Pan-Asian Supermarkets: 99 Ranch Market
On the list of things that suck about not living in San Francisco is the lack of easy access to a variety of ethnic markets. Since I moved to beautiful, wondrous Orange County I've been piecing together the kind of sourcing that was a no-brainer in SF. In fact, on a recent trip to SF I popped into Rainbow Grocery to stock up on many items I that I had yet to find in OC. Still, I have managed to get a system together here, thank you, farmers' market, that has been feeding my family well. However, some of the pieces that were missing from the system were Asian markets.
Unless I was making a day of it, a trip to LA wasn't a solution. Irvine turned out to be a step in the right direction when I discovered 99 Ranch Market. While it doesn't have everything I was looking for, it covers a wide enough cross-section of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Thai groceries that I was able to fill more than a few gaps affordably. It also has a meat counter, a fish counter with live selections, and a bakery. The selection is great too. It took me a while to decide from the variety of fish sauces, (fish parts in the bottle or extract), rice, dried mushrooms, and noodles.
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