It took me years before I could convince myself to step into HanKook Supermarket aka HK Super Market. It looks so filthy on the outside. But I saw video taken by a Korean teenager of one of the aisles and it looked cool, so I ventured into the place. Very glad I finally did. It’s fairly clean and spacious inside!
You can find all the basic Korean foodstuff and more at HK Super.
THE LEFT SIDE is where you find fresh seafood and fish. Plus:
- both freshly made and bottled kimchi, even single-serving pouches
- a wide variety of banchan (side dishes), both made on-site and imported from Korea
- prepared foods such as bindaetteok (Korean mung-bean omelet), still piping-hot in the morning
THE RIGHT SIDE is what you see in the picture.
- liquor (soju!), bottled water and soda
- produce — vegetables, fruits (dried Korean dates!), uncooked chestnuts
Most of the time I don’t find anything good except avocados and regular bananas, but twice I was able to find seven Cal-King organic kiwi selling at just 99 cents!
THE CENTER has Japanese, Korean and Western snacks.
- Bottled and canned tea and coffee (Caffe Latte in the iconic plastic cups!)
- Soy drinks in tetra-paks (Maeil)
- Red-pepper paste, tteok (rice cakes) for cooking and soybean paste
THE BACK has organic milk (Horizon), organic eggs (six-pack for $3.99), Oscar Mayer cold cuts, fruit juices, Western energy drinks. There are also some Western bread and pastries — not much because Paris Baguette is just across the street and that’s where customers buy baked stuff.
BY THE CHECK-OUT COUNTER are Ghana chocolates (by South Korean company Lotte), Naked food bars, Kit-Kat and gum. Traditional Korean rice cakes are packaged in styrofoam containers.
They’ve also got a small section for Korean hwajangpum (makeup) and a drugstore.
The service is okay. Most of the cashiers are fast, efficient and helpful. The Latino workers though are much rowdier than at other Koreatown supermarkets.
One time, the snack aisle reeked heavily of cigarette smoke, but that’s because most Korean establishments even in the US are tolerant of ajosshi (married men) smoking indoors.
HanKook Supermarket. Three and a half out of five stars.
- HK Supermarket was last inspected by Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health on February 4, 2009. Score 92/100. Letter Grade: A.
- HK Supermarket’s Meat Department was last inspected on September 23, 2008. Score: 94/100. Grade: A.
- HK Market Deli was last inspected on September 23, 2008. Score 98/100. Letter Grade: A.
Neighborhood: Wilshire Center. 124 N Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90004