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Nov 16, 2008 07:53 PM

best thai on the west side?

ruen pair and jitlada are decent depending on what you order...what are the best options on the west side? i walked out of natalee thai after looking at their menu and prices. i'm in culver city but can travel...

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  1. I have not sampled nearly as many of the westside Thai places as I have the Chinese. But for me there is a clear winner -- Thai Boom. It is also very convenient for you, on the north side of Venice Blvd. between Overland and Sepulveda at Midvale, with some parking in front and a few spaces in the shared lot in back. Excellent prices -- pretty much everything is between about $6.95 and $10. I like spicy, and the first time there I asked the server about what was good and spicy from the lunch specials. I ordered the yellow curry with chicken, and there were red oily spots swimming on top from chili oil -- fantastic. For dinner, I've really enjoyed the tart, crisp green mango salad, and the shrimp with red butter dry curry. They do a great job with eggplant, but I haven't enjoyed the beef, which has been a bit overcooked and tough. Presentations are very nice for the price point. There is an entrance from the rear, so you pass through the kitchen, so I've seen all the stainless steel and how they keep things clean. Excellent, friendly service. My biggest disappointment there is that they don't have a crispy mee krob on their menu, which is one of my favorite dishes. (I go to Thai House in Westwood Village or get it delivered from Siam Chan on Santa Monica Blvd. at Colby.) There also was some buzz for Emporium Thai on Westwood Blvd. a few months back on this board. But for consistency, spicing to order, value, and all around quality, Thai Boom rules on the westside.

    1. You can also give Ayara Thai in Westchester a try. Probably the most stylized of Thai joints that I've seen in the general Westside, it's in a sleepy older often-overlooked part of Westchester. If you know where Staples on Sepulveda (south of Manchester) is, Ayara is across the large-ish parking lot to the east on 87th. I like Boom as well but had issues with consistency a while back so I gave Ayara a try and have been happy there. The dining room is quite nice - nice enough that you can actually consider taking a date there.

      1. it depends on the dishes you order.
        for salads and prik king and prik pao i like thai boom.
        for coconut milk curries and soups i like ayara.

        6 Replies
        1. re: westsidegal

          re: taking a date to either place:

          thai boom is a neighborhood dive that often has parking problems.

          ayara thai, pretty restaurant, uncomfortable seats and crowded tables. if you are trying to impress a date, you should know that many of the entrees are in the $8 range, not too impressive. . . . .

          1. re: westsidegal

            westsidegal, i was getting ready to flame you with labels like "golddigger" and criticize you for noting the price of the dishes rather than the quality of the chow. then i thought about where i've taken first or early dates -- and the list is heavily skewed to places like Spago, Chinois, and if i'm demonstrating how cool and down-to-earth i can be Nook. yes, Thai Boom is for meeting with friends or a tasty meal when i'm already very comfortable with someone. yeah, i'd be reluctant to use a coupon or a gift certificate in view of an early date too.

            wow, things have changed. i remember being in school and asking a girl i'd had a crush on for awhile, and developed a friendship with, out to celebrate an occasion. she accepted, but later called to say she couldn't make it -- a job she'd expected hadn't come through, and she couldn't pay her half! took some reassurance from me that we'd known eachother awhile and the night was on me before she'd agree...

            1. re: nosh

              yes it has changed.
              my ideal first date restaurant would be one where the seating is comfortable enough and the meal wouldn't be rushed so that you could actually spend some time getting to know your date.
              for the most part, this means restaurants that have a separate bar area so that the people waiting for a table aren't milling around your table staring at you trying to get you to leave, they are, instead, at the bar area, with their own space.

              1. re: westsidegal

                What you're saying is that you wouldn't take a First Date to the Apple Pan?

                Apple Pan
                10801 W Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90064

            2. re: bulavinaka

              imho, there is a huge difference between what would work as a first date experience and what would work as a third or fourth date experience.

              imho spago would be too far over the top for a normal first date,
              ayara, imho, not comfortable/luxurious/relaxed enough unless it was connected to some other activity before or after--this would especially be true if we wound up on the 'balcony' level near the restrooms.

              i end up at ayara with a group of friends for dinner almost weekly. the dinner rarely takes more than an hour and a half, even ordering several courses. id feel uncomfortable taking up their table for any length of time after the food was gone.

              also, if you are the kind of guy that set up a children's health clinic in rural nicaragua or set up a water treatment system in new guinea, so your 'good guy' creds are obviously terrific, the expectations about what would be done on a date would be different.

              maybe i'll just admit it--it appears that my dates have spoiled me. gee whiz,
              i guess i'm just lucky.

              1. re: westsidegal

                Looks like if it weren't for me, the mods would be out of a job... from their actions, it seems that as respectable folks that we are, I guess we can agree to disagree. You were in Nicaragua doing good, I shouldn't have to mention this but since we're showing merit badges, I was in Belize. You were in New Guinea, I was in Fiji and the Solomons. You're good, and I like to think I try to be good. I was humbled by my experiences, and I hope you were too. And this is why in my eyes, money has no bearing, no threshold to achieve. Personally, the amount of money spent on any date never was a benchmark for me. And if times have changed that much to where it now is perfunctory, then I'm that much more happy that I'm out of the singles scene... :)

          2. Naraya Thai, Robertson and Pico. Tuk Tuk on Pico is also good. In WeHo:


            3 Replies
            1. re: Adsvino

              Went to Nakarra this Friday and LOVED the soft shell crab curry. But the thing about this place is that it's more fusion... for my true confort thai, I'll make the extra effort to go to Thai Town a little further up the ways... or just stay home and order from Araya...


              1. re: Dommy

                Wife and I made the long (for us) trek to Hollywood and try the legendary Sapp Coffee Shop. It was truly wonderful. It was too hot to try their famous boat noodles, but we did enjoy their version of drunken noodles and shrimp pad thai.

                Maybe it was the weather, and we aren't Thai experts by any stretch, but we decided that Ayara Thai was plenty good for whenever we had Thai cravings. Thank God Ayara is an easy drive for us.

                1. re: Ogawak

                  I tried Sapp Coffee Shop a couple days ago. The boat noodles were good and cheap, but overall the place was a bit too dirty/shabby for my tastes. I like dives, but I notice every time a table was wiped down, it was just wiped onto the floor and to who ever was sitting next to it, which happened to be me. didn't like having the adjacent tables scraps whisked onto my lap at all. Chairs felt ready to collapse. just a little too run down to enjoy

            2. Ruen Pair was my go to when I lived in Hollywood. Now that I've moved to the westside, I've been trying to hunt down a decent Thai place as well. I have tried Latitude Thai and Poom Thai on Lincoln and they were decent, but not great. To be fair to Poom Thai, I went with a buddy of mine who is a vegetarian and I didn't get to try any dishes w/ meat (and I saw some Pad Se ew w/ chicken come out of the kitchen that looked pretty tasty).

              I also remember Emerald Thai on Venice being decent, but I was last there a few years ago (and before I cut my teeth in Thai Town). Please post if you find anything that stacks up favorable to the places you mentioned in TT.

              7 Replies
              1. re: Grillz

                I love Poom's a great place to go with a group and the wife/husband team will take very good care of you. Bring your own Thai beer....Chang preferably if you can find it.

                1. re: Grillz

                  I found the food at Poom Thai only average and not comparable to TT. I prefer the place further down on Lincoln on the west side of the street. They're much friendlier too. I had a bad experience with the staff at Poom.

                  1. re: epop

                    Poom Thai's on the west side of the street and since you've not mentioned whether the place you like is north or south on Lincoln....I'm not sure what you're referring to.
                    I'm not really blown away by any of the Thai food on the west I pick Poom Thai because I like the owners and a group of us meets there frequently.
                    Going to Thailand and taking a local cooking class, coming home and searching for the ingredients to complete the dishes you've learned about, is really the only way I've found to have the Thai food I love.

                    1. re: latindancer

                      I have found a few magical Thai places outside of Thailand but it is very limited... None have been in California. I've yet to try Krua but have to be convinced to make the drive...

                      The one on Lincoln is south of Poom about a mile, west side of street, a big place.
                      It is healthy Thai food but not Great either.

                  2. re: Grillz

                    Poom Thai has gone downhill. Or perhaps my tastebuds have gone uphill. Either way, it used to be excellent, now it's merely above average.

                    I love Sam and Rose. Hint: Sam cooks on Sunday and Monday evenings. So go then! And don't order the freaking pad thai! (Or if you do, please don't come here and complain about it. That's like judging a Chinese restaurant on its eggrolls.) Try the pra ram tofu (tofu over spinach in peanut sauce), or the eggplant stir-fried with basil, or whatever's written on the chalkboard.

                    And no, it's not comparable to Thai Town. If you want something comparable to Thai Town...then go to Thai Town. :)

                    1. re: Bjartmarr

                      I've yet to try a place in Thai town that compares to the homey food in Thailand. Any recommenations?

                      1. re: Bjartmarr

                        I think judging a Thai place on its basic dishes makes sense because if a restaurant is truly good, it will have enough pride to make even the "throwaway" dishes good.