1st Thai Grocery Store in L.A. – Bangkok Market in East Hollywood – Closes After 47 Years

Bangkok Market is shown in a Google Maps image.

Bangkok Market is shown in a Google Maps image.

Bangkok Market, the Thai grocery store on Melrose Avenue that has been a go-to destination for Asian ingredients for chefs and home cooks for 47 years, has closed.

“Nothing dramatic happened — my mom is 72,” owner Jet Tila said. The chef, cookbook author and television personality’s family opened the market in 1972. “It was time for her to retire and we got a massive offer for the building.”

When the market opened in a 1,000-square-foot space on Melrose Avenue, it was the first Thai grocery store in Los Angeles. Tila said his father received a $20,000 loan from his mother’s family to start the business. In the 1980s, they moved to the larger, current location a little more than 100 feet down the road.

Chefs from all over the city shopped at Bangkok Market for hard-to-find ingredients such as fish sauce, curry paste, chile sauce, lemongrass and different varieties of rice and noodles. The success of the market enabled Tila’s family to expand its businesses to include, at one point, seven L.A. restaurants, an import company and a produce venture.

Read the full story on LATimes.com.

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