So… Imagine if you will for a moment… The typical asian supermarket. If you’ve ever been in one, you know they are small and super crowded. They seem to pack in as 3/4th the amount of our American supermarkets into a space the size of our typical freezer section (Sometimes less). Now, imagine that supermarket — but a building the size of a typical American supermarket. If you got that, then you’ve found “Le Asia Supermarket”. This shiny new super market is located on Al Costa Rd on the San Ramon/Dublin border. I dont know exactly which town its in, but if you are from the East Bay, you know where I’m talking about. This place is AWESOME, if you like fruits, vegies, or Asian things. Below follows a short run down of the place and some pictures I took with my camera phone. Yay!
^^ As you can see, just opened. Not even a permanent sign yet. They are open 7am to 9pm daily (0700-2100). Even though there is Asian writing on the sign, don’t worry — there is English inside. Though a word of caution, some items have been imported “direct” so many dont have English labels. Make sure you have what you want before you buy it.
(More After the Jump!)
^^ What you see is just a small area of the veggie collection. I was taking this picture from a corner. While my camera phone is relatively wide angle, I couldn’t fit it all. Also behind where I’m standing (and what you can’t see) is two full walls of veggie like items.
^^ The fruit section like the veggies had an interesting assortment of items. There were are least 3 or 4 different types of bananas (for example). Don’t get me wrong, if you are looking for your typical “Safeway” stuff, you may or may not find it here — but if you are looking for distinctly Asian like foods — you WILL find it.
^^ While I don’t have pictures of every item from every aisle, I thought this picture of the tea would be a fine example of how awesome this place is. Basically everything you can see in this shot, is tea. Every type, flavor, style and presentation of Tea. They have bags, and looseleaf, and all sorts of things. I’m not a big tea drinker, but if you are — you’ll find it.
^^ I was suprised by the lack of Asian style beers (not pictured) but they did have a decent amount. You will find your typical poison though. Above is the “sake” aisle, as I like to call it. The reality is that the left 1/3 of the picture is all sake. The rest is other stuff. Don’t ask me. I’m no specialist in Asian food stuffs. Japanese I do, but this isn’t a “Japanese” market. Its all Asia. I even saw a sign for Filipino food stuffs.
^^ From what I understand, Asia has always been more about fish than beef or similar meat. This market definitely shows that. Don’t get me wrong, they do have beef and other non-fish meat — including some strange items I’ve never seen before — like ox tail. But if you are looking for the biggest selection of fish this side of the ocean — you’ll find it here. This picture shows only about 1/2 (probably less) of their fish selection. I honestly haven’t seen that many different types of fish together anywhere (Except in a fish tank).
^^ Speaking of fish tanks. Yes… Those are fish tanks filled with live fish ready for the picking. The left two tanks were lobster or crab or some other crustacean. The right 4 were live fish. It was AWESOME. Also they had smaller tanks filled with live shell fish, like clams or muscles or something. I’m no expert, but I’d say this is the freshest seafood you are going to find “inland”.
^^ China wear. Yea. Alot of it. Holy #$@$. There is more china wear here, than anywhere in Japantown (that I’ve seen). They have everything, plates, bowls, sake sets, tea sets, you name it. Again — this is a great example of how this place uses their space. They have ALOT of different stuff. You don’t have to “settle”, you can probably find it here.
^^ So truth be told, the grocery side of this store only takes up about 2/3’s of the actually floor space. Thats really good if you ask me. They have a TON of stuff, more than you’ll find anywhere else in the area (in one store — oh — and if you can prove me wrong — let me know — I’ll be happy to go shop there too). So the rest of the store is a little Asian style market. They have lots of little goodies. Toys, trinkets, decorations… All sorts of cool products. Since the place isn’t done yet, I couldn’t tell you everything — but I saw signs for different types of foods. It looks like they are going to be installing a bunch of different kinds of food stuffs. Oooo that will be sooo tasty to explore later.
Summary/In Closing. Is this place Awesome? Hell yea. Will you find all sorts of Asian goodness? Yup! Will you be put off by being the only white person in there? Nope! In fact I was rather surprised as to how many non-Asian’s were shopping there. Will you find all your regular products? Nope, but you will find a good amount of your regular foods. Is this place worth going to? Hell yea. … In the end — I really enjoyed checking the place out. My trip was strictly for research purposes. I actually managed to get out of there without buying anything — but don’t get me wrong — those frozen pork buns and mochi were realllllly tempting. This weekend on the other hand… Maybe slightly more dangerous to my pocket book.