Cat and I are back from Northern California. It's going to take me a day or two to get caught up at the office and back in the swing of things. To my friends in NorCal, I had a blast. Can't wait to do it again. To my food blogger friends in NorCal, I didn't have time during this trip, but let's get together sometime.
While we were up north, I took the opportunity to show Cat some of my favorite shops. M. V. Trading Company is one I always enjoy browsing. I can't resist their extensive catalogue of kitchen goods.
I always feel like a kid in a candy store whenever I step through their doors and into the clutter. This store has every kitchen utensil you could possibly imagine. It's like one of those mysterious shops in early 20th century fairy tales, tucked away in a small alley and run by wizened old men with severe accents eager to peddle magical goods to bright-eyed children. I half expect to be sold a cage for a musically inclined cricket or a heavy wooden armchair with wings on each of its feet every time I walk in. Maybe a mummified monkey's paw...
Negotiating the narrow, claustrophobia inducing aisles at M. V. Trading Company takes some getting used to, as does their haphazard organizational style. Items are only thematically clustered together, stacked on top of one another in very tall shelves with little space for a chubby panda to squeeze between them. But, that's part of the fun. You never know what you'll find or where you'll find it.
Dishes, for example. Lots of dishes.
Including both fun items and fine earthenware imported from Japan. Some of this stuff can cost an arm and a leg in Japanese dishware stores, but at M. V. Trading Company, you can pick them up for a few toes each. I'm always tempted by cute kitty dishes.
If you're in a frugal mood, you can always go for their fine array of plastic dining vessels, familiar to any frequent visitor to Chinese and Vietnamese eateries. I don't think the pattern on those plates has changed in the past ten years.
Supplying Asian restaurants is M. V. Trading Company's bread and butter. They have everything you need to open up your very own, San Gabriel sticky, eatery. Plastic glasses in clear, matte, and matte brown, for starters.
The all-important, bill conveyance devices in an assortment of plastic and pleather, perfect for the discerning restaurateur.
Classy fish sauce, soy sauce, and rice vinegar dispensers. I think every restaurant in Little Saigon has these things. Of course, what M. V. Trading Company has for the dining room isn't nearly as exciting as what they have for the kitchen.
Sieves of all shapes and sizes, from every country and for every purpose. Makes me a want to boil something just so I can strain it.
Pans for the cook and baker, but not the candlestick maker. They don't take kindly to candlestick makers around these here parts. ... I really want those spring form cake pans.
Knives! I'm all kitted out already, but every time I hold a Chinese cleaver, I wanna cook something. Sometimes I get the feeling that in a past life, I was one of those fat Chinese butchers in the open air markets that go around shirtless in their leather aprons. Might explain my affinity for these choppers.
They have all sorts of cutlery and cutting boards here. The knife quality isn't particularly good, but I really dig the big chopping blocks. I think I saw an apron section a few aisles back...
Of course, no Chinese restaurant is complete without its little altar. No worries. M. V. Trading Company has you completely covered. They've got everything you need to set up a totally pimp altar, as well as all the paraphernalia for most of the major Chinese holidays.
M. V. Trading Company - Your one stop shop for cool, cute, or kitsch kitchen gear. Their prices are reasonable, and their selection is vast. Just pray that there isn't an earthquake when you're inside.
M.V. Trading Company
486 Barber Ln.
Milpitas, CA 95035