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June 23, 2009

The "Thai Costco" at LAX-C

***UPDATE: Here are the treats I bought at the market to take home, a hard herbal candy, a young coconut, and some lychee pudding. When I try them, I'll add a comment to this post to let you know how they were!

I had a culinary adventure this week to LAX-C, a huge ethnic market with great street food. They call themselves the largest Thai owned business in America, and they're not joking. This is the Thai version of Costco, where all the Thai restaurants go for their groceries--and tables, and chairs, and statues of Buhdda, and promotional calendars. But mostly groceries. The selection is extensive. And while the place does cater to the restaurant industry, there's some great deals for the individual here as well: coconut ice cream, little Thai candies, and great prepared street food.

There's plenty of parking, but bring cash--it's cash only, especially the street vendors outside. You'll find a definite security presence inside the market--not sure if that's reflective of the neighborhood or what.

Here's our street food feast. I got some of Mae Ting's coconut cakes, and a small $3 order was enough to share with the group. The pan they were cooked in reminded me of a Danish Aebelskiver skillet. I saw the cooking surfaces for sale inside the market. The cakes themselves were lightly sweet and tasty, crunchy on the outside and creamy, almost pudding-like in the center.

These desserts were things other people in my group got from inside the market, so I don't know that much about them, but they were all good! My favorite is the orange rice-dough dish that tasted like it was soaked in honey. I got some of that to take home afterward.

This is what my little sampler plate looked like after trading with everyone I'd gone there with. What a yummy and interesting feast!

I spent about ten bucks on the whole day, and in addition to eating there brought home some lychee "pudding cups" that looked like jello to me and were in the candy section, a young coconut to shave open and drink the milk then scoop out the fruit, and that Med-Ka-Noon, which is the orange dessert I told you about earlier.

If you're going:
LAX-C, Inc.
1100 N. Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
What are your favorite ethnic markets? Tell me about them in a comment on the blog.

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