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Thai: anywhere and anything in the metro-LA area.

I must confess, I can't say I've ever had really GOOD Thai food. I've had stuff that I've eaten because it was in front of me and I was hungry and/or curious, but none of it was particularly memorable. It was merely okay, and not anything I would've sought out again.

Everyone else I know (except for the SO, who agrees) seems aghast whenever I tell them, but even they can't really recommend anything. So, what would you recommend I try and where should it be? Please keep in mind that I'm not a fan of noodles or rice, which leaves veggies, fish, meat, and soup. I also prefer clear flavors to things too creamy/muddled.

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  1. If you're willing to drive a bit, definitely go to Renu Nakorn if it's still open (it's closing soon for remodeling.) It's just off the 5 freeway, only about 15 minutes from downtown L.A. and well worth it.
    Then go to the Thai temple (Wat Thai) in North Hollywood and have the papaya salad, the sticky rice and mango, and the Thai sausage.
    If you just want a nice sit down meal closer to L.A. proper, you might try Red Corner Asia in Hollywood, which has very clear flavors. Try the shrimp with fried basil.
    For a more authentic meal, Nadpob Thai in Silver Lake is good, but it's a pity to miss the spicy noodles there.
    Funny, no offense, but I feel kinda the same way about Korean food! It's all a matter of what you've experienced, I guess.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Chowpatty

      Nadpob has some of the most authentic Thai flavors I've found in LA. If you want clear flavors, try some of their salads or whole fish dishes instead of ordering curries. My favorite is the raw shrimp salad, think of it as a /really/ spicy Thai ceviche, where the shrimp 'cooks' in lime juice. Order the nam tok beef salad if they have it. The place can seem deserted during "normal" dinner hours sometimes. I think a lot of their customers come in late at night, especially weekends.

      1. re: Chowpatty

        UPDATE on RENU NAKORN's closing.
        THE NEW DATE for RENOVATION is OCT /06

      2. I hear Wat Thai is the place for Thai in LA. Haven't been there... yet.

        I go to Ruen Pair in Hollywood's Thai Town, where you can find a bunch of great restaurants. At Ruen Pair, i get the papaya salad, pad thai, shrimp cakes, etc. I've has a lot of other great dishes there. I hear their fried morning glories are amazing as well. They are closed right now for renovations but will be opening within the next few weeks. You should check it out:

        http://www.ruenpairla.com

        1. Sapp (on Hollywood blvd.) in Thai Town, for their Boat Noodles. It's a big soupy bowl of beefy intensity. If you don't like organ meats, make sure to order their more scaled down version, otherwise the broth can be a bit livery-flavored. Try the stripped-down bowl with noodles, broth, herbs, and 'recognisable beef'. Then go to the thai pastry/dessert shop next door to cleanse the scorched-earth intensity from your palate...

          1 Reply
          1. re: silence9

            Their boat noodles are really good and spicy. Won't taste the same without the miscellaneous "nasty bits", or the heavy broth.

            Another good place for noodle soup is Rodded, for the duck stew noodle soup.

          2. My favorites:
            Ruen Pair
            Red Corner Asia
            Samanaluang
            Jitlada Thai
            Saladang Thai in Pasadena

            1 Reply
            1. re: luswei

              Be carefull about samanaluang, they don't serve papaya salad after 6pm (a major disappointment when I went).

            2. Second the Jitlada. Never had my mouth burn like it did there but, man, was
              it sweet ecstasy. And, don't miss Wat Thai on the weekend. It's authentic and
              cheap and really tasty. Nothing like eating Thai with a a bunch of old Thai ladies
              and little kids.

              1. Ok -
                Thai food outside of curries, is generally not creamy or muddled. A little soupy tho- so, as to soak up with the sticky rice. Standard Thai fare. It's noodles and rice in Asia, not bread. As suggested by earlier notes, take yourself to Thai Town: Hollywood Blvd b-tween Western and Normandie. Because of the location of Thailand, seafood is eaten much. But they also will have chicken, pork and beef in their dishes. Authentic Thai food -soups mainly, include many animal parts - they leave nothing out. Lemon Grass Soup is about the only one I know that is so-called normal for a soup; shrimp and chicken. As suggested, go to Wat Thai (Roscoe and Coldwater) on a weekend for their food market. My family and I went Sat. and easily spent 20$. The food there is the real deal- IMO, not nearly as good as it used to be 10-15 years ago. Oh, well. I love the fried mussels (3$), chicken satay (1$)and mango w/sweet coconut rice (3$)Help yourself to a Thai Tea as well. YUM! Then go to Sanamluang. Cheap, authentic, diverse and open late. Next door is Bangluck Market. They have many prepared items. Try the dried shrimp, lime and peanut in lettuce cups. Very Thai. For upscale Thai cuisine, I love Saladang Song on Arroyo Pkwy. in Pasadena :) Have fun! KQ.