Saturday, May 30, 2009

Thai Supermarket: Silom Market at Thai Town's Thailand Plaza

This morning I ventured out to Silom market in Hollywood's Thai town. Thai town is a small, nohing like Chinatown or Koreatown, but it does hold a little microcosm of Thai culture and food that is worth exploring.

Silom market is part of Thailand Plaza, a building with a restaurant and stores. Parking in the complex is free with a receipt from one of the merchants. Getting there right when it opened at 9:00 am, I successfully avoided the traffic!

Silom had all of the things I needed to make an authentic Panang curry. This market is about 4 or 5x the size of Simpang Asia over on the west side. I was able to get fresh galanga, kaffir lime leaves, lemon grass, Thai chiles, and other ingredients. I also picked up some tasty little pastries right outside the back door. A nice guy was loading them hot and fresh off of his truck. I just loved the big pieces of fried banana he was selling. Pastries pictured below.

My experience here was actually one that reminds me of why I love food so much. Food isn't just about eating, it's a door into the lives of the cultures and people who cook, share, and consume it. I say this because as I walked out the front door I saw a beautiful procession of Buddhist monks, all dressed in their bright orange robes. They were lined up and walking past the many Thai people who were putting food in the monks' baskets. This is a tradition that takes place in Thailand and I had only seen it on TV. I did some more research on it and learned that this is the daily alms round that provides Buddhist monks with their food and is part of the monk's philosophy which promotes dependence on well-wishers. They only eat between dawn and noon. I was lucky to have arrived at 9:00 am when this was happening! I hope I explained all of that correctly. I felt like I shouldn't just stand there and stare at them.. although I wanted to because it was quite beautiful. It was a very quiet and solemn ceremony and the people greeted eachother with praying hands. I was the only whitey there and felt a little bit like a tourist all of a sudden. So, I slowly walked back into the store and then went home.

Silom Supermarket
5321 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Open 9-9 every day


Connie said...

nice post! you practicing before the potluck? :D

SinoSoul said...

awesome, now you gotta hit up LAX-C!