Best Exotic Herbs and Produce - 2004
Don't know a pho bo from a tom ka? Don't fret. Even though Asian cuisines such as Vietnamese and Thai are now in full fashion, the ingredients lists for many dishes still scare off even the most globally minded gourmet. Fortunately, Asian Supermarket demystifies the herbs, spices and vegetables called for in many Eastern-inspired dishes. Worldly botanicals like galangal, Thai basil, lemongrass, star anise and lotus root are displayed in clear bags with English descriptions; you'll also find your jellyfish, your fish balls, your fungus. The supermarket stocks run-of-the-mill goods like cookies, crackers and cleaning products, too. Unlike many of the items, the prices don't need translation: The stuff is cheap. Last but not least, the spacious store carries noodles, fresh produce and rice, rice, rice. Forget high-dollar boutique grocers: Asian Supermarket is an adventure, and a steal, every time.