this website (although I now wish I picked a less unappetizing name ;) They were almost out -- I hope they will get more. I would have asked, but I'm not sure if they spoke English (although the lady did seem to understand 'mangosteen' :)

                                                        1. re: DogVomit

                                                          DogVomit -- Regarding your desire to have a different name, I think you can go to the Technical Help Board and get the needed info to make a name change.


                                                      2. re: DogVomit

                                                        OH YEAH I am off to the Arcadia Market on Saturday, thanks for the info. DV if you need someone to carry your bags home to Indo for you. I am very strong!

                                                    2. re: DogVomit

                                                      Vien Dong Supermarket on Brookhurst and Westminster in Garden Grove now has them for $8.99/lb but they are smaller than the ones I got at CC.

                                                  2. Hey everybody, I am confused. I am new to LA, so I have no idea how far anything is. So have there been any sightings in or near LA, I live in Burbank. This time last year, I was up to my EYEBALLS in the coveted goodness in Koh Tao and am dying to have it again. Thanks

                                                    14 Replies
                                                    1. re: QLittlestar

                                                      Arcadia is not too far from Burbank, although the 210 can be murder:

                                                      However, Santa Ana and Westminster are pretty far.

                                                      By the way, what are "Koh Tao"?

                                                      1. re: DogVomit

                                                        koh tao is an island in thailand.

                                                        1. re: QLittlestar

                                                          THANKS TO EVERYBODY - found my way to the Arcadia Supermarket and I am enjoying the mangosteen goodness right now.

                                                          1. re: QLittlestar

                                                            Glad you made it. I went and got some more today. Delicious!

                                                            1. re: fdb

                                                              If/when any of you mangosteen lovers gets to Thailand, the Thai name for that fruit is pronounced like 'man-khud.'

                                                              Thailand's Chiang Rai Winery produces a number of fruit wines including mangosteen. When I was last there two years ago I bought two small bottles of it and some other flavors but I have not yet tried it. Maybe I should sell one on eBay. Can you sell booze on eBay? Anyway, see the picture.

                                                              And a bit of mangosteen trivia that you can use to impress your friends. On the bottom of each fruit you'll find a little star-like thing with a number of petals. The number of petals is exactly the same as the number of fruit segments inside.

                                                              1. re: ThaiNut

                                                                Hmmmmm.... ChowHound did not upload my picture of the wine bottle so let's try it again.

                                                                1. re: ThaiNut

                                                                  hmmm...interesting trivia. I had my first taste of mangosteen in Phuket over 10 years ago. For 5 days, I was in heaven. I'm just so glad to see them again here in LA.

                                                                2. re: ThaiNut

                                                                  And it's called 山竹 (shanzhu) in Mandarin.

                                                              2. re: QLittlestar

                                                                I tried them for the first time today! They were $8/lb at the market in Arcadia. I'm told that the exterior should be pliable enough that you can just peel them. These were pretty hard. Much like an old pomegranate. I had to use a paring knife to get through the skin. Since this was my first experience, I have nothing to compare these to but they were delicious. I'm told that they aren't actually in season right now in Thailand. Maybe someone knows where these are from and if they are "old" or what.

                                                                1. re: Fru

                                                                  So the price has come down. You are right. The ones I had in Thailand were peelable with hands while these are impossible to open without a knife. I've read it somewhere that mangosteens are also available in South or Central America, so I suspect these are from there. The official import from Thailand will start in May.

                                                                  1. re: fdb

                                                                    Yes, there are available in South America. I bought them in Colombia in December. They were good, but there was no way you could peel them with your hands -- they required a knife to crack through the outer "shell."

                                                                    1. re: glutton

                                                                      Maybe the variety in S.A. is different - you should be able to crack them open by hand if it's the same variety as in SE Asia. Just push the fruit between your palms with some force and it should crack open at least a little... Just don't get the juice from the skin on anything you want to keep - it will stain...

                                                                      1. re: bulavinaka

                                                                        I'm not sure but I think they are one and the same. When they get old, the skin becomes less pliable like a pomegranate. I've bought them at the Asian Market behind Din Tai Fung. Some I could pry open with my fingers and some required a knife.

                                                            2. Just back from Thailand and craving Mangosteens. Does anyone know where they may be found on the westside? Thanks in advance.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: anothernotch

                                                                Not quite the westside but I saw some at AI Hoa Market in Chinatown on Sunday. Not sure on the price per weight though, wasn't curious enough....mangosteen wasn't my favorite of the fruits i had while abroad.

                                                              2. Some of the smaller markets on Anaheim in Long Beach's Khmer area also have it for about $9 per lb.

                                                                1. Or you can go to any market in Little Saigon and buy them. Prices are $5-$7 per pound and a pound is 5 mangosteens or so. So instead of $40 for two pounds plus shipping, pay $12 and no shipping.

                                                                  1. I keep checking Ranch99 in Van Nuys and they aren't there.

                                                                    I did see manosteen juice or nectar at the Bangkok Market on Beverly but didn't buy it.

                                                                    Can't wait until it makes it's way to the Los Angeles area.

                                                                    1. Not sure what happened to my original post, but I just found mangosteens a few days ago in Venice at a little shop called the Fruit Gallery, just off the boardwalk.


                                                                      1. A Grocery Warehouse in Echo Park on Sunset near Laveta has fresh mangosteen available. They are by the registers, not in the produce section.

                                                                        1. Does anyone know where I can find Mangosteens right now (preferably in the Westside) ? Ive been dying to try them fresh.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                            1. re: epop

                                                                              sadly, i have to second this. you can find some decent ones, but it will be mixed in a bag with some bad and hard ones. wouldn't really recommend it for the cost. better to wait.

                                                                            2. re: dovishkay

                                                                              I saw fresh mangosteens a couple months ago at 99 Ranch. Haven't looked for them lately. If they still have them, the Van Nuys location is the closest to the Westside.

                                                                            3. Been seeing them at Seafood City (Filipino) markets for the past month already. About $5/lb. too. They have branches everywhere.

                                                                              1. You can find them at almost all the Asian supermarkets in Little Saigon in Westminster. Most recently I saw then at the Asian supermarket in the same plaza as Target on Brookhurst and Westminster in Little Saigon. About 8 dollars a lb. There is also tropical fruit stores on Bolsa and Magnolia in a strip mall with Wells Fargo that sell them.

                                                                                1. I've seen it at Seafood City in Eagle Rock (this is a Filipino west coast grocery chain) and at Woo Ri Market in the Little Tokyo Mall (in the location where Mitsuwa used to be in Little Tokyo).

                                                                                  1. You can get Mangostten on the corner of ORD and Broadway next to the fish market in Chinatown. It runs a whopping $6.00 per pound and that's after haggling the price. I just purchased some yesterday. If you live in Hollywood - I have purchased it fresh at the Siam Market on Hollywood Blvd - BUT they were not very fresh and I had to throw half away. The ones from Chinatown were more FRESH!