Gardena’s Marukai Supermarket is among the great food resources in Los Angeles, one of those places where every aisle reveals another vegetable you can’t wait to cook, a gadget you want to rip out of its plastic. You could stock a first-rate sushi bar solely from what you find in the refrigerator cases. The meat department alone may be reason to drive to Gardena. You will find not just USDA prime beef from Harris Ranch, but also an entire display case dedicated to the famous Kobe-style wagyu beef, marbled like the endpapers of a Florentine-bound journal. In the food court there is a stand selling dim sum and related food from Sea Empress, probably the biggest Hong Kong–style restaurant in the South Bay. Shin-Sen-Gumi is here too, carefully grilling skewers of its signature soft chicken meatballs over charcoal. Next to the long pickle counter is a pocket branch of Carson’s well-regarded Hawaiian restaurant Back Home in Lahaina. Food court is cash only.
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Gardena’s new Marukai Supermarket is among the great food resources in Los Angeles, one of those places where every aisle reveals another vegetable you can’t wait to cook, a bottle of litchi soda you want to taste, a gad...