Turning Japanese

One thing I’ve noticed about living in LA is how I tend to stay tethered to the beaten path of ‘my neighborhood’. That can be a good thing, but every once in a while I get crazy and push the borders of my universe. Lately, I’ve been exploring downtown which has turned into a wealth of great finds. One place that has really caught my fancy is the Mitsuwa Marketplace at Alameda and 3rd….333 S. Alameda Street to be exact. It’s a super-sized Japanese grocery store attached to a mall in the heart of ‘Little Tokyo”. Although the whole “Little Tokyo” thing is beyond me…the area certainly doesn’t compare to the craziness and bustle of Tokyo….but it IS full of great shiatsu massage joints, shabu-shabu shops and some darn good ice cream!!
At Mitsuwa Market, you get the freshest and cheapest fish and seafood I’ve ever found in LA. Every single time IĆ­ve gone in, the fish is stunningly good. And there is a whole aisle of green tea….nirvana to me. And another whole aisle devoted to Sake and Beer. The produce section always has at least four kinds of mushrooms and if you don’t like to cook….there’s a whole section of prepared yummy looking food to go. Check it out; the parking is free with a receipt from the store.

9 Replies to “Turning Japanese”

  1. Mitsuwa is great – I’ve been going there ever since the mall opened and the store was called Yaohan (mostly to get my fill of Japanese snacks like rice crackers and Pocky). It might be a little far, but check out Marukai in Gardena. I hear it’s even better. I think it might be a membership store a la Costco though.

    It is nice, how Asian markets tend to sell seafood for a lot less than regular supermarkets.

  2. It’s been a Japanese area for a long time, thus the “Little Tokyo” designation. Don’t forget the hardware store–Anzen Hardware (213) 628-2068. 309 E 1st St.

  3. It’s always interesting to read when people “discover” the ethnic neighborhoods around Los Angeles, like it’s the next best thing.

    If you want another good place for great deals on vegetables and fish, try the giant Korean plaza on the corner of Olympic and Western.

  4. One of the awesome things about asian supermarkets are the prices of shitaki and inoki mushrooms. They’re generally a little bit cheaper since its part of the normal asian diet and not some exotic dish that pavillions or ralph’s think it is.

  5. Oh yeah…green tea frozen yogurt would rock my world. I’m addicted to that stuff. And rachel and M….I know it’s been there forever…I’ve been going downtown for a while for that magic shiatsu on my back….but I just discoverd Mitsuwa a couple of months ago and am quite taken…just want to share the love…..and the cheap prices!!!!

  6. There’s another Mitsuwa on Western Ave. in Gardena. BTW, Marukai in Gardena is not a “membership” store as far as I can tell. (they’ve never asked me for a card or anything)

  7. Mitsuwa Marketplace (Torrance) Tha grocery store has the dirties restrooms I’ve ever seen!!! Cleaning doesn’t seem a priority there. Have you check their “Bento” showcase? It looks like it has never been cleaned (inside and outside)before.
    They focus so much on their displays…and forget about cleaning….I was ashamed because I brought some friends and that’s what I was showing…A dirty japanese grocery store.

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