THE ALL-AMERICAN KOREAN MARKET MELEE:
An Pseudo-Scientific Comparison Between Zion Market and H-Mart
The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions of K-Konnect. Yada yada yada, time to start the article!
Zion Market: Zion Market offers everything you need to prepare a Korean meal including but not limited to fresh meat, produce, sauces, curry, kimchi, in addition to pre-prepared meals to heat and eat.
H-MART: H-Mart San Diego also features everything you need to prepare a Korean meal in addition to large variety. high-end organic natural products and regional products. H-Mart has a distinct feel of an Asian Whole Foods.
Advantage: Based solely on variety, and not by the fact that I would be a poorer (albeit healthier) individual eating organic foods, advantage goes to H-MART.
The most vexing and demoralizing experience in visiting Asian Markets is parking (unless you are a sadist). Parking spots are non-existent any time after 11:00 am. Arrange your preset radio stations on your car by music style, do your taxes, and reflect on the purpose of life because it is going to be a long time before you find a spot.
If you prefer parallel/street parking, advantage Zion Market. If you prefer parking spots and a scenic 0.3 mile walk beside traffic, advantage H-Mart. Once leaving your spot, feel free to take a glance back at the ensuing battle two cars are partaking in for the spot you left.
Advantage: No one wins here. We as a society must face this dire issue of Asian Market Parking Lot Insanity.
The Extra Experience:
Zion Market: Zion Market offers two Korean restaurants in Tonkatsu and Happy Family in addition to the Zion Bakery for your cookie, doughnut, and cake needs. Zion Market also has a gift shop, a clothing store, a cosmetics store, and a living goods store. Zion Market also plays Korean Music on their speakers to add a cultural experience.
H-MART: Surprisingly enough, unlike many other H-Marts in the United States, the San Diego location does not have any Korean Restaurants or additional stores within the store. However H-Mart San Diego has a nice bakery/café in Paris Baguette which produces fresh pastries many times in a day (However, word is Zion Market will have a Paris Baguette in the near future).
Advantage: Zion Market
Zion Market: The Zion Market staff appear to instill discipline and military efficiency on their employees in expediting food from the conveyor to the bag. No chit-chat, just business, before you open your wallet to pay, they have already started scanning the next customer’s food.
H-MART: From my experience, the staff are a bit more relaxed than Zion Market. This small window of time allows for the employees to ask the customers how they are doing, or how their shopping experience was.
Advantage: Depends on who you are. If you are not keen on small-talk and like to get on with your business, go with Zion Market. If you believe the shopping experience is not complete without interaction between staff and customer, go with H-MART. Since this is my article, I get the final say.
We are humans, we should be interacted with as if we are humans. H-MART wins.
Zion Market: Zion Market is currently located off Balboa Ave on Interstate 15, a couple of signals and you are there. Traffic is not usually an issue on this stretch of road even in rush-hour.
H-MART: H-Mart is located off Mira Mesa Blvd on Interstate 15, a couple of signals and you are there. The difference? The traffic near Mira Mesa Blvd is infamous on weeknights.
Advantage: Zion Market
There is no verdict. This was just an article comparing the two markets, remember? Do you really think I would risk being banned from any of these stores? Now go to both markets and make an informed opinion.