8:52 a.m. on a Tuesday morning and I – in all my hungover glory – am perched inside my car in the middle of an empty Los Angeles parking lot anxiously awaiting the daily, 9 a.m. opening of Galco's Soda Pop Shop. I'm fantasizing over a bottle of Evian when suddenly the doors blast open with a flash of white light and the heavens rain down sweet splendor harking the … Well, not exactly. But the Shop does have some kick ass soda pop and an awesome deli counter.

I exit my now stodgy and gently sap-covered Ford motor product and walk inside of Galco's, an old-world grocery store that sells nothing in plastic. With over 500 different flavors of soda pop and a myriad of imported beers and wines, the endless rainbow of brightly glowing bottles leaves me, mid-aisle, staring blankly in euphoric wonder.

So much pop, so little appetite. I start to peruse. I grab a cart, and not one of those wimpy little hand baskets. I grab a cart with wheels .

While aimlessly wandering the aisles of Galco's Soda Pop Shop, it becomes apparent that this store isn't some housewife's idea of a hobby. This is a serious establishment, with employees who know every inch of their insurmountable inventory and have tasted literally every flavor of soda pop they sell.

Native to Los Angeles for 109 years, Galco's is an aged enterprise with experience to match. In fact, the shop is responsible for unearthing previously unknown sodas and placing them on its shelves. With a few select brands, Galco's is essentially the only store to have these widely unknown drinks in stock.

Rarities aside, they also sell everything from the original Moxie and original Dr. Pepper (which does not taste like the carbonated hoopla currently peddled to the masses) to the entire Nesbitt's flavored soda line as well as the Fentiman's line. More obscure flavors include Orangenfruchtsaftlimonade and Dandelion and Burdock.

I request a root beer. This might have been a mistake, considering Galco's carries over 50 different root beers. With some assistance, I find one that meets my criterion and move on to orange soda. To ensure a diverse assortment of drinks, I –   again, with some help – select two sodas.

With my shopping complete, I decide to explore the last few aisles and then check out. Towards the back of the store, however, I discover the deli counter!

Galco's hosts not only a truly dumbfounding collection of soda pop, but also a lunch counter famous for the South of the Border Blockbuster sandwich. I cannot resist. With a sandwich in tow, I head towards the front door checkout stand.

By the time I reach my destination, I have accumulated nine sodas including an original apple cider and some translucent purple nonsense with a snazzy label. All in glass, of course.

The randomly dispersed vintage seltzer bottles; the side bar of old-fashioned candies and chews; the wooden sign; Galco's embraces the old-world tradition of soda pop, back when it was actually pop and not high-fructose corn syrup and Yellow #5.

With reasonable prices (with all my garb, the total came to around $26) and beyond-helpful staff, Galco's Soda Pop Shop might be one of the last un-trendy and worthwhile places to shop in Los Angeles.

Galco's Soda Pop Shop is open Mon-Sat 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Sun 9 a.m.-4 p.m. For more information, call (323) 255-7115 or visit www.sodapopstop.com.