Cool Parasols for 3 Bucks … Fresh Ginger $1.19 lb … It’s Chinatown, Jake

The controversial arrival of Wal-Mart in Chinatown is in the local news lately and got me to thinking – doesn’t Chinatown already have great deals? I attended the festivities on the Chinese New Year and I scored a beautiful fabric parasol for only $3.

Available in a variety of colors, these beautiful parasols are such a great deal, I picked up one for my sister as well. She’d been wanting one for years.

On the Chinese New Year, they were in abundance, lined outside the many small shops up and down the streets. I believe we are expecting a sunny day this Saturday. So, if anyone is planning to attend the march against Wal-Mart [link] starting at Los Angeles State Park at 10:00 a.m., I’m sure you can pick up one of these lovely items for a real bargain.

Anyway, yesterday, I journeyed down to Historic Chinatown to see what kinds of bargains exist in the area, sans the Walton family.

I saw a lot of places, and, I’m not going to lie, there was a language barrier. We couldn’t take a lot of photos or shoot a lot of video because business owners wondered what we were up to – maybe even if we might be spies for Wal-Mart, like the one that was discovered recently.

One establishment where we did manage to get our intentions of deal-hunting across was at the Far East Supermarket on New High Street. I have to say that, of all the deals I found there, the best were on herbs, spices and vegetables you would use in Asian cooking. I found cilantro for 69 cents a bunch. They also had fresh turmeric and many fresh veggies – all very fresh and in good quantities per unit.  

By far the best deal, in my view, was the ginger. Boy am I crazy about ginger. I use it in tons of dishes – in homemade salad dressings, in all kinds of sauces – I juice it and combine the juices with other juices in my handy dandy juicer. It has amazing healing and regenerative properties and it gives you a real pick-me-up when you are feeling a little sluggish. Well, Far East Supermarket’s got it for $1.19 a pound!

The market is clean and organized. It has a big parking lot to boot -- none of that worry about the price of parking downtown.

Dan the cameraman and I took a walk around the area and discovered several other shops with good deals, especially on herbs. Plans are in the works to return with a feature on one of these shops - so stay tuned!

NEED TO KNOW: Far East Supermarket …758 New High Street … Chinatown …  (Map)

Hours: Mon-Sun, 8:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.

(Jennifer Caldwell is a an actress and an active member of SAG-AFTRA, serving on several committees. She is a published author of short stories and news articles and is a featured contributor to CityWatch. Her column at is dishing up good deals, recipes and food for thought. Jennifer can be reached at –cw

Tags: Jennifer Caldwell, Deals and Discounts, Chinatown, ginger, parasols

Vol 10 Issue 52
Pub: June 29, 2012