Archive for 'Thai'

My 10 Favorite Versions of Pad Thai in Los Angeles

I’m not sure when it happened, but at some point over the past 10 years pad thai went from being the most popular Thai food dish to the laughing stock of so called serious eaters everywhere.  “You don’t want to order the pad thai” has become the rallying cry of so called “foodies”, even though it blends together all the best parts of Thai cooking. Sweet. Spicy. Sour. Funky.  Well, consider this the backlash to the backlash.  There is some seriously awesome Pad Thai to be had in Los Angeles right now… and with Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok Phat Thai set to open any day now, it’s only going to get better.  In the meantime here’s a list of my 10 favorite versions of pad thai that I put together for DineLA.

4 New Bits of Thai Town News You’ll Want to Know About

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1. Pa Ord has now taken over Ganda –  Since opening in 2010 Pa Ord has been on an expansion tear.  First they doubled the size of their original location on Sunset and Hobart by taking over the empty space next door. Then, they moved west into the heart of Hollywood- taking over Thai Foon, on Sunset and La Brea.  Turns out they weren’t done, and their latest takeover is the most shocking.  Yesterday Ganda, the steam table place famous for their crispy catfish, became a 3rd location of Pa Ord… just one block away from the original!  I love Pa Ord as much as the next guy, but did they really need to get rid of my favorite place for crispy catfish!?

Or did they…?

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The New Pa Ord is a Thai Town/Thai Foon Hybrid

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At this point it’s common knowledge that Los Angeles is home to the most culturally diverse food landscape in all of the country (possibly the world.)  But to call it a melting pot would be a little misleading, since most of the best versions of each cuisine represented in L.A. can mostly be found in their own specific neighborhood.  Thai food in Thai Town, Korean food in Koreatown, and so on.  Good Chinese food outside of Chinatown and the San Gabriel Valley?  Good luck.  Naturally, there are exceptions.  And as more and more people become interested in following Jonathan Gold to the next foreign treasure it only makes sense that more treasures are creeping outside of their own enclaves.

Boyle Heights’ Guisados opened up a new Echo Park location less than 3 miles away from the original. A second Mariscos Jalisco truck?  Same deal.  And now there’s Pa Ord, the boat noodle specialist from Thai Town who recently bought Thai Foon on La Brea and Sunset.  Close enough to Thai Town to make you consider just going to the original, far enough a way to make it conveniently worth it not to.

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Rodded’s Thai Food is Positively Quacktastic

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If you’re looking for a one page eating guide to Thai Town, this post Josh Lurie did for DineLA is a pretty great resource.  He heaps praise on a bunch of great Midtown Lunch’ing spots, and most importantly tells you the best thing to order at each.  Anybody who reads this site on a regular basis will recognize Pa Ord, Sapp Coffee Shop, Ruen Pair, Spicy BBQ, Krua Siri, and Siam Sunset.   But the part of the post that really caught my eye was Rodded, a “40-year-old corner spot with pastel green walls and a cartoon-covered blackboard” that specializes in roast duck noodle soup.

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But the noodle soup is not the only duck dish worth ordering at Rodded, and there are even a few ways to get your Donald on that aren’t on the menu.

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Talesai’s Lunch Specials Give You a Tiny Taste of Night + Market

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I like the cheap “authentic” dives you find in {Insert any Asian country here} Town just as much as the next guy (actually, probably way more than the next guy.)  But I also love when young chefs take Asian food out of the dive dive and into the hipster dive, giving the food a punk rock edge without muting the flavors that made you love the cuisine in the first place. I’m talking your Momofukus, your A-Frames, your Mission Chineses.  So naturally I was a bit excited when Night + Market started getting good reviews. The Thai street food restaurant from Chef Kris Yenbamroong is ”hidden” inside Talesai, a West Hollywood Thai dinosaur owned by his parents.  Night + Market is only open at night (naturally), but when I heard that Yenbamroong also runs the kitchen of Talesai I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of lunch you could get at the parent restaurant.

Finding out that they offer a $10 lunch special sealed the deal.

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Moo Moo Cafe is the Thai Street Food Westsiders Have Been Praying For

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When the craving for Thai food hits, those who aren’t satisfied by pad thai and yellow curry alone will usually make the trek into Thai Town for the real deal.  Boat noodles at Pa Ord, jade noodles from Sapp, crispy catfish from Ganda, khao soi from Spicy BBQ or Pailin, and crispy pork w/ morning glory from Ruen Pair are the kinds of things that aren’t as easily found west of Highland.  But what happens if you live or work on the Westside, and those cravings hit at a time when you can’t make the 30 minute drive East?  There are plenty of Thai restaurants to choose from, dotting the landscape along Venice, Robertson, and Lincoln.  And a few of those places might make your favorite prik king.  Or massaman curry.  Or pad thai.  But when Natalee Thai is the best Thai food in your neighborhood, there might be a little room for improvement.

Enter the newly open Moo Moo Thai Cafe on Sepulveda and Venice.

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Krua Siri’s Secret Thai Menu is No Longer Hidden

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Back in March The Find discovered that Krua Siri, a completely non-descript Thai food restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard, had a secret Thai food menu available only for the most probing of customers (who could also read Thai.) Of course the L.A. Times article- which naturally is now proudly framed on the wall- changed all that, and I’m happy to report that the “secret” Thai menu has now been integrated into their regular menu, in English, under a “recommended dishes” section. Strangely enough, though, the coverage in the Times wasn’t enough to convince them to get rid of the ridiculous non-Thai dishes (like orange chicken!?) and they seem to have even upped the ante with a lunchtime all you can eat shabu shabu deal for $9.99.

But don’t let that discourage you…

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