This Giant California Supermarket is the’Costco of Thai Food’

“It really is a hub for the community. I don’t know a single Thai restaurant in Los Angeles that doesn’t shop here, no matter how big or small they are.”

I’m standing smack-dab in the middle of the cavernous Thai wholesale market LAX-C with Vanda Asapahu. She’s the second-generation chef running the savory side of the kitchen at her family’s beloved 20-year-old restaurant Ayara Thai in the Westchester neighborhood, just east of LAX. (Her sister Cathy handles desserts.)

Asapahu talks as we weave through the aisle at this megastore on the outskirts of Chinatown, explaining how this cluttered market has become the go-to place for Thai families and chefs all over the city. Since its founding in 2000, LAX-C, which is open to the public, has become known locally as the “Thai Costco.” 

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