K(imchi)-Town


Almost every weekend I am hunting for fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s like a game. Where can I get the best quality for the cheapest price? The food on campus is atrociously expensive. And usually tastes terrible, either very bland or very salty it makes me want to gag. Thankfully I know how to cook or I’m sure I’d starve.
I’ve been to farmers markets, American grocery stores (Ralphs, Vons), little hole-in-the-wall shops and the most recent second-home of mine, 99 Ranch Market. Unfortunately, the closest 99 to me is all the way in Monterey Park – at least 20 min if not 35-40 in traffic. In other words: too bloody far.

Monday morning my fridge is looking lonely. But I’m too lazy to drive all the way to Monterey Park just for $30 worth of food. Especially on Mondays when I’m ready to collapse into a coma after class. But suddenly I get a brilliant idea!
My friend H’s mum told me I should just visit a Korean grocery store since I live next to K-town. It’s bound to be cheap cos they eat vegetables and they’re asian. Sounds good to me

After scurrying through decent recommendations on Yelp, I pick my poison: the Galleria Market on Olympic. One of the reviewers actually passed on good advice – best to go during Sunday morning while the Koreans are at church otherwise it gets PACKED.

After battling LA congestion, I roll up into the parking lot (yup that’s right, free parking I’m already lovin’ this place). What stands before me isn’t a pathetic-sized grocery store like Ralphs but a gigantic mall with 3 storeys and even more shops to boot. There are shops selling shoes, flowers, clothes, pharmaceutical products and more! There’s also a gigantic food court with ready-to-eat Korean food. Hmmmm….

Although I only have time to stop at the grocery store, nevertheless, I pass by a bakery with gorgeous bread and a strong coffee smell, border-line stench.  They sold everything from Asian breads to cookies to cakes to small slices of pastries.

In the supermarket, I found the cutest looking cart. Crossed between a basket and a shopping trolley, this cart was the size of a basket but it had a handle and wheels. In otherwise, twice the shopping in half the time, this baby was going to be easy to get around in and I didn’t have to hold my stuff.

The produce section was huge and packed with fresh and cheap goodies. Huge gala apples for $0.99/lb, chestnuts and all types of magnificent mushrooms and gloriously green veges.
I wandered around the store and managed to find everything I wanted. Some Chinese ingredients were missing, sure but for a market I can go to regularly that’s 8 min from me, Galleria gets 2 thumbs up.

There’s a live fish section and a ready-to-eat section where you can buy pre-prepared to get there. The best part of course is all the impressive row of all Korean Kimchi.


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