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Sep 8, 2007 11:25 AM


Hello! Has anyone managed to find fresh mangosteens in LA? Thank you!

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  1. I am not from L.A. or CA but visit often to eat Malaysian/Singaporean food and great Chinese seafood. The grocery stores around Westminster, CA (in Little Saigon, along Bolsa Ave, Westminster Blvd or Brookhurst) do carry southeast Asian fruits when they are in season. Take an outing there some Sat. and explore.

    8 Replies
    1. re: mommyet

      Mommyet - where do you go for Singaporean/Malayasian food in OC? We just moved back from London and I really miss C&R (a local place there).

      I also miss the mangosteens - haven't seen that here in the Chinese supermarkets.

      1. re: cqt

        Hi cqt: When we visit L.A. we stay either in Buena Park or Anaheim. Then hubby will drive all over to make me happy. For Malaysian/Singaporean foods, we go to Singapore Banana Leaf at Farmer's Market on Fairfax for lunch and Yazmin at 27E Main St. for dinner (they are closed every Tues. now). Both have Rojak on their menu. We have tried most of the other M/S restaurants in the L.A. area but prefer the 2 mentioned above. For Chinese seafood: we like Dragon Phoenix Palace, 9211 Bolsa Ave,Westminster or Seafood City/Hai Do, 9253 Bolsa Ave (this one opens from 3 PM - 3 AM, so a good place for us when we get in from Hawaii around midnight). If you wish to try other M/S restaurants, they are:
        Little Malaysia in El Monte on Peck
        Penang's in West Covina (don't know if it is still open) --- related to Penang's in NYC, Chicago, Philadelphia, etc. and it does have Rojak too.
        Kuala Lumpur in Pasadena (may be closed)
        Indo Kitchen, W. Main and 4th in Alhambra
        Welcome back to OC and good loe USA!

        1. re: mommyet

          Hey Mommyet, don't know if you've tried Belacan Grill in North Redondo Beach/Torrance. It's pretty darned good - alot of folks rate it very highly for Malaysian food in the general LA area. Of all the Malaysian restos I've been to, it probably has the nicest dining room in terms of feel, but being that your roots are in Singapore, I know it's all about the food.

          The food is quite good, but if you're used to Singapore or KL prices, forget it. It's a little more expensive than Yazmin (probably our favorite right there with Belacan Grill) but it's worth adding to your list of restos when you're yearning for a decent food from back home...

          As far as fresh mangosteens, I think the hardest state to penetrate with these delicious fruits is California. The fear is of a particular fruit fly that lays its eggs in mangosteens - CA Agriculture fears that this fly would cause another Medfly-like blitz that cost the state millions of dollars to control and eventually irradicate(or did they?). I think once the state is satisfied that the fly eggs and larvae can be destroyed prior to importation (I think the fruits are to be irradiated), then we'll probably see them but I'm not paying $5-$7 or more for one fruit. $5 US will get you a couple of huge bags in Malaysia - I'll wait for my next trip there - it will make it that much more special...

          1. re: bulavinaka

            No, I have not but will definitely go there next time we are in L.A. I just discovered this website last Sat. while surfing the net and I have learned of many Asian restaurants around L.A. that hubby and I will visit in the next few months. Yes, you are correct. I don't care whether a resto has the atmosphere or ambience as long as the food is good and if it is expensive, it is okay. Oftentimes, we take relatives from other parts of US to dinner in Alhambra or Montery Park or Little Saigon because they happen to be in L.A. the same time as us. Hubby spoils me rotten and has taken me to NYC, DC, Chicago and elsewhere many times just because I want to eat at certain restos and shop in those cities. We are both retired and can take off almost immediately when we get the urge to do so.
            Thank you, Bulavinaka for explaining about the mangosteen prohibition. I know I did buy some fresh ones a few years ago either in a store in Alhambra or Monterey Park or Little Saigon but my chemo brain doesn't remember exactly where.
            I hear that Savoy in Alhambra has good Hainan chicken. Have you been there? Is it a M/S resto or some other Asian one? Let me know.

              1. re: bulavinaka

                Thank you,Bulavinaka for the 3 links above. I enjoyed dailygluttony's blog very much. I'm so glad I found this chowhound website last Sat. I love to eat and have learned alot more of the L.A. area Asian restos. o) o) o)

          2. re: mommyet

            Mommyet - thanks for the recommendations! I have heard of Little Malaysia, but have never been so I have to try this place. I've been to Penang's in West Covina many years ago - it has the same menu as Nnonya in NYC. The dishes are prepared almost like C&R's in London. They have the best hainan chicken.

            I've been to Savoy - the hainan chicken is just not as good as Nnonya, C&Rs.

            1. re: cqt

              I 've eaten at Nonya's in NYC Chinatown (actually north of Little Italy) many times with relatives. The owner is related to the owner of Penang's. One is a brother and the other is the sister but at my age and having a chemo brain I can't remember who owns which. I did meet Penang's owner and spouse at Penang's in West Covina 2 or 3 years ago. They were checking up on the resto and actually came in from NYC. Another relative manages Penang's in Chicago Chinatown and she was the one who told me almost 2 years ago that they planned to close Penang's in West Covina once they found a better location in the L.A. area. So, I don't know if that one is still open as we usually go to Yazmin's in Alhambra. Owners, Bob and Margaret are very nice to us and usually give us bigger servings. The rojak there is the best as they use alot of fruits in season. Hubby thinks the Hainan chicken there is better than Nonya's or Penang's.
              I will tell my daughter about C&R in London as she & her hubby just moved there last weekend from Amsterdam.
              By the way, Singapore Banana Leaf's rojak tastes great but they use very little fruits and mostly bean sprouts. Their laksa tastes great too. Mike the owner is a nice guy --- very friendly and chatty. His parents run the place till 4PM and then Mike takes over until closing.
              Have fun at the different places and do let me know which one is the best in your opinion. o) o) o)

      2. Thank you, mommyet - you're most kind. I'm a proud native Angelena, not of Asian extraction, but most appreciative of its many wonderful cuisines!

        The trouble with obtaining mangosteens has been that the US government (until recently) prohibited their importation. It's only been about a month, I believe, since it became legal to bring them in. I'd love to buy some for my brother-in-law as a really special gift; he loves all fruits, but since he's American, he's probably never tasted them!

        Cross your fingers for me.....

        And best to you

        2 Replies
        1. re: kauma

          PLEASE let us know what you find. I believe I read that Melissa's produce has the distribution for them so I wonder if we'll see them at Gelson's before we find them in ethnic markets.

          1. re: kauma

            I was born and raised in Singapore but have lived here 45 years. I didn't know about the US govt's prohibition of imported mangosteens until recently but I know I bought some fresh ones in NYC Chinatown a few years ago and also at an Asian grocery store in the L.A. area 2 years ago. They are good and I love durians too even tho' most people find them repulsive. I hope you find them. o) o)

          2. From a previous poster last month who called Melissa's Produce the season for fresh mangosteen is over and shipments will start in May.

            I've seen frozen mangosteen at the San Gabriel Superstore market on many occaisions. $2.99 for a bag of 15 or so.

            Fresh mangosteen post from last month

            1. We go to the 99 Ranch Market and haven't seen Mangosteens. I did see Mangosteen juice at Whole Foods at $17 per bottle. I was at the LA County Fair and there was a booth promoting Mangosteen Juice as a health benefit. They wanted $35 per bottle.

              I"m not sure of the health benefits but I love the taste. I did see fruit like Rambutan at local markets and they looked terrible. Sorry, just got back from Vietnam and I got spoiled. Now if I could only find fresh Dragon Fruit.

              5 Replies
              1. re: bsquared2

                Fresh dragonfruit is being grown in So Cal - usually out in the desert areas. You should be able to find it in the usual places but I'm not sure of when...

                1. re: bulavinaka

                  I saw fresh dragonfruit yesterday at the Santa Monica wholefoods.

                  1. re: bulavinaka

                    My friend's grandmother has several dragonfruit plants in her back yard in Long Beach! She sells them to friends. I've had some very fresh ones myself from her. Looked up for the seasons and found that it is possibly available in Oct and Nov.

                  2. re: bsquared2

                    These mangosteen bottled juices taste nothing like the fruit. In fact these drinks taste like a manufactured product... pretty horrible. They're marketed for their alleged "health benefits".

                    1. re: bsquared2

                      I have seen real mangosteen juice at just under $20 for a bottle, but it's prohibitively expensive. Please beware of the stuff they're touting for health benefits (like Noni juice/cure all). I tried some at the Fair. For one, it didn't list the amount of mangosteen, so I assume it's not very much, and probably more importantly -- part of the health benefit is in the very bitter skin and rind. I believe it's the WHOLE fruit they put in those. People don't buy those for the taste. If the juice is milky white (or off white) --that would be drinkable mangosteen juice. If it's dark purple, that would be the elixer --with rind.

                    2. Now that apparently you can legally import Mangosteens based on certain restrictions - you can find FRESH MANGOSTEENS at the Thai Mini Market in N. Hollywood just 1 block south of the Hollywood & Western Metro stop - at 1614 N. Western Ave

                      HOWEVER, note that Mangosteen season in Thailand usually starts in MAY - so depending on where they import from, they may not have Mangosteens in stock - and I am VERY curious to see the price/mangosteen. I'm guessing $3 to $5 per fruit.

                      Let me know if you find out more details

                      Thai Mini Market
                      Cell: 213-268-2669

                      The owner is Lek and she is Thai.


                      David Thompson
                      Dave's Travel Corner