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Wat Thai Temple- foodcourt closing?

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My wife and I had a wonderful lunch up at Wat Thai temple today in North Hollywood. Looks like it might be the last one as we were asked to sign a petition to keep the food court going on the weekends. Seems like the neighbors want to shut it down because of "parking" problems. Not too sure of the details though, although they did say that this might be the last weekend.

Anyone else heard anything? I did a board search but nothing came up.

Needless to say, this would be a tremendous loss for Los Angeles and the temple itself.

    1. re: sku

      I was actually there two weekends ago.. no petition was being presented. I assume that with the onsight parking that they have it (as tiny as it is ) the show will go on. This is a great fundraiser for the Temple and a petition is that only a petition. Perhaps some one in the area may chime in their thoughts. On a food note. The Paypaya salad was great I waited 30 minutes for those 18 little cocunut sweet pastries to be cooked ( there was an order of 10 in front of mine ) I had two thai teas 1 chicken and 1 sasuage on a skewer and gave a homeless guy my last chip. I ate like a king and had fun too. I even took off my shoes and checked out the temple. Hope thisfood court it carries on!

      1. re: Foodandwine

        I was there that weekend and I waited in line for the kanom krok, too. The lady that had the booth that weekend only had two pans going...there is another group that sometimes has that booth who has several more pans than that so the wait time is minimal.

        She was kind of cranky and asked me why I was ordering so many (I ordered 3 orders) which kind of surprised me, especially considering that I'd placed my order and told her I'd be back later to get it (since there were only two pans, I figured it would take her a while) only to find that when I came back about a half hour later, she hadn't cooked my order. She was also alone, so maybe she was just way overwhelmed.

        At any rate, they rocked. As did the papaya salad and the chicken skewers. For the first time ever, both my son and I threw away our sausage after a couple of bites...it just didn't taste good. Ah well.

        1. re: Foodandwine

          If you're jonesing for kanam krok & downtown is closer than the SFV, you can get them at the terrific LAX-C (mostly Thai) Market on Main north of downtown. Same little clouds of sweet coconut heaven.

      2. If this is so, I am really saddened. There is no place quite like this, and it was always dependable. Their closing will be a real loss to us.

        1. What timing - this was on my short list of places I have been wanting to try. I guess we'll be going for lunch tomorrow.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Faulkner99

            Normal/FaulknerSauce, did you go and is it closing??

            1. re: Foodandwine

              They're fighting it-- they had counter-petitions at all the food stalls as well as the token line. Not sure what the status is at the moment.

              1. re: Foodandwine

                From what the security guard who was the parking attendant told me, they're looking to hire a lawyer to try and keep it open. He said next weekend would be their last. They were trying to get people to sign a petition to try and keep it open. I hope they succeed.

            2. I can also confirm now through a Thai expat friend (and a kanom krok vendor at LAX-C) that sadly the Wat Thai food court will be closing due to neighbor complaints, as reported before. What a tragic cultural and culinary loss for all of Los Angeles.

              HOWEVER... the good news is that out Thai friend also informed us of a temple in La Puente where the food costs... NOTHING! Yes, that's right. Free! Every weekend people bring offerings of food for the gods, and once the food is blessed, they eat it. According to our friend, there's more than enough for everyone. I for one intend to check it out next weekend.

              Wat Pa Dhammachart (Wat Pa for short)
              14036 E. Don Julian Road
              La Puente CA 91746
              Tel: (626) 336-2224

              LAX-C, Inc.
              (the Thai Costco, near the Twin Towers Correctional Facility. A fun family outing!)
              1100 N. Main St.
              Los Angeles, CA 90012
              (323) 343-9000

              Mr Taster
              -----------------------------
              Protect Chowhound
              Boycott Avatars!
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              9 Replies
              1. re: Mr Taster

                so was this the final weekend? or do we still have some time?

                1. re: justagthing

                  Next weekend will be the last.

                  Mr Taster
                  -----------------------------
                  Protect Chowhound
                  Boycott Avatars!
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                2. re: Mr Taster

                  Wat Thai LA is known to much of the Thai Community as the "Hollywood" temple.
                  It's known as much for its fund raising as it is for its religious activities.

                  In Thailand, the monks walk the neighborhood collecting their breakfast.
                  That's not really possible in LA.

                  In Bangkok, the huge amounts of food collected by the monks are fed to the poor.
                  At this temple, it is shared by those who contributed.

                  At the La Puente temple, the food is not "blessed."
                  The food is the traditional offerings to the resident monks and novices .
                  The monks pass by the lay people, collecting rice in their alms bowls.

                  This is taken back inside where, combined with the other offerings, the monks have breakfast
                  AFTER THE MONKS HAVE EATEN, the leftovers are shared by everyone participating.
                  Those participating are the ones blessed.

                  As pointed out later in this thread, maybe 10% of the weekend traffic at Wat Thai LA has any religious intent.
                  Probably more than 95% of the people going to Wat Pa Dhammachart are there for religious practice.

                  Wat Pa Dhammachart is a true monastery.
                  Please allow it to continue as such.

                  1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

                    Thanks for the clarification... I was merely repeating what my Thai friend (from Bangkok) told me. But remember that it is a sin in Buddhism to waste food, so inviting others to finish what the monks can't eat isn't a freeloading experience so much as one that continues Buddhist tradition.

                    Mr Taster
                    -----------------------------
                    Protect Chowhound
                    Boycott Avatars!
                    -----------------------------

                    1. re: Mr Taster

                      I just wanted to note that food at the La Puente temple is part of a religious practice.

                      Wat Thai was a fund raiser.

                      1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

                        Although, this practice you speak of also takes place at Wat Thai. It just occurs separately from the food stalls.

                        1. re: Skorgirl

                          My point is that "the practice I speak of' is the food at Wat Pa.
                          It is not a food court; the food it is not meant for the lay people.
                          But, there is food left over and it is not wasted.

                          The food at Wat Pa is brought, from home, for the monks.
                          It sits around, outside, waiting for the monks to eat breakfast.
                          It's not prepared on site.

                          The monks come outside and walk an "alms line," receiving rice from all the
                          participants.
                          They then go back inside and eat rice mixed some of the offerings.

                          After the monks finish their meal, the participants head outside, socialize and snack on the leftovers.

                          Heading to Wat Pa for the food would be somewhat like crashing a communion line for the chow!
                          There are more appropriate dining venues......

                          1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

                            "Heading to Wat Pa for the food would be somewhat like crashing a communion line for the chow!"

                            Very well-put.

                            1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

                              I totally agree with your sentiment, I just wanted to clarify that this also occurs at Wat Thai, unbeknownst to many visitors who are upstairs enjoying the food stall frenzy. And though it may sound like "crashing a communion line," you'd be surprised at the way people attack the food once the monks are done. And I'm not talking about temple "outsiders," I'm referring to temple members who contributed food to the monks! Definitely a neat experience.

                  2. See, you don't get more authentic and less Americanized than this:

                    http://www.watthaiusa.org/

                    Try finding the English site. It's not up. (This drove me crazy this morning when I was trying to confirm the hours.

                    )

                    That, and the "mild" papaya salad requires a quart of water to wash down.

                    And they weren't singing in English.

                    1. that would be such a shame! we've made it a regular activity to grub at the temple a few times a year.

                      1. We were also at the Wat Thai food court on Sunday, and were told that they would be open next weekend, which would probably be their last UNLESS they got at least 3,000 signatures on their petition. All in our family signed the petition at the token booth, and hope that other hounds will support the cause.

                        1. i heard from people who are a part of the vendor community there that it's closing as well:
                          - apparently the car situation has been unbearable for the neighbors- wat thai patrons blocking people's private driveways, etc.
                          - and it's hard to justify the weekend food stalls as being a religious function b/c only about 10% of the weekend visitors go there to worship.

                          frankly -at least to me- much of the food there seems to have gone downhill a while ago. a lot of the vendors serve portions that are too small to enjoy (i remember being really angry once or twice at the portion sizes), and also the "grilled" food stands basically just fry the meat nowadays to cook it fast enough to serve the throngs of people waiting in line. o well. i will miss the dessert stands though- was definitely a good place to go for mango and sticky rice, thai custard, fried bananas, and all those coconut soup desserts. but i guess there are places that serve almost all of those things throughout l.a. so i'll manage somehow! :)

                          1. I for one will be very sad if the Wat Thai L.A. food booths close. It's not just the tasty grub! It is the total experience there. The extraordianarily beautiful Wat looming over the whole scene, the people (monks, temple worshippers, students, vendors and chowish consumers/temple supporters). It is at the top of my short list of S. Cal. treasures, both for Chowish reasons AND as a center of Spiritual/Cultural harmony for the local Thai community and some non-Thais as well! My whole family will be there next weekend to sign petitions, chow down and be at one with this special temple, hopefully not for the last time!!!

                            1. And what will I do with my left over tokens?

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: sku

                                go this weekend, buy more and enjoy...i'm hopping to get there myself, maybe we should reserve some tables for chowhounds, lol

                              2. I thought that this weekend was the last weekend for the food court, but I just found out that the swan song was actually this past weekend. :(

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: pleasurepalate

                                  what's your source? only b/c previous poster noted that it is next weekend? I am so hoping....please, please, please!!!

                                  1. re: justagthing

                                    Well, the person who told me actually called Wat Thai Temple directly and was told that there wouldn't be a food court this weekend.

                                2. EEEKSSS!!! two different reports. One from a security guard. The other from someone who talked to someone that called the temple. Think I need to call tomorrow. Wonder what they will tell me???

                                  13 Replies
                                  1. re: justagthing

                                    I was there on Sunday and the security guard said that "next weekend is the last week."

                                    1. re: Normal Garciaparra

                                      ok, so that is 2 for the security guard and one for the phone call

                                      1. re: justagthing

                                        My friend is a member of the temple she confirmed next weekend is the last.

                                        1. re: monkey

                                          Thanks! I will be there if anyone wants to join me for a final adios!

                                          1. re: WildSwede

                                            When are you going to be there WildSwede? I've been meaning to make a trek to check this out for ages.... looks like this weekend will be it!

                                            1. re: The Oracle

                                              Not sure - I am pretty open this weekend. What works for you? Can someone tell me when is it open? I cannot get to the English version of their website, and unfortunately, I do not read Thai!! ;-)

                                              1. re: WildSwede

                                                I'm a reader of a certain local blog and there's some details on the temple (in addition to some background facts) here: http://militantangeleno.blogspot.com - read the August 6 entry.

                                                1. re: Normal Garciaparra

                                                  Beautiful, thank you Normal!! Open Sat-Sun, 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. - but I doubt they serve the food the whole time, do they? TIA!

                                                2. re: WildSwede

                                                  I believe 11 to 5, but the main food stuff is open 11 to 3ish.

                                              2. re: WildSwede

                                                Make that a final "Sawatdee Khrap!"

                                              3. re: monkey

                                                I too called the temple and was told (after being transferred several times... major language barriers) that the food court would NOT be open this weekend. Maybe someone with Thai language skills could call?

                                                1. re: Cicely

                                                  Apparently from one of the above postings, one of the members told another hounder that this coming weekend is the last. Hmmm...should we have alternate plans if it is true?

                                                  1. re: justagthing

                                                    I know, but who knows? maybe that person who's a temple member had the wrong impression. I mean, presumably whoever answers the phone at the temple should be in the know too. The language barrier is a serious issue, though -- seemed like no one there was fluent in English! Anyway, there are a bunch of good Thai restaurants in NoHo to fall back on.

                                        2. I am going to take the blogger's (the link that Normal posted) advice and try to take public transit. Worse comes to worse, I will drive from Pasadena and find a place to park and take the bus in (maybe on Roscoe).

                                          3 Replies
                                          1. re: WildSwede

                                            Keep in mind that this weekend is also the Queen's birthday, so I imagine it will be extra packed, in addition to those coming because of the food stall closure.

                                            1. re: Skorgirl

                                              Thanks for that info. If they are not there this weekend, then I will either go to Cupid's or Las Fuentes (or both!!).

                                              1. re: WildSwede

                                                Or you could continue on your Thai journey and eat at one of the places in Thai Gulch on Sherman Way between the 170 and Woodman...

                                          2. I understand that the space above Silom Supermarket was once a food court.
                                            I remember heading upstairs once and seeing a layout that would suggest that.

                                            Although the Wat Thai food court was a fund raiser, if the people working it saw that much business, one would think they could be convinced to open up elsewhere.
                                            There is an awful lot of vacant space around greater LA.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: Curt the Soi Hound

                                              you know the empty market across the street? It is owned by LAX-c the place where others said that you could go get kanom krok. They should open that as a food court. As for the Thailand plaza(above the silom market) the food court didn't work there, not enough patrons.

                                              1. re: sim1846

                                                The Thailand Plaza thing is probably the wrong place for such a set up.
                                                A food court typically needs a lot of businesses/offices/shoppers nearby.
                                                A weekend event would probably draw patrons, like Wat Thai did.

                                                I was thinking LAX Market also.
                                                There is a lot of property around it, and plenty of on street parking.

                                                But, there is a classic "steam tray" Thai eatery inside LAX Market.
                                                It probably wouldn't go over well with that vendor.

                                              1. So....can anyone confirm that it is open today? No one is answering the phone, and we're trying to decide whether to head out there for lunch....

                                                3 Replies
                                                1. re: nimo

                                                  It's Open today! We just got back, and apparently this is the last weekend

                                                  1. re: WendyT

                                                    I paid a visit as well.... they were pretty busy which was good to see. Too bad they had run out of bbq beef... the chicken and pork sausage was great though.

                                                    1. re: WendyT

                                                      We called the Wat earlier today and they confirmed that this is the last weekend... what a shame.

                                                  2. Just came back from the temple today after having a great meal. I was given one of the petition forms and asked to get as many people to sign it as I can.

                                                    If you would like have the food court reopened, download this PDF form

                                                    http://download.yousendit.com/C0711EE...

                                                    print it, get people to sign it, and mail it to the temple at

                                                    Wat Thai Los Angeles
                                                    8225 Coldwater Canyon Ave.
                                                    North Hollywood, CA 91605

                                                    I wasn't told a deadline, but I'm guessing the sooner you mail it, the better.

                                                    Cheers!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: brahms

                                                      The webpage you sent says the petition has expired, does anyone know of another place where we can submit our petitions?

                                                    2. Could anybody tell me if the food court is still open like for next weekend? And could you also give me the address please? Thanks!

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: shopperholikarla

                                                        Sorry, it's closed, as the poster on Aug. 11 said, that was the last weekend.

                                                        1. re: Chowpatty

                                                          The foodcourt was voluntarily closed by the temple, who wanted to clear up all these problems/complaints/issues before re-opening again. Yes, they will open again. When? No one knows, but the temple considers this situation as a hiatus.

                                                      2. i use to work at the food court and the wat is closing the food court ...for now....but some of the ladies that sell the foods have move to the New King Seafood...at Coldwater and Sherman Way... over there they have..papaya, BBQ, curry, noodles,pad thai, fried banana, mango, and more.. The best part is that we are open every day except tuseday. On the weekends there are all of the foods mention ...so check us out!!!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. I understand this is old news to most LA chowhounds, but it's new news to me out here in Mid-coast Maine. I am terribly sad. I used to winter in OC and continue to return there at least yearly. I've been going to Wat Thai Temple for unbelievable Thai food for over five years. When we began going, we would often be the only anglos and there were only a few tables and no umbrellas. I've been many many times. As I am planning my trip to the greater LA area in a few weeks, a friend from there broke the news to me. I live in an county where there are only .02% Asian and the population of my entire state is approximately the population of LA. Wat Thai was much more than a place to have fabulous Thai food, it was a place to go that removed me from my world and shoved me in another. It didn't just feed my tummy, it fed my soul. I am horribly sad it is gone.
                                                          I want to thank all the women and men who made me happy there, particularly the woman who knew just how I liked my green papaya salad and warned me that the the containers of unknown, glowing-orange substance for sale were (laughingly) "not for [me]." Thanks for the sweet rice and papaya that soothed my palate. Thanks for steaming bowls of duck soup and curried fish in banana leaf bowls. Many thanks for the kanom krok -- dessert of the Gods. And thanks for giving me memories (and countless photos) of a truly special place and the people who worship there.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: nubbin

                                                            Nice tribute, nubbin.
                                                            I, too, am still very sad about this closing.
                                                            I am hoping that in time they will reconvene somewhere and someone will post some good news.

                                                            1. re: nubbin

                                                              Nubbin--

                                                              You may be interested to know that there are a couple of outdoor vendors selling satay and kanom krok outside the curiously named LAX-C downtown (it's basically like a Thai Costco.... if you go there, prepare to be stunned)

                                                              And of course, this being LA there is no end to the secret corners of our city which can whisk you away to another place. Try heading out for a $5 vegetarian lunch at the Taiwanese Hsi Lai Temple in Hacienda Heights... (food is so-so, but that's sort of beside the point). Much like Wat Thai, you won't be able to tell that you're in America. The sights, smells and tastes are 100% Asian.

                                                              http://www.hsilai.org/english/e_hsila...

                                                              Mr Taster

                                                              -----
                                                              Lax-C
                                                              1100 N Main St, Los Angeles, CA

                                                            2. Weird, the July edition of Gourmet magazine has a blurb about Wat Thai on page 26. Basically says that it is open, but it reads like it might be in a much smaller capacity. Can anyone confirm or deny?

                                                              Thanks

                                                              1. Was there Saturday August 6, 2011. The parking was deserted, all equipment covered with tarp, and NO food at all. I guess they were shut down!

                                                                1. We're locking this thread now. New users seem to resurrect this thread every few years and we repeat the discussion already here.

                                                                  If there's some new information and the temple re-opens, please start a new topic. Thanks.