I’d heard about this place called LAX C – a Thai mega-supermarket on the edge of Los Angeles’s Chinatown. I didn’t know exactly what to expect but the hunter/gatherer in me thought it was worth an expedition. And it was.
It’s a somewhat bleak hangar of a place selling industrial-size buckets of soy sauce and boxes of squid parts and pig stomachs, which you wouldn’t need unless you were in the restaurant business, but they cater to the retail trade too. If you’re looking for preserved duck eggs or Thai coconut rolls or durian flavor ice cream, then this is the place.
There’s a nifty fish market on premises: live lobster, belt fish and some mighty large oysters which at $9.99 a dozen were irresistible. You can see them unopened at the top of this post.
I couldn’t tell you their provenance – the fish guy and I didn’t share a common language - and opening a dozen of them at home was a bit of a project, but well worth it – they were sweet, creamy, mild, a bit less oceanic than most oysters but still darned good.
There were sausages galore, such as this pork and lemongrass one.
Contents also included red curry, kaffir lime rind and shrimp paste – also heavy on the galangal for that authentic Thai taste.
And not least, LAX C is a place that sells pork blood – or Dugo Ng Baboy, if you prefer. Yep, I see some black puddings being made in my near future.