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Feb 18, 2007 10:17 PM

question about wat thai

I know it's on the weekends but I was wondering what time it ends and is it better to go early? I want to try going on sunday but not until after 3 or 4.. are the chances of getting the yummy green papaya salad and mango with sticky rice pretty slim by that time or it should be ok?

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  1. See "Wat Thai Temple" and, "All Thai'd Out in Venice" postings that are fresh... good info and even some pix!

    1. Weekends, 8am to 6pm. I went at 3pm yesterday (while it was still sunny!) and it was still busy. They should still have enough product to last through the day, as they've been serving up that famous papaya salad for a while.

      1. Will they be open tomorrow (Presidents' Day)? I'm seriously craving Thai food right now. Don't know if I can wait until next weekend.

        7 Replies
        1. re: C6H12O6lover

          WAT Thai L.A. is open for 'street chow' Saturday and Sunday only, sorry! Very good Thai restaurants on and adjacent to Sherman Way less than 5 minutes from the Wat should satisfy your craving until the Wat reopens next weekend.

          1. re: sel

            And really, while it may be seen as blasphemy by many here, the food in some of the restaurants (Sri Siam, Krua Thai, etc.) is better than what you would find at the Wat. The Wat is great, no question, but it is the combination of scene, feel and food that makes it special. The Wat really does bring me back to my days living in Thailand, but if all you want is the great Thai food, I would head to one of the restaurants. In fact, I did this weekend myself. Went to Sri Siam and had a great meal: som tum, pad krapao tofu tod (fried tofu with Thai basil and peppers) and a fish ball stir-fry in a red curry sauce made with amazingly tender and homemade looking fishballs and a lot of kaffir lime leaves for seasoning.

            And I had a num dtaan sot-a coconut/palm sheath juice-to drink. The reason I mentioned that drink is because my biggest complaint about the Wat is that the drinks are not very good. Nothing like Thai street drinks - no nam manao, no cha manao yen...

            1. re: igj

              Are you talking about the Sri Siam in the valley? My old high school friend's mom had a restaurant by the same name in the Westside years ago... By today's standards, it would probably rate fair, but back then, sourcing of proper ingredients was almost nil... If she were still around today, heaven knows...

              I haven't been to Wad Thai yet, but hope to make the pilgrimage soon. Thanks for your tips.

              1. re: bulavinaka

                Yup, Sri Siam in NoHo.

                12843 Vanowen Street

              2. re: igj

                igj It's not blasphemy at all. I agree with you 95%!!! I hit the Wat most weekends, since my first time during the Songkran Festival only last year. But although I think the food is often, but not always, excellent (the qualty does vary from vendor to vendor) - it's the whole experience that you mention plus the very low price that one enjoys all while helping to support the Wat. I have not had Thai street drinks in Thailand, hopefully one day, but I like the Fresh Coconut Juice and Palm Juice from the vendor at the Wat.

                Regarding Sri Siam, it was my favorite Thai restaurant for several years under the original owner and now owned by her cook before I discovered Krua Thai and Vim. These restaurants offer a much wider variety of excellent Thai Cusine at reasonable prices but they are very different from the WHOLE Wat Thai L.A. experience. I personally don't think of one as better than the other, just very different on many levels! I enjoy them all ( and other N. Hollywood/Hollywood Thai Town places) on a regular basis! When I leave L.A. what the Thai community has brought here is one of the things that I will miss the most!!!

                Edit, I ment Yai NOT Vim!!!

                1. re: sel

                  Actually, most street drinks in urban Thailand anyway seem to be Coke products in a plastic bag. Fun, but nothing special - unless you squeeze in some manao juice and then it is great on a hot day.

                  But, I guess my beef with the drinks at Wat Thai are that the standards - nam manao, Thai iced coffee and Thai iced tea are just not very good. I didn't know there was longan juice to be had - that sounds better.

                  And as far as restaurants in NoHo, I like most of them for varying dishes - Krua Thai is where I head when I want noodle dishes or bpo dtahk (that soup served in a metal tureen with a flame coming out of the hole in middle); Sri Siam when I want stir-fries or some more unusual dishes - kao yum, a rice salad, for example or this fried trout foam (their explanation in English, not mine) served with apples; other places do good jobs with certain vegetables, etc.

                  The wonders of Thai food in both Thai Town and NoHo make me very happy. We are lucky in LA to be able to have multiple places to go that we rate as excellent - certainly was not the case in many places I have lived...

                  I have not been to Vim - need to check that one out. Any special dishes there?

                  1. re: igj

                    Sorry, I men't Yai - NOT Vim!

                    I had a dish from the 'Specials' section of the menu last week:
                    "S11. GRILLED BEEF OR PORK SALAD......(name in Thai characters).....$8.95 Grilled meat layered with raw garlic, chili, Chinese broccoli and carrots." I ordered it with beef and spice level HOT. Now this is a little more than I usually spend for one item for lunch in a Thai restaurant but it was so good. The grilled beef was served fresh and hot off the grill on a single large lettuce leaf and next to it was a pile of raw Chinese broccoli (mostly stems) and another pile of decoratively cut raw carrot sticks. The meat had a handfull of fresh, RAW garlic, I did read the menu but was not ready for this! It was so good! I will try it with pork another time but there are so many interesting sounding dishes on the paper menu that I grabbed that I don't know what to order next. I ordered sticky rice for sopping up the sauce/dressing and Coconut Sheaf Juice that was bottled. All good. I had not been here for a few months but will be returning soon.


          2. I find it best to get to Wat Thai at the end of the day when there's available parking and the lines aren't so massive. We got there around 4:45 one time and it was perfect. I have several posts on Wat Thai on my site that might help. Enjoy!

            1. Yes, the parking is terrible at the Wat Thai Temple, but the food is definetly worth parking blocks away!