ISO Best Markets for fresh Vietnamese Herbs
Need to pick up a bunch of Vietnamese herbs before heading back to the Chow-less wasteland I now call home, and would like info on the market(s) *most likely* to have fresh, good-quality Vietnamese herbs, like Basil, Mint (hung cay & hung lui), Rau ram, Tia to and Kinh gioi. Anywhere is fine - either SGV or Little Saigon.
It seems to me that a lot of the SGV markets like 168, San Gabriel Superstore or Vien Dong, are hit or miss; one time, the herbs will be fresh, the next time they're tired. Normally, I'd just go from market to market until I found fresh herbs, but unfortunately my time is limited (have to cram in a bunch of chowing before the flight as well...last drink before the desert, y'know), so would like to maximize my chances of getting good herbs on the first one or two tries (last time, I guessed very poorly and went home empty handed).
Better to try Little Saigon? Which stores (I'm more familiar with SGV than Little Saigon)?
What about Farmer's Markets? I've seen Thai basil at some before, but what about the other herbs; any vendors selling those?
Also, has anyone seen potted VN herb plants for sale at any local stores/nurseries?
I generally have good luck at T&K Food Warehouse in Westminster, which I call the Viet Costco. The herbs are fresh, but they're also packed in large bags for restaurants to use. See also http://professorsalt.com/2004/12/29/v...
T & K Food Warehouse
9681 Bolsa Ave
Right down this section of Bolsa Ave, there are several other supermarkets as you work your way west, and by the time you get to the Asian Garden Mall, you should have all you need of any Vietnamese groceries.
T & K Food Market
9681 Bolsa Ave, Westminster, CA
I'm only familiar w/OC. I really like Saigon City Supermarket on the corner of Brookhurst and McFadden. The herbs are usually trimmed at the bottoms and come in much neater and compact bunches than some of the other Viet markets. Last time I was there saw: hung cay, thai basil, the more traditional mint, kinh gioi, tia to (my fave), dup? ca or fish mint, rau ram.... I've seen potted plants at ABC Supermarket and sometimes a random person selling it on the sidewalk in the front of the Banh Mi Che Cali a few storefronts down.
Saigon City Supermarket
15471 Brookhurst St
Westminster, CA 92683
8970 Bolsa Ave
Westminster, CA 92683
I'd go to A Dong Supermarket in Little Saigon. The herb selection there is vastly superior to Saigon City or ABC. As a matter of fact, if I'm grocery shopping all around Little Saigon, I'd make a special stop here just for the herbs.