Tuesday, May 04, 2010

A rare, welcome sight in DC...Hana Japanese Market

Ever since Chinatown gentrified, there are few Asian markets left in DC (sigh for the late, lamented Da Hua Market, now the site of a monstrosity of a CVS that takes up the better part of a block) if you're not in the wholesale area (the Capital City market area, near Gallaudet).

Since I had to go to Woodley Park recently, on the way back home, I stopped at a store that I've passed hundreds of times (at least when that building only housed a travel agency), the Hana Japanese Market.

outside of Hana Japanese Market on 17th Street NWWhat a cheery, welcoming sight! (The people who work there are nice, too.) Just as important, this small store is packed with all sorts of inexpensive finds for those in need, or want, of Japanese foods (such as good quality green tea, for which I'm always on the hunt). While it doesn't have the exhaustive selection of an Hmart or Great Wall (particularly regarding fresh fruits, vegetables, or meats), it does have a few exotic vegetables, a huge variety of miso and tofu [including the lowest prices for packaged silken tofu I've seen in a while], as well as popular Japanese candies and sweets, and many frozen sweets. Of course, it had a nice selection of good, inexpensive green tea as well.

I wasn't feeling overly adventurous, so I only got some nice jasmine tea and an adzuki bean pastry, but I liked what I saw. Although Hana's at the corner of 17th and U Streets NW, it seems a world away from the hustle and bustle of the nearby Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle areas.

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