One of the many perks of living in downtown Los Angeles is the direct access to goods and services. If you're willing to hunt just a little, you can often find products with fewer middle men in the way.

When my sister was in town we had a visit, but Corey and I realized we needed to stock up on a few items I'd forgotten, so happily set out for another adventure.

LAX-C is a Thai-based bulk store (think Asian Costco) that caters largely to restaurants but is open to the public. Tucked away just off Main Street, with a fairly innocuous sign, it's easy to blow right past LAX-C, and I've done it.

This place has been in business for over 20 years, and imports almost everything under the sun.

So let's take a wee tour, shall we?

I don't know the origin of these murals, but they're kind of fantastic. And I love the complete lack of relationship to what lies inside. But why not pass though an entrance flanked by dynamic illustrations of Native Americans?

Once inside, LAX-C follows the same warehouse aesthetic as most bulk stores, with aisles that go on for miles.

Lots of familiar brands in here...I grew up with bags of Botan rice always in the cupboard.

And lots of foods that are relatively new to me...

...that I would like to try immediately.

There's also a couple aisles of some foods you'd definitely see in a Costco, but WHAT THE HECK IS MIMOSA MUFFIN MIX. Someone make this and tell me.

I've been making peanut butter at home in our Vitamix and LAX-C is where I get big ole bags o' nuts.

But if those bags lack weight, check out these nut sacks. (sorry not sorry)

As a bulk supplier, of course there are plenty of examples of HUGE QUANTITIES OF THINGS. Some are inspiring - I love tempura anything, and my mind swirled with what could be battered and fried with this:

But this? Not so much. Bucket o' Chicken Flavor can stay on the shelf. Cool.

Other giant things! For those mutant dustballs:

For the mega tempura monster you can fry:

While I roared away in the kitchen supplies, Corey strolled the frozen and refrigerated aisles. Although tempted, he did not open any shrimp boxes. Or did he?

It's been scorchingly hot but why does Corey think living in one of these fridges is such a strange idea?

Besides all the food/kitchen stuff, LAX-C also carries random home goods like these kid-size plastic chairs:

And possibly my favorite aisles – the to go containers.

They don't make me want to get take out. They make me want to throw a party or craft something. Maybe both at the same time.

I see this stack of sandwich papers and not only want to make a bunch of subs, but perhaps just have the satisfaction of wrapping them up. Does anyone else feel this? If not, I'm okay with living in my private weirdness.

There's also a fresh fish and meat department...and hey! We just learned that you can pick any fish and they will fry it for you on the spot, whole or cut up or whatever. FRY AND TAKE. Sigh. That's just fantastic.

Just so you know, LAX-C is a wonderland even if you don't match the shelves AND the Sirracha. But you know, it helps.


1100 N. Main St., Los Angeles, CA 90012