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Mar 10, 2007 09:50 PM

THAI-ing to find something good in Pasadena

Ok, sorry for the corny title.

But is there ANY decent Thai food in Pasadena (or South Pasadena)?

Don't say Saladang or Saladang Song. Them are to Thai food what Mr. Chow's is to Chinese. Synthetic, overhyped ethnic food that's been dumbed down for the masses. Saladang was decent when it first opened many years ago, but now it's simply a parody of itself.

Places like Taste of Bangkok, President Thai, Patakan, City Thai and Thai Dishes do nothing for me. For a quick take-out dish so that you have something to wash down really good white rice with, they're ok, but anything beyond that and it's a no-go. They're more like sweeter versions of Chinese joints.

And don't even get me started on Thaitalian ... I'm looking for authentic (and preferrably, good) Thai ...

Any suggestions?

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  1. yeah, I suggest you head to North Hollywood.

    Barring that, Pattaya Cafe on Colorado east of Hill, across from PCC, has moments of greatness.

    1. yeah, i would say head over to Thai Town. it's just up the 110 and then 101, exit hollywood.

      ruen pair is great and i like Thai Palm also Thai Patio. you won't be disappointed. terrific!

      1. chandra on arroyo parkway is passable and they deliver. we like the green curry, duck curry, pad thai, and tom ka soup. ask them to prepare with no MSG.

        2 Replies
        1. re: revets2

          I second the Chandra's rec. There's a small place called Thai Classic on Baldwin in Arcadia that's pretty decent. I also heard that Basil Thai Cooking on Huntington has good food

          1. re: crystaw

            I third it. Chandra is my favorite Thai in Pasadena, but I will not be going back (it is a long story but nothing to do with the food or prices). I am currently in the process of trying to find a Thai place in Pasadena that is at least close to Chandra and there is one that is passable - Pattaya across from PCC (already mentioned). Nothing that is up to par with Chandra, though. I love their Chicken Larb (cannot find another version even remotely as good), Tom Yum soup, sweet and sour pork is different that what you would expect, but very good. Yellow curry, pad thai is okay. I actually really like the Pad Thai and Chicken with Basil & Chili at PresidenTwo.
            Stay away from Suriya Thai in the Vons Shopping Center across the street from Huntington Hospital - bleh.

        2. I'm curious about a place on East Colorado called Pad-Thai. Any word?
          If you're gonna go to Hollywood, try Yai on the boulevard in the strip mall next to the 101. Lighting is weird but good food.

          2 Replies
          1. re: mc michael

            Disclaimer: We tried Pad-Thai about a year and a half ago, so things may well have changed since then.

            That being said, we were pretty unimpressed - very, well, bland and Americanized - service was slow but friendly. Might be worth trying again, though, since so much time's elapsed.

            Also, there's a place called Tiparos (maybe?) on the south side of Colorado just west of Altadena (I believe) - had some decent (but very slow) take-out from there once or twice - I seem to recall a pan-fried trout with a sauce of diced apples that was quite tasty (no idea of the authenticity, though).

            1. re: ElsieDee

              Sounds like my instincts about Pad-Thai were correct.

          2. There is noodle world in old town. It's owned by thais so their thai menu is decent. but, the old town location americanizes the food just like the other places you mentioned, although they spice it ok. but i hate it when they put carrots and american broccoli into fried noodles like lad na, pad see ew and pad kee mow. there should be no carrots at all, and the only broccoli to use is chinese broccoli!

            In san gabriel/alhambra there is a more authentic noodle world. also siam express is pretty good- we often stop there for a quick bite if we're in the area and looking for thai.

            also, i thought the fastest way to thai town from pasadena is to take the 134 west, 5 south, exit los felix, west on los feliz, south on western until you hit hollywood blvd or sunset. but i guess it depends on which part of pasadena you're coming from.

            5 Replies
            1. re: jackt

              "also, i thought the fastest way to thai town from pasadena is to take the 134 west, 5 south, exit los felix, west on los feliz, south on western until you hit hollywood blvd or sunset. but i guess it depends on which part of pasadena you're coming from."
              Except on Friday or Sat nite or Sunday afternoon, or when there's a concert at the Greek, etc. But your route does afford a view of the Thai Express "hot dog" at Hollywood & Western.

              1. re: jackt

                Okay, these are not in Pasadena, but on a good day, there are some Thai options about 20 minutes away. (I think there are a lot of Thais who live in this area, and I'm not sure if it's actually Thai town, because I saw a combination of Central American, Korean and Thai restaurant options in this area.)

                From Pasadena, take the 110 south, pass China Town, to the 101 north, exit Melrose towards Western, and you will hit a lot of Thai options just by driving down both Melrose and Western. I saw quite a few Thai hole-in-the-walls near Melrose and Western. There was also a place right next door to Si Gol, on Western and Maplewood. I bet if you want really good Thai food, it's in this area.

                1. re: katkoupai

                  yes the best of the thai places on that part of melrose is called khun dom. my parents are from thailand and they say that it is by far the most authentic thai restaurant in l.a. apparently the spices and vegetables they use, and the way they spice the dishes, are extremely authentic. more so than sanamluang, yai, and all the other well known thai places on hollywood blvd.

                  1. re: jackt

                    jackt, any names of restaurant your parents care for in the 'khun dom" area? thanks.

                    1. re: curtiskan

                      on that part of melrose they only eat at khun dom.

                      and then up the hill in thai town proper my mom goes to siam sunset on the north side of sunset blvd a few blocks east of western. they serve thai chinese breakfast. well, it's breakfast food that caters to ethnic chinese in thailand (thai variations of soy milk, fried dough, tofu with sweet ginger broth, rice porridge, and my mom's favorite- intenstine soup served in a clear broth eaten with a plate of rice).

                      my parents also said they rather enjoyed eating at the thai restaurant on the second floor of silom plaza, above the grocery store on hollywood blvd. it's a little bit nicer than the other places on that strip.