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Thailao Market, Santa Rosa

Melanie Wong | Aug 31, 2003 11:46 PM

Friday I stopped by Thailao Market to pick up some ingredients for the weekend’s social rounds. This was my first visit in the six months since it relocated here. The market is owned by a Lao/Issan family.

The new place is bigger than Erawan in Berkeley, the usual Thai grocery standby, with more fresh produce and frozen foods. I almost bought the homemade frozen Issan sausage in the case. In addition to food, there are some Thai clothing items, cookbooks, and I spotted three kinds of mortars/pestles on the shelf

On Fridays extra produce for the weekend is delivered and there’s more quantity and variety to choose from then. The daughter of the family, Makha, started to tell me about the many fresh herbs (some I’ve not seen before) and I said I’d have to come back with a tape recorder! Tiny red and yellowish-green bird’s eye chilis are sold loose or on their leafy vines. One helpful customer told me that the leaves are boiled in soup and are good for the eyes. Baggies of fresh kaffir lime leaves are $1.25. Of the many types of leafy greens, I chose a huge bunch of fresh yam leaves for $1 that I sauteed with garlic, sambal and a little bacon. Tiny Thai eggplant, bitter eggplant, and Chinese eggplant are available. I also bought some baby loofah okra that were less than 2” long.

I’m not that familiar with Thai condiments or packaged goods to comment on the selection, other than that there are a lot of choices, plus some products from other Southeast Asian countries. I bought some Chaokoh coconut milk, 65¢, recommended along with Mae Ploy, by Makha among the five brands in stock.

Located on auto row, next to the Firestone dealer. Off-street parking is limited but there are no lines here. Credit cards (including American Express) accepted with $10 minimum purchase.

Thailao Market
1081 Santa Rosa Ave.
Santa Rosa
707-546-0129
Open daily
9:30am to 8:30pm

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