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Apr 17, 2001 08:08 PM

Pattaya thai vs. Sanamluang cafe

  • k

which one is the better of the two. and does either of them serve a whole fried catfish type dish.

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  1. Both places are terrific, but have different menus. Sanamluang is a noodle house, and in my opinion has the best noodles and rice dishes in town. It also has some wonderful appetizers (the shrimp cakes at Sanamluang are the best you'll find) and vegetable dishes like sauteed morning glory or Chinese brocolli with crispy pork, both of which are also first rate. Pattaya, like Vim and Krang Tedd, offers appetizers and noodles, but also offers entrees including whole fried catfish or pampano. You can't go wrong at either place. It really depends on what type of food you're in the mood for.

    1. Those who would assign high marks to Cafe Talesai, said to be related to Sanamluang, are not to be trusted. After two visits I can assert with supreme confidence that the food is uninspired and pedestrian. I look forward to trying Pattaya Thai and Sanamluang Café, where the food may manage to capture something of the Siamese glory and complexity Jeffrey Steingarten evoked in his recent article in Vogue. Or should I be flying to Vegas for that?

      3 Replies
      1. re: Samo

        I've never heard that Cafe Talesai is related to Sanamluang. It is, I believe, an offshoot of the restaurant Talesai, designed for those who want a more informal place to eat than the restaurant. There's plenty of good, authentic Thai food to be had in Thai Town at places like Sanamluang, Pattaya, Palms, Krang Tedd, and others. But Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas is in a class by itself. Some friends of mine recently brought me some leftovers from a meal they'd had at Lotus of Siam. Even as leftovers, they left me swooning. But, as the saying goes, don't let the best be the enemy of the good. We are fortunate in Los Angeles to have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to good Thai food.

        1. re: Samo
          Michael Robertson Moore

          Samo, as usual, is as right as a vegetarian can be. The supposedly low-priced alternative to Talesai served us a steamed pompano lacking in flavor and freshness, a dull Chiengmai lamb curry, "Thai garden rolls" that might have come, packaged and frozen, from Trader Joe's, and a bill that came to around $60. No need to subject oneself do this with Sanamluang just a few miles away.

          1. re: Samo

            I must respectfully disagree with those of you who dis Cafe Talesai. The few dishes I have tried there have been terrific regardless of how authentic they might have been.

            Anyone who can't find pleasure in their corn fritters or the Thai "latkes" is just being stuffy. They're great fun and utterly delicious. Further, their beef salad is a damn site better than Vim's, which I had recently and thought was pretty disappointing. I'm sorry, but I just didn't get the point of all the coarse hunks of green cabbage without any sauce or dressing.

          2. a
            Adrian Hopkins

            I got to check out Sanamluang this afternoon. Unfortunately, I realy wasn't all that impressed. For reference, I oredered the pork satay, the Indian curry beef noodles, and the pork fried rice.

            Anyhow, despite it's popularity, the cooking is really nothing special in termns of thai food, the tastes were about average, the quality of the ingredients were mediocre, the cooking wasn't refined at all, plus the portions wern't too generous either (I had to order all 3 dishes to get full). After I left the restaurant, I didn't feel nourished at all.

            However, it might be nice to know that this could be more of an authentic restaurant, since most of the custmomers there also happen to be Asian (whether they're Thai or not, I'm not sure).

            On another count, the I found the service to be slightly on the cold side. While I wouldn't consider them rude, I somehow got the impression this was more like an 'in and out' fast food hospitality. I should note, however, that the vast majority of Asian retaurants in LA, including Soot Bull Jeep are like this anyway. On a more positive side, however, it was prompt, accurate, and efficient.

            I can certainly see how this might be a favourable spot for late night dining (at least I don't know too many options for after midnight), or for those who want something similar to Thai fast food. But for it's dining experience and food, it fails in my book.

            I hate to sound negative, but this is definetly one place I would rather not return.