Is there a centrally located pan-asian market where everything isn't three years old?
- Dylan Yolles Sep 12, 2002 07:04 PM
Pet peeve on many Asian supermarkets: the atrocious disregard for expiry dates. Most recent example: I went to LAX-C, the "Asian Costco" on North Main Street near downtown. (The reason I was there: I had bought some tamarind paste at the India Spice store on Venice which had either gone bad - I didn't think that was possible with tamarind - or was simply a brand that tasted horrible.) It's a huge warehouse, very promising on the face of it - and I figured most stuff would be fresh given the high turnover and volume purchases from restaurants. But a lot of the stuff is ancient - one of the employees actually warned me away from buying some canned fruit which was almost ten years old! Sure, maybe it's safe, but do I want to take the risk? Why was this stuff still sitting on the shelves??
This situation seems like the norm rather than the exception - I'm sick of dusting off old bottles in these markets. Anyone have any favorite pan-asian markets somewhere in the mid-LA area where the items are uniformly fresh? (I exclude Japanese markets from this - most of the Japanese markets I've been to are fine.)
I've not had this problem with the place on Sunset east of Echo Park Bl., north side of street ("A1 Grocery Warehouse" or something like that). Although I would advise all to steer clear of one item there: what appears to be bargain canned white asparagus grown and canned in the PRC. It ain't such a bargain, and I think, from the texture and smell, I think it may actually be regular asparagus bleached chemically.
Other than that, always very pleased with their stuff.
You might try Hong Kong Market on Garvey in Monterey Park, right in the heart of things; even the tour buses loaded with Hong Kong or Taiwanese tourists stop there.
Second the recommendation for the Koreatown Galleria. Mrs. Play, Baby Play (10 mos.) and I made our first pilgrimage there last night. We have been to a lot of Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino markets but this place was still a complete head trip. The panchan aisle has to be seen to be believed. Also be sure to stop at Kokos chicken for red-bean filled fish-shaped pastries and yummy pancakes filled with molten brown sugar.