Los Osos is literally an international marketplace. Located on or near Los Osos Valley Road are three specialty grocery markets filled with traditional fresh and packaged ingredients to prepare Indian, Mexican and Asian cuisine — and owners with birth-right experience to help create the recipes.
Central Coast Indian Store
Savreena and Pukhraj Barnala opened Central Coast Indian Store in April at 1236 Los Osos Valley Road — also known as the Starbucks Center. Savreena Barnala operates the store daily (except Tuesday) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. The couple moved to the area two years ago for her husband to further his engineering career. They instantly recognized the need for access to a broader selection of Indian and Mediterranean food products.
“We are the only Indian market we know of between Los Angeles and San Jose,” she said.
The store offers a variety of spices, lentils, rice, fresh vegetables, desserts and snacks — including Mediterranean products such as hummus.
“Lentils are most popular with vegetarians, and nonvegetarians often ask me how to prepare chicken curry,” Barnala said. “I will provide them with recipes and explain how to prepare them.”
She carries several ready-to-cook packaged products, including her favorite saag makki di roti, a spinach dish. Someday, she said, she would enjoy offering Indian cooking classes. Learn more at www.savreenahayer.wix.com/centralcoastindian.
Cherry Blossom Asian Market
“Cherry Blossom” was Cherry Jones’ nickname growing up in Los Osos, so her family suggested her market at 950 Los Osos Valley Road should be named Cherry Blossom Asian Market. The store opened in October and offers a broad variety of products from China, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Philippines and even Australia. Jones can’t offer food demonstrations at her location, but can advise shoppers on food and recipes. The store is open daily (except Mondays) from 11:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Call 540-2212.
“If I don’t have it, tell me and I’ll get it,” Jones said.
Most of her products are imported through a Los Angeles supplier. Popular products include ingredients for sushi, lumpia, pancit, pad thai, coconut milk and a variety of teas, rice, sauces, packaged snacks and desserts — even teriyaki spam and quail eggs.
“I just got my liquor license, so have I sake and Asian beers,” she said.
Los Osos Mexican Market
Julia Diaz, owner of Los Osos Mexican Market at 1236 Los Osos Valley Road, prepares takeout or in-store breakfast, lunch and dinner and sells fresh meats from the butcher shop, fruits and vegetables.
She expects business will be busy for her fresh-baked breads and desserts including flan, cheesecakes and barbecued meats for the upcoming Mexican Independence weekend, Sept. 16 to 18. Piñatas are in stock!
Diaz, who is usually in the kitchen cooking, said burritos and tacos are customer favorites. The family has operated the market-deli since May 2013. The store is open daily from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Call 528-1153.