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Where can I buy decent kimchi

Want to try Bittman's recipe for potato-kimchi pancakes but am missing one crucial ingredient. Kimchi. Anyone know of good places to buy? (and if there's a particular brand -- that would be helpful to know too) Somewhere close to West Hollywood or Studio City would be ideal but do have a car so...

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  1. Any of the supermarkets in Koreatown. Koreatown Galleria for example. Corner of Olympic and Western.

    1 Reply
    1. re: WBGuy

      I would say go to the Koreatown Galleria as suggested. The supermarket is in the basement.

      The Kimchi is in the refrigerated section.

      If you're the kind of person who's up for trying the potato kimchi recipe... you'll find fabulous new things that will tempt you at this supermarket. It's amazing!

      Go there just for the field trip!!

    2. Most Korean stores package their own kimchi in plastic containers. It will be in its own section of the store. There are many different types of kimchi, so check the recipe for guidelines.

      1. the best kimchi (save for the homemade kind) is at the super tiny kimchi stores where they only make kimchi, but i don't think there are any out in your area. korean markets are your best bet.. i know it can be a little overwhelming with the various brands and types, but it really does depend on what you're looking for... white kimchi, raw (the kind you eat "raw" and not pickled, etc. for cooking those pancakes IMO i think a little sour kimchi is best. (not really sour but i don't know how to translate from korean.. kimchi thas a little past its prime eating stage but is excellent for cooking).

        1 Reply
        1. re: namstermonster

          Namesermonster, can you recommend any specific super tiny kimchi stores in K-town?

        2. there's a korean supermarket in glendale off pacific ave. (from the 134) if you don't want to head into Koreantown.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ecpark10

            It's called HK Market and they've got the Wall O' Kimchi along the left side as you walk in. You can also get the marinated meat in the back left corner if you're really not into preparation.

            1. re: Das Ubergeek

              I'm with DasUber on HK market (Han Gook Market) on western. I don't care for anything else at this market besides their homemade kimchi. It's the kind i like... with thick, pasty sauce. Not the watery kind in Cosmos jars. Galleria's is good as well.

          2. After two trips to Korea I really like kimchi but most of the commercial brands have too much salt. I recommended King's brand made in SF, usually available at FFL or Ralphs. Go for the 'spicy', avoid the mild.

            1. Depending on where you are, Greenland Market, Sherman Way and White Oak in the Valley has a kimchi section. Closer to Studio City than the Glendale location. Koreatown would be closer for WeHo, though.

              1. Learn to make your own! I've never had a commercial kimchi that was any good, at all, Too salty, flabby, etc.

                1. Majority of Korean markets should have vast number of selection when it comes to kimchi..Some are good, but some can be downright awful..

                  Try to look for label called "Jun Ju Mak Kimchi" your basic nappa cabbage kimchi, should go well with your kimchi pancake.

                  1. Thanks for the great education, all. And you're right, Costcowater -- the "Jun Ju Mak Kimchi" sounds like it will fit the bill. Will look out for it.

                    1. well - if you're in studio city with a car - 99 ranch market on sepulveda has some kimchi. but i think the ralphs at ventura and coldwater, and the gelsons on laurel canyon may have it as well - if you're looking for basic kimchee - no kaktuki or kaesang style with pine nuts or something way too gourmet.

                      1. The kimchi at Ralph's or 99 Ranch Market can be (will be) awful..Stick to to kimchi at your local Korean markets. Make a quick trip out to Ktown, it'll be worth the trip.

                        1. Assi Super on 8th St. just east of Western. Great Kimchi, spicy bean sprouts and marinated spinach. They've got it all. When you walk in the door, turn left and just before you get to the counter service you will find a cold section that has all of those items. The help speaks pretty good English and will be very helpful in finding what you want.

                          1. Lee Sook Won Kimchi. 8769 Garden Grove Blvd. Garden Grove, CA. 714.530.5800. They only make/sell kimchi; many styles to choose from. You won't be disappointed.

                            1. If you venture to the south bay area, try the Hannam Market (Market World) on Sepulveda near Madrona Ave. They make their own kim chee(s) and other fresh Korean delicacies. I especially like their produce section which is not only fresh and extensive, but cheap. Close by on Crenshaw and Torrance Blvds. is Freshia Market which has lots of fresh marinated meats to take home and cook. They carry a limited selection of pre=packed kim chee also.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Clinton

                                I finally got to check out this tip - the kimchi at Market World is Fantastic!!
                                The salt level is thankfully low and chili heat is medium with that great slow burn. At only $1.50/lb I am very thankful.

                                1. re: DiveFan

                                  DOH! Added the link.

                                  Hannam Market
                                  3030 Sepulveda Blvd, Torrance, CA 90505

                                  1. re: DiveFan

                                    Clinton and Dive Fan.. Thanks for the tip. My 10 year old loves the marinated KBBQ shortribs. Off there today ( Market World ) after baseball practice for some BBQ fixings.. Thanks

                                    1. re: Foodandwine

                                      Wow Clinton and DiveFan. Went to Market World and boy o boy is their Kimchi Good. I purchased the made in house kind ( in the plastic container, not jar ) and went for the "napa kimchi" yes $1.50/lb and my container is almost empty. No marinated short ribs, I purchased the unmarinated ones and a package of marinade. Thanks for the tip. Next stop Freshia...

                                      1. re: Foodandwine

                                        Freshia Market has sliced ribeye for around $2.89 a pound which is excellent for teriyaki which by the way I'm having tonight. Their marinated meats are OK but made fresh to order if they're not busy. Their produce are obscenely cheap and is well stocked. Turnover is high and their on-going specials can't be beat. Go on weekends and sample all of their freebies like I do. If you're really hungry, there is the Korean fried chicken place next door or the sitdown/takeout as you enter the store to the left.

                                2. for kimchee - fresh-ish no preservatives,the monday farmers market at plummer park in west hollywood has a vendor who also sells at the sunday hollywood farmers market on ivar. He has kimchee - two kinds of kaktuki, several varieties.

                                  pretty good.

                                  1. K town is where it's at. Try the ASHI market. It's off 8th street or olympic. They have a killer kimchi bar lots of panchan choices.

                                    1. My brother has been buying kimchi from Beverly Tofu House for years. He places his order over the phone and they ring him back when the kimchi is ready.

                                      Is "fresh" the right word? <smile>

                                      2717 W Olympic Blvd.
                                      Ste. 108


                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: Erik M

                                        a huge +1 on Beverly's kimchi. it's a fine fine version. better than anything to come out of the Ktown grocery stores, much better than the stuff the future MIL makes.

                                        and surprisingly enough, Costco's bottled version is great for all things kimchi-fied (fried rice, jigae, etc.) after a month of fridge storage.

                                        1. re: TonyC

                                          My brother began purchasing from BTH during his militant vegetarian period. [These days he's merely hardcore.] Back then he'd have BTH whip up custom batches of *fish sauce-free* kimchi. I admit, I was skeptical at first, but it was far better than anything I could find at Hannam, etc.


                                          1. re: Erik M

                                            Yes, Beverly Soon Tofu's kimchi is definitely very good. Thick, pasty. I like So Kong Dong's as well (across the street).

                                        2. re: Erik M

                                          Oh yes, their kim chi is tasty. Tried them out for the first time a month or so back... That's great Thx

                                        3. if you happen to be in sherma oaks or venice, try Farm Boy - it's obviously in their refrigerated section, in the prepackaged plastic tubbies.

                                            1. I just ate at Beverly Tofu House a couple days ago and the kimchi was fantastic. I second or third or fourth that suggestion.


                                              1. There's a small market near the corner of Olympic and St Andrews Pl that sells almost nothing but kimchi - all made on the premises. The name is Kae Sung Market - it's been around a long time.

                                                They have all types in big and small jars. I think they supply some local markets and restaurants.

                                                See Linda Burum's article from 1993 LA Times:

                                                Kae Sung Market
                                                1010 S St Andrews Pl, Los Angeles, CA 90019