Los Angeles’ Chinatown is a growing destination for eating out, yet local residents don’t have a local supermarket

Los Angeles’ Chinatown has recently faced an onslaught of influencers and social media personalities, descending upon the neighborhood for a taste of the latest food trends. But for longtime residents of the area, one major food destination is missing: a local supermarket, The Los Angeles Times reports. Since Ai Hoa, a former full-service grocery store, closed in 2019, the neighborhood has yet to receive a replacement. The closure has left many residents, especially those who are elderly and low-income, without an accessible and consistent way to purchase fresh produce, meat, or fish. Luckily neighborhood small businesses are getting creative to fill in the gaps, adding produce to their selections to meet growing needs. Hugo Luu converted his herbal medicine shop into a market called Yue Wa, so that senior citizens could have easier access to produce such as Dragon fruit and Thai mangos. And at Banh Mi My Dung, owner Chinh Le expanded beyond sandwiches to offer produce. “People wish that we had a one-stop shop here,” he said. “But that’s not the reality. That shop is gone.” —Alex Hinton