Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Mitsuwa Market @ Little Tokyo













Remember that Twilight Episode where that crazy old man with the thick glass realized he was the last man on Earth? He was pretty damn happy when he found that library. (He liked to read, thus thick glasses.) I guess I've alway thought it'd be cool to inherit the world but stillreally kinda sad that you have no one to share it with. That's how I feel about Mitsuwa Market in Little Tokyo. It's located in that huge ghost-town of a shopping center on the outskirt of J-town. Back in the 80s, it used to have a happenin' bowling alley on the 3rd floor but now you're lucky to be their fifth buying customer.

I was there the other day checking out their natto section when I suddenly turned around to find.....absolutely no one. Go over there and try turning around all of a sudden. It's the loneliest feeling. You'll find yourself wanting someone to hold you.

Still, that Mitsuwa on Alameda and 3rd is, by far, my favorite Japanese market in Southern California. Forget Torrance's Marukai. Am I the only one who gets claustrophobic there? WLA's Nijiya is nice cause it's open late, but Mitsuwa is THE BEST. It's huge, but not overbearing, and they have the best selection of miniature toys around. They also have a great selection of bento boxes, vegetables, meats.

There's been rumors that the market is going to close down but that's been going around for a few years now. With the way things have been going in downtown, though, I wouldn't be surprised if I show up one day to find it's been turned into a high-rise loft. *tear*
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9 comments:

Jeni said...

I always wonder how the Alameda/3rd Street ghost town survives. Remember the arcades...my bro and I spent hours there playing Samurai Showdown and Street Fighter. I know how you feel about the place...it's creepy! Creepy like sukebe salary-men ne!

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Pirikara said...

Ahh yes, I vaguely remember the video arcade. When we were kids we'd go to Chinatown for video games and then have dinner at Hong Kong Low!

eatdrinknbmerry said...

I love street fighter! I wish I could find a machine that actually works.

So you're the one that got Jeni those miniature cooking toys. Hate to admit it but i think those are awesome.

cari - Inland Empirical said...

This place was so hot in the 80s when it was YAOHAN! The electronics and toys on 2nd floor were the best. I remember watching most of Back to the Future Part II up there and getting a Sony walkman. Remember the Godzilla statue?!
You couldn't get parking on a Saturday and there were a ton of restaurants to choose from. I often ate at that coffee shop that overlooked the bowling alley or had ramen at any of the other restaurants--they were all good.
I recently went back there for lunch at Hana-Ichimonme there and it was NOT GOOD.

Nostalgica said...

Remember the bookstore when you enter through 3rd St., how about the amazing bowling alley upstairs? Back in the days when we were teenagers, we used to go there on late nights, ordered their 'Shirley Temples' (the best) and just watch people bowl. It was a blast! Now Yaohan plaza is nothing more than just sweet memories.

michelle said...

It was so much cooler when it was Yaohan. But it's only 3 miles from my house, so I won't complain too much.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to say, but on January 25, 2009. Mitsuwa Market in Little will close after years of great service since 1985.

villaraigosahomie said...

i remember back in the mid 80's seeing an old nikkei lady get a neckless ripped off her neck by an african-american man. fortunately there we're police there within a matter of seconds...

...the thing i miss now is the ramen restaurant (shoyu ramen w/ lots of white pepper), or udon with karaage chicken inside.
the new joint doesn't quite meet up with that one.p