Favorite Korean Market in Ktown?
So up to this point I've more or less been going to California Market off Western to do my shopping of most Korean-related goods. Now while I'm not unhappy with my experience there up to this point, I've always been curious about the other options available.
What Korean market do you folks generally prefer for your shopping needs?
It is the same chain. Some places call themselves HK, some spell it out to Han Kook, same place. But I think I just read the one in Tustin is closed...
The one on Pacific in Glendale is very nice - big and clean. And there is one on western too -
I like Assi too. I like the prices and the food court. My overall favorite is probably Galleria, but it's probably because I don't have to shop there weekly but go there as a tourist.
However, overall, I will say that the OC Korean markets are cheaper (especially during those crazy weekend specials), have better produce, are cleaner, and give out a lot more samples. My favorite OC Korean market is Zion in Irvine. It's better than the Zion in San Diego, as in much bigger and prettier and has a Paris Baguette inside the store. H Market in Irvine is good too, but too high class for me.
My second favorite is Freshia (now owned by Zion) in Tustin. Also huge, has some great specials. I also like California Market in Garden Grove.
Northridge has a HUGE Galleria that is my favorite in the chain. However, the LA Galleria is also very, very nice. I really like it. Prices seem high though. Again, I like going as a tourist.
You know what, I believe that's the place I just went to today off Western and Olympic at the Galleria. A decently clean and well organized place. Produce was generally fairly cheap, the meat selection was above average, but I was a little disappointed by the seafood selection which didn't seem so fresh and somewhat limited (though they did have live Dunganess crab for $3.99/lb which was a steal).
Hannam Chain is one block west of Vermont on Olympic. I think Assi is on 8th street, like one or two blocks east of Western.
Koreatown Galleria (SE corner of Olympic/Western) and the Koreatown Plaza one about two blocks north of Western are probably the cleanest and have the best produce/product quality, except for the seafood. Koreatown Galleria also allows you to buy banchan quantities as needed (as opposed to prepackaged), which is nice for people wanting small amounts. HK in Glendale as well. Others do as well, but I can't remember which for sure.
I like Hannam on Olympic and Berendo which I find to be larger and cleaner than its competitors.
My favorite K-Town markets are:
450 S Western Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90020
Be sure to score some fresh made Hotteok from the little truck by the door in the parking lot outside. Yum!
Han Nam Chain
2740 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
3525 W 8th St
Los Angeles, CA 90005
For local fresh produce:
Twins Produce Market
2800 W. Olympic Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90006
My overall favorite Korean market is Super H Market. Unfortunately, they only have locations in Diamond Bar, Irvine and Norwalk. A true standout in Korean market shopping. The others, above, are pretty much the same. People's preferences for one over the other are largely based upon familiarity and habit.
Much thanks everyone for all the helpful suggestions! I'll be a busy shopper in the coming weeks as I checkout all these various locations.
The surefire way to rank Korean markets, in my opinion, is the degree of parking chaos that exists in their lots. Over the past decade or so, I have become the authority on Koreatown parking, and therefore my pick of the "best" Korean markets are #1 Hannam Chain. 2740 W. Olympic, and #2 Galleria Market, 3250 W. Olympic.
If you're able to park nearby, Hannam is good for seeing working class Korean families doing their groceries alongside a fair amount of recent immigrants. Be aggressive w/that shopping cart. Food is war.
Galleria is one of the most crowded grocery stores in So. Calif. The clientele seems younger and more upward mobile than Hannam---Koreatown Galleria's multilevel parking garage sometimes resembles Berlin in its abundance of Beemers, Benz's and Audi's.
Koreans now dominate the downtown wholesale produce market and local markets consider vegetables and fruit loss leaders. Be ready for astoundingly fresh fruits and vegetables at rock bottom prices at most Korean markets.
However, Galleria's meat and fish sections are weirdly mediocre.
The HK/Galleria markets are part of a nationwide chain. The upper deck of the KTown Galleria parking structure affords one of the best views of L.A.'s downtown skyline. And REMEMBER $5 Jyajyagmyung in the food court.