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Recs for Thai in Santa Monica (or nearby)

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A friend is visiting from Boulder next week and is craving good Thai food. Since I don't know much about Thai cuisine or where to go locally, I figured I'd ask here for recommendations! Thanks.

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  1. Yangtze Restaurant
    1333 3rd St Promenade, Santa Monica, CA 90401
    (310) 260-1994

    Thai Dishes
    1910 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403
    (310) 828-5634

    1 Reply
    1. re: LesThePress

      Big fan of the duck curry at Thai Dishes

    2. Toi on Wilshire around 10th street. Fun atmosphere, and some of the better Thai on the West Side.

      1. What happened to Orchid? anyone know?

        1. Tuk Tuk on Pico. Poom on Lincoln.

          1 Reply
          1. re: mandelabra

            i agree with mandelabra and disagree with the other posts above about good thai.

          2. What about Chan Dara on Pico?

            epop - why do you like/dislike some of the restaurants?

            Oh, and my out-of-town friend will have her little one with her, so it needs to be stroller/kid friendly.

            3 Replies
            1. re: WLA_gal

              chan dara on pico is horrible

              1. re: budlit

                its good for gringo-rized thai food. hehe

              2. re: WLA_gal

                thai dishes is only ok. you can try it. but Poom is better. yangtse is also fine if on promenade, actually. but not a thai restaurant. same for toi. i'd go to lincoln unless convenience is the priority. strollers ok.

              3. As a Santa Monica resident, I go to Westchester for good Thai food. Nothing really wrong with some of the suggestions above, but I find that Ayara Thai in downtown Westchester and Wild Thai in the Howard Hughes Center are the best around. I believe both can accomodate strollers.

                1. I always go to Siam Chan, near Santa Monica Blvd & the 405. But yes...their pad thai is pink and sweeter than what it normally tastes like. But all my friends that have eaten there always go back and enjoy it. Their praram (peanut sauce) dish is quite good, as well as their orange chicken (surprisingly!). If you like sour dishes, their jun pu dish is quite tasty (albeit, a bit small).

                  It's not a very pretty restaurant; just a fish tank and simple tables. But the waitresses are always very nice (extra bonus if Rosie's your waitress; I think she went back to school), and the food is always comfort food to me!

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Tmblweed

                    I liked most of the dishes there, especially the crispy sweet mee krob.

                    The pad thai is disgusting. Avoid that and you'll be fine.

                  2. Tough one - there's just not a ton of great Thai on the west side. And what there is can be hit-or-miss. Really, really, REALLY can't recommend Toi. Sweet, gloppy, sloppy goo. Thai Dishes is just downright pathetic at times but once in a while will pull it together - curries are your best bet, pad thai isn't always awful, service is hilariously uninterested. Yangzte, as mentioned, really isn't a Thai restaurant...kinda pan-Asian, fusiony stuff and not to my taste, plus you've got to fight your way down the Promenade to get it. And Chan-Dara...well, it's more a gimmick than anything else and I find their preparations kinda repellent. A couple places mentioned by others I still want to try...have heard good things about Tuk-Tuk, too. What I usually end up doing is going to Bangkok West on Santa Monica Blvd. at 6th St. in Santa Monica. They, unfortunately, trend toward "healthier" preparations which mostly just means they use chicken breast instead of dark meat...yum, sawdust. Uh, but their other stuff can be pretty great. Good curries, fresh, crisp-tender veggies, decent pad thai, and some fun appetizers. Stay away from the soup: I think they make it with dishwater. Try the duck at dinner. And it's a nice space with lovely servers and you'll be fine taking the kids/strollers.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: neobite

                      I went there for my birthday, and LOVED it!!! great food, and good dessert, too! nice, clean interior as well.

                      1. re: neobite

                        I had one of the worst meals in my life at Bangkok West. I was not the only one sending things back to the kitchen. But nice servers.

                      2. Poom might be a fun place for your friend with the little one; they have this funny fish tank where some of the fish look like their brains are actually on top of their heads as well as some wacky looking catfish (they are all beloved pets, NOT dinner).
                        I have to agree about Thai Dishes being really insipid (the one in Malibu being the worst! Overly sweet, gelatinous, nasty) and also the same about Toi.
                        There are a bunch of places on Lincoln, further south toward Westchester that I've always been curious about. Has anyone tried Star of Siam (?) or the others?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: mandelabra

                          Star of Siam hasn't disappointed me for fresh tasty thai food. it isn't a knock out punch great experience but i think that and Poon and possibly Bangkok west are the better choices on this side of town.

                          it's tough though; i had many meals prepared by the former chef for the king of thailand + nowhere and nobody cooks similarly (simply as well) to that family. but still looking.

                        2. My favorite places for Thai are Emporium Thai on Westwood, at about Rochester, and Natalee Thai in Venice.

                          1. Agree about Bangkok West, although service can be a bit slow. The food and space are great.