Shop where the restaurateurs do -- at Charlie's
You can’t miss Charlie’s Fixtures on the northwest corner of Venice Boulevard just east of Western. Look for the shabby banquet chairs stacked up in front and used industrial carts and such. Cars zip in and out of the parking along Oxford, restaurateurs and caterers in a hurry.
Inside is an incredible array of restaurant supplies, both new and used. Need a stockpot? They’ve got them, from demure apartment-stove-sized to ones so large it would take the Jolly Green Giant to stir the soup. The stock is packed onto shelves that reach to the high ceilings — saucepans (even All-Clad), frying pans, woks, utensils, baking sheets, loaf pans, Japanese iron teapots, thermometers, pizza peels, heavy-duty equipment.
The staff works with the intensity of traders on Wall Street, ringing up sales, checking invoices, barking orders. One woman is patient enough to measure the used galvanized steel cart outside and give me the price — plus wheels. In the end, I bought two 24 x 24-inch stainless steel prep tables for $99.95 each. Like Ikea purchases, the tables have to be assembled, but still …
You can find some of the cheapest items I’ve ever seen — not necessarily the best quality, but cheap — along with high-quality stuff that seems a bargain for the price. It’s all in this vast warehouse if you can find it.
Charlie’s Fixtures, 2251 Venice Blvd. (at Oxford), Los Angeles, (323) 731-9023.
-- S. Irene Virbila
Photo: An aisle at Charlie's Fixtures. Credit: S. Irene Virbila/Los Angeles Times