Agreed! I went there last week for the first time and was delighted. I thought I had posted it but, apparently, that was in an offline conversation. And they have more implements, serving and cookwares, too (or maybe they're just displayed in a more shopper-friendly way). Clearly they have grasped the new wasp-ish demographic of loft-dwellers and figured out (sadly, perhaps, but accurat ely) that wide aisles, hyper-refrigeration and bright lights sell. It's great to have TWO such wonderful Asian markets within a stone's throw of one another. And I think there is room for both -- I don't think either will drive the other out.
A great place to check out is the newly expanded Hueng Vong Market at 4th and Grand. They have very cool produce walk-ins, sort of loosely arranged by hard vegetables, greens and herbs, and fruit type things. There are three, maybe four produce walk-ins. And great meat and seafood counters. I've been going to Hueng Vong for years at 5th and Walnut, but their new location is just wonderful.
Fingers crossed, hoping we're actually getting an urban thing happening here.
I will definitely visit Hueng Vong this week or weekend for comparison's sake. I'm most interested in checking out their produce section. It totally slipped my mind to mention that much of the produce last week at the Chinatown market was in REALLY rough shape....I couldn't believe some of it was left sitting out. My guess is that I was there the day before they got a new delivery, but still. Also worth mentioning that after I got home I noticed the tofu I bought was already four days past expiration...I rarely buy tofu and just didn't think to look while I was still in the store. Anyway, I'll be interested to see the differences between the two stores. It definitely sounds like Hueng Vong is shooting for a wider appeal.