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Apr 9, 2012 12:37 PM

Japanese Markets?


This weekend a friend of mine caught a beautiful 12 lb. chinook salmon off of the Channel Islands (yes, they come that far south). He gave me a generous portion of it, plus the head. I made a classic Japanese soup using the head, miso, mirin, seaweed and somen noodles. Yum.

Oh, and I broiled the collar of the fish with some ponzu sauce, and we picked out that delectably unctious, fatty meat around the bones. Wow.

This got me to thinking that I need to locate a good Japanese market, preferably in my mid-city, Miracle Mile neighborhood. I got lucky with the ingredients at Whole Foods, but surely I'm missing out on some wonders that only a Japanese market would have.

I'll be doing a lot more fishing this summer, and fish to me means Japanese food.

Any suggestions?

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  1. I think the closest to mid-city would be Nijiya on Sawtelle, or in Little Tokyo:

    There's also Marukai in Little Tokyo:

    Korean groceries also carry many Japanese staples, but they don't have as wide a selection.

    5 Replies
      1. re: EarlyBird

        there are also mitsuwas in little tokyo and santa monica.

        the big marukai in gardena is fun to go to but i'm only saying that because i'm in torrance.

        1. re: kainzero

          Mitsuwa is Little Tokyo is gone, replaced by Woori.

      2. re: Peripatetic

        There is also a Marukai on Bunday before Olympus nearby the Sawtelle Nijiya as well. I would try the Korean markets first since its an easier drive from Mid-City and usually the Korean markets charge less fro the same products too.

        1. re: Johnny L

          Just so people don't stumble around looking for "There is also a Marukai on Bunday before Olympus nearby the Sawtelle Nijiya as well." I'll just throw in the actual address of the one Johnny L meant:

          12121 West Pico Boulevard,
          Los Angeles, CA
          (310) 806-4120

      3. Relative to midtown, I think you'd get the most out of Nijiya on Sawtelle. The store itself is somewhat small compared to the average Mitsuwa, but they carry so much more variety. Marukai (the original warehouse store) on Artesia in Gardena has the largest selection and some of the best prices - consider it to be a Japanese Costco but with so much more inventory. It is a membership store, but I think they add like a buck to your bill if you don't have a card.

        1. One Japanese market not mentioned as yet is Granada market. It's quite small, but it's particularly notable for the quality of its fish.