The most graceful of blogditor in LA, Daniela Galarza, in her new role at LA Magazine, beared the world of pain bestowed upon this fair city by James Beard Foundation Awards like a champ. We’re not discussing the literary components of the awards which is akin to the technical awards during the Oscars. The literary awards are won the day before the “A”wards, and LA, which apparently is better as a city of writers than chefs, usually takes a few medals here and there on Sundays. During the restaurant JBFA’s though, LA has been dogged year after year. Some say the LA contenders were undeserving this year. I say the LA finalists are picked to lose year after year. After all, what superman can beat Le Bernardin on its own turf when nominated in the same category. Certainly not anything from Lucque’s empire. And Animal versus the best of San Fran and Napa? Never going to happen. Anyone would predict the proper loss to Incanto and Benu.

LAX-C Express Khao man gai

However, there’s one James Beard Foundation Restaurant Awards category which truly fails Angelenos: the “American Classics. This year, some gringoed Chinese joint in Sacramento won one of the four available slots. No one knows why except a bunch of State legislators make shady handshaken deals there. The criteria for this category is almost inane — the restaurant has to be classic (which means open for many years — let’s call it 100 and serve “regional” American cuisine. Dear James Beard members, may I offer you one of the finest classic LA dining establishments, if one can call a deli counter in front of a working kitchen contained within a bulk food supply warehouse? It is located within LAX-C Market in Chinatown. It’s not a “food court”, since food court implies there a multitude of vendors surrounded a central eating area. There’s but one vendor, and the chairs invade the aisle space of a Thai cash and carry.

There have been a few reports by “mainstream” LA restaurant bloggers, but not really “get” the depth of steam trays at LAX-C’s food deli, known formally as LAX-C Express. The “deli” portion of the LAX-C Express alone is worth a Saveur mention. During Songkran, they have kanom tian, a savory (and sometimes sweet) little pyramids of sticky, spicy (!) rice wrapped in banana leaf eaten as snacks. Every day, they have house made curry pastes for those too busy making mole with their molcajete. LAX-C Express is far more fascinating than the permanent food stalls that serve satay, papaya salad, and khanom krok by the LAX-C parking lot. LAX-C is a full blown take-out restaurant, and the stuff they have soaking in the kaengs underneath the sneeze guard is far more interesting than 90% of all Thai restaurants in Los Angeles.

There’s Issan-Lao-Chinese style kaeng hang leh, pork knuckle/feet stew jammed with five spice and herbs. There’s now also a fantastic khao man gai. This is the khao man gai that offers the most performance to price ratio in all of LA. A huge molehill of seasoned rice (slightly salty, slightly jasminy, a more fluffier and less al dente than many other Thai versions) sits under slightly more than a quarter pound of mish mashed, skin-in dark chicken meat — white meat is available, mixed is not. A few slices of cucumber insert themselves, in a super Thai style fashion, next to the rice and between the sauce container. Few sprigs of (not very fresh) cilantro adorn the whole schbang. Nothing looks extraordinary until the 2 ounce SOLO sauce holder is popped. This is the perfect Thai khao man gai sauce. It might be the most perfect Hainan chicken sauce ever. Starting with the base of a light sweet soy paste, minced ginger, a bit of acidity and a hint of garlic is added. The texture is perfect as the thickened soy paste adheres to the chicken. But it’s not so thick that it can’t also serve as a rice enhancer. It’s not as sweet as the tamarind-nuoc mam served at Dong Nguyen, and it’s not too salty as Siam Sunset’s (which was previously covered in the Thai Town Khao Man Gai survey).

It doesn’t end there. LAX-C Express is a classic “khao kaeng” / “khao gang” joint as described by Chef McDang. It’s Thai fast food joint that serves a working man’s lunch, to Thai restaurant buyers, in a cash and carry and qualifies as one of those Asian “fast food” joints so loved by Bourdain, except this isn’t Vietnam, it’s Bangkok. And really, as much as I love a bowl of mi quang, there’s no equivalent of a Thai khao kaeng in the Vietnamese foodsphere of LA. The food here isn’t precious, the ingredients are from the market, which is to say, it’s on par with just about every Thai restaurant in Hollywood. LAX-C Express has faults, too. They overcook beef and chicken (except for the khao man gai), just like every Thai restaurant in Hollywood. So go with something more funked. The fish ball has been stewed in the green curry for hours, especially if you go late afternoon. Get that. Kaeng som with a basket full of bamboo shoots is available as part of the pick-3 item bento. Get that. In fact, always get the sour spicy curry, always. Two spice-laden curry & kaengs is just too overwhelming, so go with the bittermelon pork ball bland soup to round off the 3-item combo. Now, a properly done-up bitter melon bland soup should be stuffed with the ground pork, instead of being spotted floating alongside pork balls. However, if Bazaar can deconstruct a sentiment as American as the Philly cheese, then LA ethno-fressers should be able to allow this Thai interpretation, done by Thais, for Thais. Granted, LAX-C’s freezer isles are full of CAFO’d swine and beef, and majority of the seafood is farm raised and shipped frozen from overseas, but this is the fault of the US food system, and doesn’t lower the tasty factor of LAX-C Express. This restaurant using the best ingredients they can, at the price point tolerated and accepted by their clientele, and they’re doing the best they know how, as taught by the generation before them, to these ingredients. Just don’t bitch about the imperfect health department grade and the uncrispy fried catfish upon arrival as the superlative 3-combos are $7, and there’s no tipping. Outside of the Hoy-Ka/Pa-Ord situations, there is no better complete Thai meal for a single-person (or a starving babysitting parent) on a lazy Saturday. NB: order the pre-stir fried noodle dishes at your at risk. Don’t be stupid about it.

LAX-C Express
(Inside LAX-C Supermarket)
1100 N Main St
Los Angeles, CA 90012
(323) 343-9000
LAX-C Express on Urbanspoon



Subscribe to comments Comment | Trackback |
Post Tags:

Browse Timeline


    . Of course the JREF is the enemy of mystic con man so they will definitely possess several foes spreading complete garbage concerning all of them.

    Here is my homepage:

  • condos for sale in playa del carmen

    I enjoy what you guys are usually up too. This kind of clever work and exposure!
    Keep up the fantastic works guys I’ve included you
    guys to my own blogroll.

  • internetagentur stuttgart

    Howdy I am so glad I found your web site, I really found you by error, while I was searching
    on Bing for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would
    just like to say many thanks for a remarkable post and a
    all round exciting blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t
    have time to look over it all at the moment
    but I have saved it and also included your RSS feeds,
    so when I have time I will be back to read a lot
    more, Please do keep up the awesome job.

    Here is my web blog :: internetagentur stuttgart

  • Olympics when

    Fair Binary Options Secure Binary Broker Certificate is the seal we offer
    to brokers that have actually consistently outshined
    the market.

    Feel free to visit my weblog :: Olympics when

  •;u=362 เพลงชาติไทย ความสําคัญ

    Greetings from Florida! I’m bored to tears at work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break.
    I really like the knowledge you present here and can’t
    wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my phone ..

    I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, awesome site!

    My weblog … เพลงชาติไทย ความสําคัญ

  • Powermax Male Enhancement

    Very good info. Lucky me I came across your site by accident (stumbleupon).

    I’ve saved it for later!

  • digital-instinct

    Awesome things here. I’m very satisfied to see your article.
    Thank you so much and I’m taking a look forward to contact you.
    Will you please drop me a mail?

    Take a look at my blog: digital-instinct

  • click here

    Amazing! Its genuinely awesome post, I have got much clear
    idea regarding from this piece of writing.

  •;u=10723 radiale dichtung

    We’re a bunch of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.
    Your website offered us with helpful info to work on. You
    have performed an impressive task and our entire community shall
    be grateful to you.

    Have a look at my site; radiale dichtung

  • Anonymous

    I would like to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this
    site. I really hope to check out the same high-grade content
    by you later on as well. In truth, your
    creative writing abilities has motivated me to get my own website now ;

  • http://%URL% %url%

    Nevertheless, we would encourage you to use the websites noted here at TradersAsset, as each of these has a solid performance history for offering their clients a safe and secure
    trading environment.

    my website … %url%

  •,=&con=80 opposition impression base

    The last issue we will be taking a look at in selecting an excellent Binary Options Trading Broker is in the duration traders are required to wait till their withdrawn funds become available.

    My blog post … opposition impression base

  • Chandra

    When there is nonstop noise in your ears, normal functions of life become burdens.
    It’s not just the tinnitus that destroys lives,
    but the signs and symptoms that include it. Tinnitus miracle serves as
    a manual that will educate you on how to cure your tinnitus for good.

    Check out my web site; web site (Chandra)

  • indonesian porn films

    Thanks for a marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you
    can be a great author. I will remember to bookmark your blog and may come back very soon. I want to encourage
    continue your great writing, have a nice morning!

  •,4827.html Louie

    He tends to make no statement to the pensioner as
    to exadtly where the fence stands or who owns it.

    Feel free tto surf to my web blog … balustrady PVC na płot
    i bramkę ze sztachet, sztachetki z plastyku, Awangardowe sztachety, sztachetki plastykowe Szczecin i w otoczeniu,
    ogrodzenia Winylowe na ogrodzenie i furtkę sztachetową, sztachety z Winylu ogrodowe (Louie)

  • League Of Angels Hack Cydia

    I was suggested this blog by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by
    him as nobody else know such detailed about my trouble.
    You’re incredible! Thanks!

  • Eric

    If some one desires expert view concerning blogging and
    site-building afterward i suggest him/her to pay a
    visit this website, Keep up the nice job.

  • Resep Kue Natal

    Good day! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering which blog platform are you using for
    this website? I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had problems with hackers and I’m looking at options
    for another platform. I would be fantastic if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.

  • cartoon definition desperate

    A broker made for newbies doesn’t necessarily have to have a big asset portfolio.

    My weblog … cartoon definition desperate

  • płot PCV na ogrodzenie i bramę ze sztachet, ogrodzenie plastikowe, Obecne balustrady, balustrady PVC Szczecin i w okolicy, balustrady z PCV na ogrodzenie i furtkę ze sztachetek, ogrodzenia plastikowe systemowe
  • teatro real rigoletto

    Durante una hora, en Más Que Turismos GT podrás disfrutar con el turismo de tus
    sueños, las primordiales novedades del mercado y conocer de qué manera
    van a ser las máquinas del futuro.

  • Npageonline.Com

    Look online and also you will find a vast selection of different brands producing flat irons
    that vary from excellent to outstanding.

    Here is my website … Npageonline.Com

  • KN

    I do not even understand how I finished up right here, however I believed thos submit used to bbe good.
    Idoo not recognise who you might be however definitely
    you’re going to a famous blogger if yyou happen to
    aren’t already. Cheers!

    Here is my homepage:

  • Debbra

    The burner made use of in this iron is much infrared heat and ionic technology that’s gentle on the hair while additionally moistening your hairs.

    Also visit my website, Debbra,

  • ogrodzenie z plastyku na ogrodzenie i furtę sztachetową, balustrady z plastiku, Teraźniejsze płotki, płotki z Winylu w Mazowieckim i w okolicy, sztachetki z PCV na płot i furtę ze sztachetek, sztachety z PCV i bramy

    If pests like raccoons are climbing fences you will need sturdy wire mesh leading and a strand of hot wire att the
    best of the fence.

    Here is my web site: ogrodzenie z plastyku na ogrodzenie i furtę sztachetową, balustrady z plastiku, Teraźniejsze płotki, płotki z Winylu w Mazowieckim i w okolicy, sztachetki z PCV na płot i furtę ze sztachetek, sztachety z PCV i bramy

  • rorn xxx

    An impressive share! I have just forwarded this
    onto a colleague who was conducting a little research on this.
    And he in fact bought me breakfast due to the fact that I discovered it
    for him… lol. So let me reword this….
    Thank YOU for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to discuss this matter
    here on your internet site.


    But in feedback to inquiries from EWG, a company representative claimed that Brazilian Blowout Zero
    does not leave the hair as level and also smooth as the original formulation.

    Have a look at my site –


    The significant point of distinction is the material that home plate in a standard iron utilizes.

    My blog post;


    Notwithstanding the foregoing, we could expose personally recognizable info about you to third-parties if:
    (a) the information is supplied to abide by the law, enforce a contract we have with you, or to secure our
    rights, commercial property or security, or the civil
    liberties, commercial property, or security of our workers or others; or (b) the info is offered to our agents,
    suppliers, or provider that carry out features on our part as explained here.

    Feel free to surf to my web page

© Copyright 2008 . Thanks for visiting!