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Jan 2, 2008 02:57 PM

Taking Thai friend to Thai dinner tonight - Suggestions?

A friend of mine has shown up from Thailand with his wife, who is Thai and who is an excellent cook. For reasons I don't quite understand, she wants to go out for Thai food. (She's only been in the U.S. for a few days, so it can't be homesickness - yet - I don't think.) They're staying in Hollywood and don't want to go far for dinner.

I'd like to give her some options. I figure Jitlada for Southern Thai. What would you recommend for Isaan? Seafood? Anything else? Thanks for any help you can be.

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  1. if they are from Thailand, i suggest you take them out for a burger...but regarding your query, I ate at Jitalda last week and was not impressed. granted, i did not order from the "special southern" menu, but it's not that great. I suggest Ruen Pair at 5257 Hollywood Blvd in Thai Town. very intense flavors.

    6 Replies
    1. re: DeLobster

      Yep, I don't get it. I have spent a lot of time in Thailand and have never eaten a burger there. I've been trying to talk them out of it and into something that they can't get better and cheaper at home, but so far no luck. I few minutes ago I heard some wavering in the direction of Chinese or Korean. We'll see.

      1. re: DeLobster

        Well, that could have been a problem, since the dishes on the special Southern menu are much more interesting.
        Not much Isaan in Hollywood but we liked Spicy BBQ quite a bit. It's very tiny and might be closed on Wednesdays, so call ahead.
        I would say Jitlada for seafood as well.
        If you're willing to drive, there's several good choices in North Hollywood. (Swan, Sri Siam, etc.)

        Swan Restaurant
        12728 Sherman Way, North Hollywood, CA 91605

        Spicy BBQ
        5101 Santa Monica Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90029

        Sri Siam Cafe
        12843 Vanowen St, North Hollywood, CA 91605

          1. re: DeLobster

            It's very tiny and pretty minimalist, but the food is the real thing. I checked my review below and they are indeed closed on Wednesdays. It's a great find, but I'm not sure the atmosphere would really be nice enough for taking a guest out. Of course there aren't many really good places with much better atmosphere, but Jitlada is a little nicer and at least the lighting is better than most.

            1. re: Erik M

              Erik, have you ever been out to Top Thai in Reseda? They have a lot of Northern specialties if you go to the back of their menu. Here's a link to a very comprehensive review of their Northern dishes by Linda Burum of the LA Times:

              1. re: Servorg

                No, I've not, Servorg; would you like to go with me sometime?

                I've been furnished with a copy of their Thai language menu, and while I'd love to publish a translation, I'll need to eat my way through the menu first; I need some help. <smile>

                Anyway, my original response re: Spicy BBQ was pulled, so let me try that again:


                As I said in the account above, the Northern Thai offerings that I have tried at Spicy BBQ have been exceptional, so I'd be duly impressed if Top Thai's comparables were in the same league.


                P.S. If the o.p. is still looking for Isaan-style food, they'd be well-served at Hollywood Thai which has a full roster of aggressively-seasoned Isaan-style foodstuffs and kap klaem, or "drinking food." Consider sai krawk Isaan (Isaan-style sausage), naem (raw, fermented "pressed ham"), som tam puu dawng (papaya salad with raw blue crab), laap (Isaan-style minced meat salad with roasted rice powder), kuay soy (raw beef salad), phat phet muu paa (wild boar curry-fry), etc.

                FWIW, Hollywood Thai is open really late, making it the Thai community's default destination for late night drinks and snacks.

                Hollywood Thai
                5241 Hollywood Blvd.


        1. I just got word that Korean, so long as it isn't beef-intensive is fine. So Honey Pig it's going to be. Thanks though. I'll have to try your other suggestions some other evening.

          3 Replies
          1. re: estone888

            Chosun Galbee is expensive, but worth it. Probably one of the best in K-Town.

            1. re: DeLobster

              My friend's wife doesn't eat beef, but she loves pork and seafood. Honey Pig will suit the bill just fine. I do like Chosun Galbee pretty well though.

              1. re: estone888

                I like Park's BBQ better than Chosun Galbee. Perhaps they'd enjoy one of the soon tofu houses, Beverly or Sokongdong?

          2. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Pink Pepper in Hollywood. Maybe not the most authentic, but I think the food is delicious.

            1 Reply
            1. re: socalfoody

              second pink pepper - maybe not for the OP but in general for tasty thai - at least as good as tuk tuk on the westside which is frequently mentioned