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Jan 12, 2009 01:00 AM

Thai grocery in Pasadena area?

Hello all, just wondering if anyone can help me to find a grocery where I could find some basic ingredients for Thai curries and soups in the Pasadena area? I'm relatively new here and I'm sure they are close by but somehow I am missing where the serious Asian markets are in this area.

Looking specifically for:
Prepared curry pastes
Fish sauce
Kaffir/magrood leaves
Thai basil
Lemon grass
Nam prik pao (roasted chili paste)


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  1. The serious ones in that area are in the San Gabriel Valley. My favorite is San Gabriel Valley Superstore. Read about it in this blog post:


    There may be also 99 Ranch grocery stores nearby that will also have those items.

    1. There's a 99 Ranch in a strip mall at Golden West and Duarte in Arcadia that I think has all of these ingredients. There's also the Arcadia Supermarket in a mall on Duarte just east from Baldwin. A bit closer than the San Gabriel store mentioned by hppzz, and cheaper if a tad raunchy, is the Hawaii Supermarket at Valley and Del Mar - not the Del Mar in Pasadena, but the one that runs south from Huntington Drive in San Marino.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Will Owen

        There's also a 99 Ranch at the corner of Del Mar & Valley, across the street from the Hawaii Supermarket.

      2. There is such thing as a thai grocery?! i need to find that

        4 Replies
        1. re: mrchowmeins

          I've been in Thai groceries in Nashville, but all the places I've been to here seem to be catchall Asian markets, sometimes with sections each devoted to one ethnicity or nationality, sometimes with everything scattered among similar food items. It just makes the hunting that much more fun, with great possibilities for serendipitous discoveries.

          1. re: mrchowmeins

            Over in the Hollywood area, there are several markets that cater to a predominantly Thai clientele, but I'm not aware of any in the Pasadena/SGV area.

            1. re: Jack Flash

              If I were going to travel that far from Pasadena, I would go to LAX-C which is just outside Chinatown. It's enormous, almost the size of a Costco, with a HUGE selection of Thai food products and a smattering of other Asian food and non-food items. They also stock a lot of institutional items, restaurant supplies and Asian cookware. As a bonus, the prices there are exceptionally low. But don't go there if you are looking for an upscale shopping experience. It's located in an old converted industrial warehouse.

              1100 N Main St
              Los Angeles, CA 90012
              (323) 343-0030

              1. re: Jack Flash

                I've been to these in Hollywood, Bangluck in particular. Very small and not alot of selection. I would go to the larger asian markets for the same stuff and better selection.

            2. Superfood Warehouse, formerly Vien Dong and now Shun Fat, market on Rosemead Bl. in South El Monte has all the ingredients you are seeking. It has all asian foods, but mostly Vietnamese and Thai. It is quite an adventure for non-asian shoppers, you can easily kill a couple of hours perusing huge aisles of specialty foods.

              7 Replies
              1. re: DWB

                Wow, thanks a lot to everyone, I'll definitely have to check these places out!!

                I appreciate all the input...

                1. re: DWB

                  There's another Shun Fat a bit closer, on Atlantic about halfway between the 10 and W. Garvey. There are many other Asian groceries in that immediate area as well, including a large 99 Ranch.

                  1. re: Will Owen

                    Is the other one on Atlantic as large as the former Vien Dong (II) on Rosemead I go to? I agree that place is a great place to take out of towners (but the shoppers all look at them funny when I bring guests that look a little dazed and on not on their normal shopping excursion!! But heck I remember one time last year I was in the 99 ranch in Arcadia and this guy with 2 kids pointed at me and said hey -- look, there's a white lady in here! We both laughed and went on.) I'm in east Altadena so it looks like they are maybe equa-distant anyway.

                    Their selection of nam pla, there is a huge selection of all types of fish sauces and currry pastes, and all the stuff like galangal, lemon grass, pea shoots (another big reason for my trips to Asian markets, try them folks they are to die for), kaffir leaves, thai basil, etc. is extensive. I am not as knowledgeable as some of our posters, so I am not even sure what to do with some of the stuff, the fish tanks and the butcher area are also busy much of the time.

                    I continue to learn and I come home ready to google with new questions on a simple mission there . . . :-)

                    1. re: MaryT

                      The one on Atlantic is not nearly as large as it looks, now that I think of it. The space is kind of oddly laid out and not very well utilized.

                      Your mention of being stared at in the Arcadia store is funny. I had a 99 Ranch club card, until they shut down the program recently, and I got some funny looks when I pulled that out of my wallet!

                      1. re: MaryT

                        When you take the long trip down to Shun Fat S. El Monte, make a memorable food trip by stopping at Gioia cheese factory which is very close by. Only open on weekdays,you will need an ice chest to keep your ultra fresh Italian cheeses cool on the way home. If you have not been there before, Gioia sells various Mozzarella cheeses as well as Burrata, Mascarpone, Ricotta and my personal favorite Smoked Mozzarella. Prices are absurdly low, but sold in commercial quantites(3lb. Mozz./$12).

                        1. re: DWB

                          Wow. I had no idea this place was there and it sounds fabulous from my googling. I will check it out.
                          THANKS DWB!

                          Gioia Cheese Co. 1605 Potrero Ave. South El Monte, CA 91733 tel: 626-444-6015 email: