You'd think a place that sells nothing but Chinese sausages, closes by 4 p.m. and is cash-only would have rather limited appeal. Yet Saturdays at Quang Tran, in a Rosemead mini-mall, can be a chaotic scene. The crowds don't descend on Quang Tran for variety; the place sells just three types of sausage: pork, pork mixed with chicken, and pork mixed with pork liver. And at $8 a pound, they're not exactly a bargain, either. But these sausages are worth both the drive and the price. They're the dried and hard kind, sweeter than most Western styles, sweetened and salted with rosewater and soy sauce. At Quang Tran, they're known as lap xuong, the Vietnamese term for Chinese sausage. The shop's long display case, filled with sealed bags of the three varieties, is a thing of beauty. There's no better place to buy, but come early — they close when they run out.
Credit: Jim Thurman