Often overshadowed by the Jewel next door, Golden Pacific Market is a hidden mecca for all things Asian. Unlike their corporate competitor, this shop has more than just an aisle of exotic goods. Piles of produce, for one, are always fresh and ridiculously cheap. Sweet and salty snacks range from chocolate- and strawberry-covered pocky to nori-wrapped rice crackers. There's even a section of sushi plates, chopsticks and tea pots so you can get crafty with your plated presentation.
Check out the aisle devoted entirely to sauces and every type of rice noodle fathomable for soaking them up. And if you don't feel like cooking dinner from scratch, the market has a cluster of quick-fixes. Grab a package of soba noodles (try them cold) and some sauce for dipping or channel your college dorm-room days with one of the million varieties of ramen. It's a good idea to drive here if you're planning on stocking up (those gargantuan $10 cans of soy sauce can cause some serious damage); a small parking lot out front is free for customers.
Before you head out, make sure to scope out the back of the shop, where it's all about the seafood. An abundance of fresh fish are packaged and sold daily here; a paradise for sushi lovers sick of stuffing imitation crab meat in their California rolls. Golden Pacific has all the ingredients you need to cook up some serious Asian fare. From Pad Thai to kimchee, Jewel has nothing on this little market.
Centerstage Reviewer: Stacy Warden