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Jun 22, 2006 02:15 PM

Yummy NoHo Thai restaurants

  • f

I had two meals that I really enjoyed recently. One was at Swan Thai and the other was at Sri Siam (thanks to whoever recommended these places on another post a while back).

Swan Thai is located across the street from the 99 cent store in a creamy orange strip mall where the mostly empty parking lot is strewn with trash.

The atmosphere feels a little grungy--replacing the stained ceiling tiles and flourescent lighting would do a lot for the atmosphere, but this is a low-budget place that's strictly about food.

It's been ages since I've had larb, a salad made of ground meat and a spicy lime juice dressing. Swan Thai has quite a few larb options: fish, duck, beef, pork, or chicken (duck and fish are more expensive). Even though I don't like pork, I really liked their pork larb.

Swan Thai's fish cakes were predictably good. The only thing that was notable about them was that they were cut into smaller pieces than usual.

Their rendition of pad kee mao has plenty of thick, chewy noodles and flavorful beef. A few more peppers and mint leaves might be good, but for those who don't like their noodles contaminated with veggies, this dish is a great bet. I liked the spiciness and the texture of the beef at Krua better, but their noodles are greasier, so it's a tradeoff.

Swan Thai Restaurant
12728 Sherman Way (just east of Coldwater Canyon)
North Hollywood, CA 91605
Hours 10:30am-10pm daily
Free delivery within 4 miles, $10 minimum

At Sri Siam, I started with a green papaya salad. It was different from other papaya salads I've had because it contained green beans and tomatoes. I was pleased that it was plenty spicy (okay, so spicy that I had to stop eating it). Also, most green papaya salads I've tasted have been sweet, so I was surprised when this one was mostly salty and spicy.

Next up was pad Thai, a mildly sweet, pleasantly greasy, ketchup-free rendition with plenty of al dente noodles with no obnoxiously healthy add-ins like carrots and broccoli.

Finally, I tried the rad nah - rice noodles topped with gravy, Chinese broccoli and meat. This dish didn't look too appetizing when I opened up the container, but it was surprisingly fantastic. The noodles were a bit sweet, as if they'd been fried with a bit of palm sugar, while the sauce was salty. The beef had bite, in a good way. Most surprising was the Chinese broccoli, which which I learned is a member of the mustard family like American broccoli, but it's tangy,like kale and has leaves rather than florets. The sweet, salty, and tangy flavors were a great combination.

Sri Siam Cafe
12843 Vanowen St.
North Hollywood, CA 91605
Hours 11am-10pm
Free delivery within area with $15 minimum
Takeout available

At both places, the service was friendly and the food was fast. Also, most dishes were in the $6-8 range--quite a bargain.

I'm wondering if there is a link between Swan Thai and Sri Siam because their food seems quite similar and they have both modified their business cards to cover up the "closed Wednesdays." Does anyone know?


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  1. I have only been to Swan Thai once after it was recommended by a Thai friend and someone on this board posted about their 'little plates' for $2.50. I tried a couple of small plates and one regular dish. All was pretty good.

    I have been eating both lunches and dinners at Sri Siam for several years now. Everything that I've had has been top notch. I really enjoy the Crab Rangoon Appetizer, both the Catfish and Duck Currys, Catfish Larb, Pad Kee Mao, Thai Spaghetti, Grilled Beef Salad and the served all day specials sheet had a tasty fish dish but I don't recall the name. The Coconut Ice Cream served on Sweet Sticky Rice has toasted peanuts and jelly that is so good as is the Mango with Sticky Rice. I skip their Thai Ice Tea now because the new owner is using non-dairy creamer which I abhor.

    Speaking of the new owner, she is the cook that worked for the previous owner. The previous owner's brother, a big guy, who goes by the English name of Charlie still cooks there. While some of the staff has changed, the food is still good!

    At Sri Siam, when I ask for a dish to be very spicy, scorching hot with full Thai flavor, that is how it is prepared! The other Thai restaurant that I frequent often, especially late when Sri Siam is closed, is Krua Thai, a favorite of many who post on this board, which is a much larger restaurant with a much larger menu. My only problem here is that no matter how I ask, Thai phrases, emphatic English or whatever, they never get the spicy dishes really hot and I'm always requesting Nam Prik. The 4-Flavor Fish, Pad Thai Krua Thai, Pad Kee Mao and Coconut Smoothies are really tasty though!

    Swan Restaurant
    12728 Sherman Way
    North Hollywood, CA 91605
    818 764 1892

    Sri Siam Cafe
    12843 Vanowen St. (at Coldwater)
    North Hollywood, CA 91605
    818 982 6161
    818 982 6262

    Krua Thai
    13130 Sherman Way
    North Hollywood, CA 91605
    818 759 7998
    also at:
    Hong Kong Market Plaza
    935 S. Glendora Ave.
    West Covina, CA
    626 480 0116

    3 Replies
    1. re: sel

      You're showing Krua Thai in NoHo and West Covina. Isn't there a (relatively) new Krua Thai on Hollywood, across from the Samanamalung (whatever)? I ate there once and enjoyed it, but I didn't associate it with the Sherman Way place I've been to. Is it the same people behind all three?

      1. re: Andrew Gore

        I am not aware of a 3rd Krua Thai in Hollywood. The county health dept. site only shows the 2 locations that I listed above.

        1. re: Andrew Gore

          ...are you thinking of Sapp, maybe, as the restaurant across from Sanamluang?