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Sunday, 09 October 2005



Hi Kirk,

what a grrreat post ! I almost felt like we went on a shopping trip together. Love the information and the photos. I sure do wish I had something similar close by to where I live. I hope you found the duck a good home and man! If it was me, I wouldn't have been able to pass up that BBQ roast pork. It looked just too succulent !


Hi Kirk,

Interesting signage inside that 99 Ranch Market. Do they charge extra for frying? Whenever I visit the 99 Ranch Market here, there are lots of people that have the tilapia fried for them. They will buy some rice and eat it outside on the tables fronting the shop. I've never eaten tilapia, but I think you can guess who I'm referring to.

BTW...never had stem lettuce before. I'm not sure that I'd like it if it tastes like celery.


Hi Rachel - I actually enjoyed this little shopping trip, no pressure, no crowds, I didn't have to worry about shopping carts crashing into my shins! The duck was pretty bland, but that's ok, the Boyz loved it!

Hi Reid - As far as I know, none of the Markets that do this, including Seafood City and Family Loompia don't charge for fish prep, including frying. I've never seen anyone "grinding" recently fried fish in the parking lot. Though I guess that might be how I look when I come home and grind poke and musubi in the parking lot of Foodland! Tilapia; I won't even go there! Celtuce has a milder taste than celery, but I think you're right, you probably won't like it.


This is not the 99 Ranch that I know! I have never seen it so empty before! Now that I've moved a bit closer I'll have to do my shopping in the morning.


I agree with Rachel! That was like a guided tour! 99 Ranch is my go-to store (it's on my way home from work), even in Irvine it has cheaper produce and meat than Ralphs and others of that ilk.

BTW, sale on chicken wings this week! 98 cents per pound! WOO HOO!

Green Turtle

I've found evenings to be a sane time to go, though it's not as empty as the time when you went. After 7pm, it's pretty easy to find a parking space and the aisles are not packed, compared to the crush of people found on a Saturday afternoon. Btw, you didn't partake in the early morning cheap special menu at Sam Woo?


Hey Jack - It's really mellow in the morning at 99 Ranch. And you can grab a $2.95 bowl of Jook from Sam Woo before leaving!

Hi Elmo - The prices at 99 Ranch are cheaper than any chain market, except for Henry's and other Asian Markets (i.e. Viet Dong, etc...). So I smell a cooking post in your future?

Hi Green Turtle - Nope, didn't do the Sam Woo $2.95 breakfast on this morning, had to stop by Henry's on the way back. I like mornings better than eve's, mainly because I'm not so tired, and the employees at 99 Ranch aren't so tired and burnt out. And they haven't run out of various produce items yet! Though when I shop in the evenings, i'll usually go after 8pm.


kirk, i'm assuming you were at 99 Ranch to get the ingredients for NRM. FYI, i'm starting it tonight. Can't wait to eat it.



You betcha! I'm going to make Buffalo Wings. Hope I remember to take photos, or else it'll be a short post!


Hi Dylan - Yep, made it on Saturday, all gone by Sunday!

Hi Elmo - Maybe I should make some ings this weekend too, hmmmmmm....


Great post Kirk!

Yeah I am a morning shopper too... can't stand crowds.

Funny, at Asian markets you always know what the good deals are by locating the crowds. But look, you had the specials all to yourself!


Hi Pam - There's something about morning shopping that's relaxing for me! It was nice to just kinda take my time and set my own pace.


Nice photos and tour. So that's what the store looks like--I hardly recognize it without all the carts and mobs of people. And isn't that the creature from Alien in the last photo?


kirk, i just wanted to let you know that my NRM baby is quietly sleeping in a pot in my fridge. tomorrow she'll be awake and out in the sun (stovetop) haha. she'll be fully awake and ready to play by our destined date of WEDNESDAY! great review as usual, kirk.


Don't you just love fish crispy fried and then doused with a soy sauce ??? :P~


Hi Angie - By God, I think you're right! But in this case, who's eating who? :o)

Hi Dylan - Groovy! Take cacre of the Niu Rou Bao-Bao(baby in Mandarin)....

Hi Rachel - Soy sauce, garlic, and Chinese Black vinegar! It wouldn't make it out of the parking lot either!!!!


Hi Kirk!

I have been reading your blog for a few months now, and I LOVE it. I am passionate about food, and both the way you present it in photos and the way you write are outstanding. I have a question about the Ranch Market. I am hosting my first ever sushi party for my birthday next weekend, and I am wondering if they sell "sushi grade" fish? I have heard that Windmill Farms does. Do you know of any other places I could check out? Many thanks for reading, and keep up the good work!!


Hi Sarah - Thanks for reading and commenting - I sent you a rather long-winded Email regarding this. But in a nutshell, Catalina Offshore has the best "sushi grade" fish in San Diego(awesome Uni) - if you can buy in 2lb quantities. I'd never, ever, buy fish for sushi from 99 Ranch Market! But that's just me, coming from Hawaii I have a certain minimum level of quality (I'm not a sushi snob, BTW). I've even driven to LA to pick up what I consider to be suitable quality fish.


that is a great, wonderful introduction to ranch 99!! i love the picture of the almost empty parking lot and aisles!!

hey, i haven't had roast duck or roast pork since i left hawaii. where's the best place to get them in san diego?


Hi Annie - Well for Roast Duck it ain't Sam Woo, let me tell you that much. There's a Chinese Restaurant that just re-opened on Clairemont Mesa Blvd and Kearney Villa Rd called Golden City - in their former incarnation they made pretty good roasted meats. They just re-opened on 9/26 - they have an excellent late night menu 9pm-midnight, also 10% off until 10/26. And you can get Peking Duck - 2 dishes for $18, it's not the best duck, but it's worth $18. I've gone a couple of times already, and I don't think it's as good as it once was, but it still is priced right. If you go late night - try the Kwai Fei chicken. I'll post in a few weeks, on my last two visits my pictures didn't come out, just means I have to go back again!Also on University there's a place called Tom's Chinese BBQ that used to be pretty good, but I haven't been there in a few years - 4414 University. Stay away from Sieu-Sieu BBQ on Linda Vista Road - it's terrible!

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