Monday, March 30, 2009

Ranch Hand

This post is dedicated to finding food around the glorious Chinese supermarket, known to the public as "99 Ranch Market," but affectionately called "Ranch 99," by those who truly appreciate it. If you are from Southern California, then Ranch 99 runs through your veins, for you know that Ranch 99 sustains life on the earth. It sells a huge variety of seafood, Asian spices, frozen goods, ready-made foods, and other ingredients necessary for an Asian cook. Back in the old days, they used to mail you a 10% off coupon for your birthday and have a loyalty/frequent shopper card similar to those card programs with Safeway/Vons/Dominic's and Ralph's/Cala/Bell. I still have my Ranch 99 loyalty card, even though they discontinued the card program years ago. Only a crazed Ranch 99 fan would know these facts.

If you are a
Ranch 99 fanatic, you often will know about reasonable eateries near any Ranch 99. Here is the scoop on a recent discovery of mine near the Ranch 99 in Daly City, when I was particularly hungry.

After a rigorous hour of shopping with the beau at
Ranch 99 a few weeks ago in Daly City, our famished bodies could proceed no further. We therefore poked our hungry heads inside Majikku Ramen (a ramen restaurant located in the same indoor strip mall as Ranch 99) and decided to sit down to enjoy a bowl or two full of steaming, crinkled ramen noodles.

Since we were especially hungry, we started with a deep-fried appetizer of karaage chicken. These fritters (that are a Japanese version of America's chicken nuggets) never cease to provide me with oily gratification. The chicken chunks were battered and deep-fried until crisp and golden brown and served with a chilled and vinegary slaw.
Majikku's version of karaage chicken was quite respectable, for the oil was neither stale nor foul, and the tender chicken was steaming hot.

Next, the beau and I shared a large bowl of their house-special tonkatsu ramen, which was rich, milky, and infused with the creamy flavor of pork bone marrow. The ramen was topped with thin slices of pork meat, bamboo, a garnish of small dried nori rectangles, half a boiled chicken egg, red pepper slivers, and minced scallions.

We also shared a creamy beef curry, with two types of root vegetable: carrots and potatoes. The beef fell apart into tendrils like chipped beef or pot roast. The curry seemed like a standard version of Golden Curry from the package, but was satisfying nonetheless. The soft, crimped ramen noodles were a luscious accompaniment to the curry gravy.

After our impromptu meal, I rushed home to check out
Majikku Ramen online. I was surprised to see so many negative reviews on Yelp, since I thought that it was decent. Though a little on the pricier end of the spectrum for the quality of ramen, Majikku can deliver a satisfying meal for a hungry person who had been furiously shopping at Ranch 99.

Before I close out this post, I want to thank Phyllis from Me Hungry and Heavenly Housewife from Donuts to Delirium for presenting me with a "Sisterhood" award and April from the Life of an Everyday BBW for generously giving me the "I Love Your Blog" award. I wanted to pass the awards onto the following bloggers:

These ladies (and one gentleman, in the Duo Dishes) are true sisters (and a brother, again, I am referring to Duo Dishes), because of their encouraging comments, incredibly inspiring recipes and posts, and eye-popping photographs. They are beyond mere blog friends, but they are my blog family! Therefore, I wanted to pass along the Sisterhood Award to them, and thank them for their amazing blog content, unique perspective, and wonderful friendship. If you received this award, pass it along to 10 other bloggers!

As for the "I Love Your Blog" award, since I received it a while back, I wanted to recognize five of my older blog friends who have been with me from the very beginning of my blog. I also want to recognize a couple of new friends too. These bloggers may not all be food bloggers, but they have always left kind comments for me and kept me blogging, even when I vowed that I would give up. As for the two new bloggers, I love their style of blogging and their charismatic flair. These are great bloggers, and best of all, great people. If you received this award, pass it along to 7 other bloggers.

Keep up the good work, blogging (or reading)!


  1. I love 99 Ranch, I find so many great things there. Thanks for the award, I really appreciate it!

  2. You're so kind for the award; it is my first award as a new blogger!! Thank you!

    Here in Boston, we have something similar to your 99 Ranch.. it's called Super 88! 88 being a lucky number in the Chinese culture, this place has a great Asian food court. Anyway, 99 Ranch looks delicious :)

  3. Thank you for the kind award! I love the spirit of it, too, like a great sourdough starter that's preciously nurtured and passed on and on for the sheer love and passion of it. I will start to compile my list, too, and pass on the award as intended.

  4. we have a ranch 99 here in seattle, but havent been there in years, now I wonder why! That chicken fritters look so delicious!

  5. Thank you PE for the award (my first!) and the kind words. I've really enjoyed reading your blog these past few years.

    Growing up in OC, I didn't go to 99 Ranch as much as the supermarkets in Little Saigon, but I HAVE eaten at the eateries around the 99 Ranch markets in Irvine...mostly Sam Woo (sadly...better than any Chinese restaurant in Columbus!).

  6. We have 99 Ranch market here in Jakarta. The stuff is quite expensive compare to the other grocery stores.

  7. What delicious looking food! Congrats on the awards and thanks for giving me one!



  8. We have a Super 88 and a Asian Food Market close by (in NJ), but not sure whether they measure up to 99 Ranch. And I love browsing at T&T supermarket when I'm in Vancouver. Thanks for sharing those yummy photos - hoping to make into the East Village soon to get my ramen fix.

    Congrats on your recent awards and
    thank you so much for giving me an award!!! I'm seriously blushing because I think your blog is so awesome...I feel so honored! Your comments always make me smile and are very encouraging for a new blogger.

    Cheers to blogger friendship and I will be passing on the award very soon!

  9. Those chicken fritters look amazing! Thanks so much for the award, that's so nice of you!

  10. Thanks PE! You are the best.
    You still have the most drool worthy blog I know :)

  11. Congrtas on your 2 latest awards!! Well deserved, my foodie friend!!
    Congrats on the others too!! Yeah!!

  12. Aw, you rock!! Thanks for the lovely award. Does it come in edible form?

  13. You might want to read this article about Yelp before you go trusting their review system.

  14. I used to work near a Ranch 99 and you are right, we used to go to the surrounding restaurants all the time for lunch. I rarely made a foray into the Ranch 99 itself but I was always amazed at the different types of things they sold (though the smell was hard for me to get over, I'd do much better with it now that I'm more adventurous).

  15. oh wow! jess and i are so grateful for your award. we have been falling behind and i still need to work out the alignment issues, but since a friend's birthday is just around the corner i will have to post about the strawberry torte i made for him :)

    thanks again so much!

    ps. i'm also sad i missed you in chicago. i had problems on my flight out (it was delayed!) and i was stuck in chicago getting wowbao for my friend's post wedding brunch.

  16. Thanks for sharing these delicious dishes!
    I Buy

  17. I WANT a 99 ranch here in NJ... Congrats on your awards you so deserve them.. thanks for the pics.. alaways enjoy them..

  18. what a warm and fuzzy post PE! I wish the Ranch 99's in the ebay had such fine foraging... everything from majikku (is that romanized magic?) looked delicious. I love tonkotsu and think the rich broth really benefits from the pop of the red pickled ginger shreds. And that karaage sounds heavenly too. Yelpers are the same as everyone else, it's just opinion and we all differ. Half the time I go to places that yelpers love and I think it's mediocre and vice-a-versa....

  19. Thanks for your comments everyone! Yes, I agree that Ranch 99 can be expensive in comparison to other family-owned grocery stores. But Ranch 99 is a beacon of light for those who live in places without a lot of Asian food. Also, it sounds like Super 88 is a relative of Ranch 99!

  20. Thanks so much for the award! I love your blog.

  21. Also my fav! But I can't beat you on knowing their loyalty pgm. Hahahahha...

    Some of their stores are just too crowded :O ....

  22. thanks for the cool award, PE. Everything's ok, just busy these days with studies.

  23. thanks for your award. sorry for the delay in responding, but i've been concentrating in weaving .something i hadn't done lately.:)
    it really means a lot to me that someone outside the textile world enjoys my blog.

    neki desu

  24. Congrats on your 2 recent awards!! Well deserved!!
    Congrats to the others too!!

  25. I <3 Ranch 99! I only go a few times a year so when I do, I stock up! I sure miss those 10% coupons. We have a Korean tofu place and my favorite Chinese restaurant next door to my closest Ranch, gosh I love going there. :) Congrats on your awards! Thanks so much for passing it on to me. I really do think you're blogging family because you were one of the first to read my blog. :) xoxo

  26. If you love sandwiches and burgers and make it East to NJ, CT, or MA, you must visit this site for some great reviews of some of the best sandwich places on the planet - several of which will even FedEx the good stuff to you:

  27. Thanks for this award! Sorry the thanks is so late. *smh* You are very sweet for including us though!


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