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Random Thoughts on Grocery Purveyors-99 Ranch, Jons, etc.


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Random Thoughts on Grocery Purveyors-99 Ranch, Jons, etc.

Layne Murphy | | Mar 26, 2007 05:14 PM

I am the Chowhound formerly known as Slow Foodie, posting now as my real self, the other handle being co-opted.

I hit the 99 Ranch Market in San Gabriel yesterday where I stock up on good rice, cheap mushrooms, cheap peeled garlic, fresh noodles and tons of other fun stuff. I am intrigued by the fish tanks and it is cool to think about that kind of freshness and every single time I go there, and I go there a lot, I enter, determined to select a live fish and I am never able to do it. I’m good on picking out a dead fish. Really. You look for clear eyes. I bought an interesting long silvery fish yesterday called a Pacific Sierra, which had been deaded before my arrival. Sometimes English is a problem at the 99 and I misunderstood the fish man. I though he was asking me if I wanted it cleaned but apparently he thought I meant cut and took a hatchet to it, leaving me instead of a whole gutted fish, with some thick steaks. My intention had been to roast the whole fish stuffed with a bit of lemon and garlic and Chinese chieves (spelled like that usually). The steaks are a different challenge. Stay tuned.

So, I can eat a fish and we often order live fish in Chinese restaurants but our victim is selected for us. I am a wuss. I could not point my stubby finger at the live fish tanks. Just like my favorite character, Leslie Lapides, in Sophie’s Choice who could say fuck but could not do it. Although there is a tradition in Casamurphy dating back decades to torment dogs and family members by manipulating fish jaws so they lip synch Bobby Goldsboro songs or spout Becket or Joyce or endearments with a Turkish inflection. Popped roasted fish eyeballs are also a source of levity of the weekly piscean meal. We do find it curious that Leo and Spuds don’t eat fish.

Himself and I devour fish with relish. We both are mindful that they are gifts from God but they get to swim in water their whole lives. And they have to. We try to eat them mindfully and look for fins and scales.

I stopped today by Jon’s Market on Hollywood and Vermont to browse and select my weekly love offering of healthful snack foods for my beloved colleagues at the office. There was no produce, save a bunch of green bananas which I deemed office friendly. I picked up some Armenian string cheese with caraway seeds, dried apricots, and a couple varieties of cookies from local bakeries, all of which had really basic (and non-chemical) ingredients on the label. I would most rather buy produce at Gelson’s but it is dear. There is less, but often some, available suitable produce for office consumption at the Von’s on Hollywood Blvd. but there aren’t any baked goods worthy of purchasing. I bet sometimes too, you can pick up a produce bargain at Jon’s, today just wasn’t the day. Overall though Jon’s has much more modest selection than Super King but the prices are just about as friendly.

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