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Mar 14, 2007 09:50 AM

NYer looking for great Thai

I'll be in L.A for a few days and would love to get some truly excellent Thai food. I'll be staying in Venice, but am willing to travel if it's really worth it. Thanks Chowhounders!

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  1. Locally we like, (and there have been other very good reports on it) Thai Boom on Venice Blvd. in Culver City. It's probably 5 or 6 blocks east of the 405 frwy on the north side of the street.

    Link to one recent review:

    If you would like to drive into Hollywood and visit Thai town then Sapp Coffee Shop is often recommended for their boat noodles.

    1 Reply
    1. re: tony michaels

      Didn't really care for Thai Boom. Better than most westernized Thai restaurants, but nothing terribly special IMO.

      I do like Sapp Coffee Shop, and also recommend Ord Noodle on Hollywood/Western for their version of boat noodles.

      I've been to Yai once and really liked it, should go back there again one of these days.

    2. Better yet, go to North Hollywood on a weekend to the Wat Thai Temple food stalls. Or go to some of the excellent Thai restaurants around Sherman Way and Canoga. My favorite is Krua Thai, but there are many recommendations on this board. Just do a search.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Jwsel

        Correction, the great Thai area surrounds Sherman Way and Coldwater Canyon Avenue. Definitely recommend the Thai temple (11-3 Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine), but do remember that it IS a temple and not a restaurant, so behave accordingly.

        1. re: Jwsel

          In addition to North Hollywood's (and to the OP, North Hollywood is in "the Valley") very good Krua Thai, Swan Thai just a couple of doors down is also quite tasty...

        2. Wat Thai (Thai Temple) LA in the valley is fun, but I definitely recommend eating in Thai Town (on Hollywood Blvd. east of the 101 fwy). Yai, Sapp Coffee Shop, and Ruen Pair are my favorites.

          1. Personally, I'd hit Hollywood Blvd. and go to either Ruen Pair (BYOB) or Kruang Tedd (has alcohol). If you are feeling adventurous, here's a J. Gold pick: "Noodle Thai Town. Competition among restaurants is ferocious in Thai Town, where the best places compete for Thai-born customers who can be depended on to know exactly what should go into a bowl of boat noodles and what kind of peppercorn flatters chicken more than it does a bowl of shrimp. Its uncompromising range of flavors may be replicated in every street noodle cart in Thailand, but there is nothing quite like it in Los Angeles, and in a half dozen or so visits to the place, I have never seen another non-Thai customer. Exactly two copies of an English-language menu lie at one end of the counter. The women who run the restaurant are rarely much help when it comes to deciphering their own bill of fare, but they are incredibly well-meaning. When you ask about the composition of, say, khanom jiin nam prig, they will most likely just bring you a bowl of the noodles. (Khanom jiin nam ya pa is a plate of similar noodles served with slivered vegetables and a bowl of Malaysian-style pulverized-fish curry; khanom ka ti is the noodles fried with meat.) When you ask about a handwritten special, one of the cooks may shrug and send out a plate of Hainanese-style rice cooked with chicken fat and a little dish of tart chile sauce in which to dip the hacked pieces of steamed chicken that garnish the rice. When you ask about barbecued beef, she may smile, say “not today” and prepare a plate of unbelievably good barbecued pork instead. There are worse surprises in a restaurant. 5136 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood, (323) 661-0260. Open daily 7 a.m.–8 p.m. Lunch for two, food only, $9–$11. No alcohol. Takeout. Difficult lot parking. Cash only. JG ¢"

            2 Replies
            1. re: mc michael

              "... a plate of Hainanese-style rice cooked with chicken fat and a little dish of tart chile sauce in which to dip the hacked pieces of steamed chicken that garnish the rice."

              Most "khao mun gai" lovers will pour said sauce over the chicken and rice.
              In Thailand, it almost always comes with a side of soup too (classic below).

              Does Noodle Thai Town consistantly offer this dish?
              I would also put in a rec for Wat Thai LA.
              Although it might not be LA's best, it is a rather different Stateside experience, and truly Thai style.

            2. Thanks, McMichael, I heard him talk about that place on Good Food, it sounds great. I have to say though that the North Hollywood places seem to have deeper flavors, more spice and a greater variety of dishes than the Hollywood Thai Town places.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Chowpatty

                You may be right about the flavors, Chowpatty, but I've had pretty spicy stuff from Ruen Pair.