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Thai food on the Westside

The only Thai restaurants I've been to are Toi (too many times at 2a), Natalie (once), and Thai Dishes (once). I don't know if Thai is just not my thing or I'm not experiencing good Thai food.

Is there a place on the Westside that offers a true and good Thai food experience? If not, how far do I have to travel?

Thank you.

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  1. What dishes have you tried? My love for Thai so far has been limited to their noodle dishes, mostly Pad Thai, Pad Sieu (fat noodles) and my new favorite, boat noodles. I love the boat noodles at Ayara Thai in Westchester, as well as their Pad Thai.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Ogawak

      Ayara Thai is, in the not-so-humble opinion of the Grubs, simply the best Thai in the city (outside of Thai Town, of course). All of their curries are excellent & Panang is best-in-class. Love the Thai toast & anything with their marvelous tamarind sauce on it. Noodle standards like pad Thai & lad na are excellent. Boat noodles comfortably better than most. Pretty much, you can't go wrong anywhere in the menu.

    2. siam chan on pretty good. their bbq items are delicious, however, their pad thai sucks. i'm still scratching my head trying to figure out how they can mess up pad thai.

      1. Chan Dara on Pico and Bundy is consistently good.
        Bangkok West on Santa Monica at 6th is excellent

        Bring your KCRW Fringe benefits card for discounts

        3 Replies
        1. re: yogachik

          Tuk Tuk on Pico & Swall (just west of Robertson). It's noisy, crowded & chaotic, but yummy. I try to go early on Sundays to avoid the noise & the wait. Recently went to Chan Dara - not as good as it used to be. I have a friend who thinks Tuk Tuk's green papaya salad is the best, and I love their spring rolls.

          1. re: sherpa50

            I really don't like a lot of takeout Thai, and I hear a lot of people rave about Ayara, but haven't been that impressed. There are three Thai places on the west side I love.

            Chan Dara, which sherpa50 just mentioned (see www.chandarawestla.com), Love the roasted duck and the salmon (would opt for the 'mango tango' preparation), the coconut rice there is very good, the tom ka gai chicken coconut milk soup too.

            Natalee Thai is my second-favorite. Has phenomenal (heavy) panang beef curry.. this is a very red, yummy, mild-spice curry. They're in Venice - on Venice?

            My local go-to casual place is Siam Bay in El Segundo, which has the most marvelous gingered fish dish. It's one of my favorite dinners. They're more of a local 'take out' type place than the other two (have indoor seating, but it's not a dress-up-go-out kind of place). I've also had good curries there and they've just been more consistent with better flavors than a bunch of 'Thai takeout' places I've been to.

            Siam Bay
            130 E Grand Ave
            El Segundo, CA 90245
            (310) 416-9907

            1. re: Cinnamon

              Never had a bad meal at Chan Dara.

        2. I actually quite like Thai Boom on Venice Blvd (btwn Midvale and Westwood). It is kind of a hole in the wall place and they also deliver to the surrounding area (Culver City, Palms, etc.), so it isn't the kind of place that you would pick as a destination, but the food is better than most that I've had in LA. I'm from Seattle and I'm used to being super choosy about Thai food; I tend to be disappointed in Thai food around here when I go out. Thai Boom, however, actually has chunks of lemongrass and galangal in their Tom Kha (so many other places either leave it out or just throw in dry spices) and serves Pahd Thai that doesn't appear to be produced with ketchup. I can't say anything about "true" - that is both nonspecific (as there are many true ways of preparing Thai cuisine) and totally subjective - but I think it is pretty good and definitely worth trying.

          How did you like Natalee, by the way? I've driven by a few times, but for some reason the 'B' rating throws me off.

          4 Replies
          1. re: coreyander

            I second Thai Boom. We've been going there since they opened and it's our favorite place on the westside. Some dishes are pretty authentic, I've been to Thailand several times and the Mango Salad for example reminds me of how they prepared it in Thailand.

            I also like the staff a lot, but that's probably because we're there every week. The prices are great too, they have a lunch menu that they serve all day long for $5.50. Try the "Pla Prik Pao", it's a pretty good fish dish and my wife's favorite.

            1. re: coreyander

              Another big thumbs up for Thai Boom. Really enjoy their yellow curry with chicken, the eggplant, and their special shrimp in a dry reddish curry butter sauce. Chicken satay was excellent. Great friendly service, and they'll really spice things up if you tell them you like things extra hot. My only quibble in several visits was that the beef in one dish was dry and tough, so go with the chicken or shrimp. On the north side of Venice at Midvale, between Overland and Sepulveda, with parking in the back.

              1. re: coreyander

                I used to always go to Natalee until someone pointed me to Thai Boom. Great place, totally casual but great food with a huge selection.

                1. re: coreyander

                  i agree, Thai Boom is a great choice.
                  i like their prik king.
                  also, if you are health conscious, they will be happy to substitute brown rice for white rice.

                2. Talesai Cafe on Olympic near Doheny is a good choice. Consistently delicious after more than a dozen visits.

                  Had dinner at Chan Dara on Pico last week and enjoyed the meal.

                  1. I used to go to UCLA and have been a bit dissapointed at the Thai food options on the westside.

                    Noodle Planet in Westwood has a more upscale version called Tong Dang in Brentwood. Its in a nice location on the 3rd floor near the cheesecake factory. I usually get the same items (curry, pad thai/pad see you/ beef salad) and they do all those very well. They charge you for rice though, that annoys me so much!


                    5 Replies
                    1. re: kek is khmer

                      Thanks for the Thai Boom recommendation - I will definitely give that a try. Talesi is pretty good, but even though it is one & a half blocks from my house, I usually go to Tuk Tuk.

                      I am not a fan of Natalee at all. Had a really bad meal at the Robertson location & never returned. Some people like Melanee on Pico, west of Beverly Dr., but it is a little bland for me.

                      1. re: sherpa50

                        Poom Thai on Lincoln near Ocean Park in Santa Monica. Kind of a dive but good food. Really good spicey beef with string beans. And the best thai soup around-

                          1. re: gsw

                            tried it last week and didn't really like poom thai. + fairly rude owners
                            and a lunch of soup and vegetable stir-fry that came out to $20, even though
                            i'd asked if it was part of the lunch special.
                            i won't go back

                        1. re: sherpa50

                          Thanks for the tip on Natalee; I'll keep on avoiding it :)

                          Hope you enjoy Thai Boom...

                      2. Not sure if you'd call this Westside - pretty FAR west - but I think Cholada Thai on PCH just north of Topanga Canyon Blvd is very good.

                        1. I've had some good meals at Pam's Place on Venice, west of Lincoln. Poom Thai is enjoyable as well.

                          But Thai Town really isn't that far.

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: FoodZealot

                            thai town is definitely the best and depending on the time your driving it is close enough. but if you need a quick fix i also like thai boom. its super fresh and tasty. and thats really hard to find over here...

                            1. re: FoodZealot

                              Rosalynn Thai was by far the best Thai place on the Westside... but Pam decided to move into their new, larger location & raise the menu prices (while keeping the same old funky pink booths).... and it came down several notches. Service tends to go from bad to terrible, and the food from okay to excellent. Fairly hit or miss.

                              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                                Glaciers are now melting faster than service / food moves at Pam's place.

                            2. Emeral Thai- small green hole on Venice Blvd -East of Bagley/Main.
                              It is West of Robertson on the North Side of the street. Delicious.

                              1. Best I've found so far is Bangkok West. Among the better Americanized thai food I've tried anywhere. Won't satisfy anyone seeking authenticity, but it's quite tasty and worth a try. I'm particularly partial to the penang and the crispy spring rolls.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: a_and_w

                                  I also do like Emerald Thai. The have really good Tom Kar Kai (spelling??) and chicken with cashew nuts (made with lots of onions that are kind of carmelized-I have never seen it done this way anywhere else). There lunch specials are very reasonable as well and come with soup, fried won tons, salad plus a main course and I think costs 8 bucks.

                                  It seems like many Thai restaurants have certan dishes that they do very well so you just need to figure out what to order at each place.

                                  I will be trying Thai Boom too!!

                                  1. re: handlertaper

                                    the dishes that i like at thai boom are:
                                    prik king
                                    prik pao
                                    mango salad
                                    papaya salad

                                    for noodle dishes, i prefer ayara thai cuisine