Was making the regular run to Ranch 99 with my wife and noticed the new Zion Market is now open on Clairemont Mesa Blvd. It's in the former Sears building, just east of the Keary Mesa Bowl. So we decided to check it out and here are some impressions:
- Parking lot: The parking lot is huge with easy access from Convoy as well as CMB. The parking spots are generous and easy to maneuver. In great contrast to the parking lot at Ranch 99 or the old Zion Market (and Asian markets more generally). I dread the parking lots at most Asian markets (lost their 'cultural appeal' long ago) and this is a nice change of pace.
- Building: It's huge! Apparently 3X the size of the previous store. Aisles are wide. Kind of a 'big box' feel for an Asian grocery. Easily the largest Asian grocery in SD and the biggest one I've been in anywhere. Typical for Asian supermarkets, about one-third of the space is set aside as a department store (similar to Ranch 99) though this space was under construction and nothing open yet.
- Meat section: Was a soft opening so much of the meat section was only partially stocked, so difficult to judge. There was, however, a large section devoted to the marinated Korean barbeque meats. About a dozen varieties were available.
- Kimchi: The kimchi section is very extensive and yet seemed less than half stocked.
- Produce section: Large produce section that seemed to be about 80% stocked out. The produce section here is fabulous! Extensive selection and a price/quality point that exceeds that of Ranch 99, IMO. (FYI, if you're a fan of kabocha squash it is available at a very low price, though even lower at Ranch 99.) We typically purchase most of our supermarket produce from Ranch 99 and I'd say that the Zion produce section is significantly superior. Plus nice wide aisles to move about easily.
- The remainder was devoted to non-perishables with a focus on Korean foods and brands but with an extensive selection of pan-Asian products.
- There's a section in the middle surrounded by a bar-height counter that appears to be dedicated to cooked food for consumption there. Nothing was going on but could be an interesting addition when it's operational.
Overall a big upgrade from the previous Zion and a great addition overall to the SD/Convoy Asian markets. Will likely get better as it gets fully stocked and operational.
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