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Thai food in Santa Monica/Venice

  • b

Hi All,

Just moved to the south side of Santa Monica near Lincoln Blvd and Ashland. Wondering what the best options for Thai food are in this area. Any suggestions on places/prices/dishes would be more than welcome.

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  1. Thai food around here is unspectacular. Pam's Place (Venice just East of Abbot Kinney) is one of the better bets.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PlonkMan

      Cannot remember the dishes I had at Pam's Place, about a year ago, less than impressive, sorry. Had great hopes because of the location, but no...I have never returned.

      1. re: PlonkMan

        Not exactly Venice, but how about Ayara in Westchester?


      2. Toi on Wilshire in Santa Monica is great- not so hot service but the food is amazing. Try the brown rice too- their specialty. It's a little north of you, but worth the drive. Open til like 3 am or some crazy time like that.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Brooke

          Second Toi. Try the yellow curry with chicken; order the brown rice to sop up the excess sauce.

        2. i like siam place, which it sounds like you can walk to! their brown rice is wonderful - the same rice they offer at toi, but with less americanized food to eat along with it.

          1. Thai Beach Cholada in Malibu, just pastThe Reel Inn on the right hand side of PCH.

            3 Replies
            1. re: mo

              I think Cholada is several notches better than any of the other places mentioned in the thread. Not all that close to Santa monica, but it is a pleasant drive up the coast.

              1. re: MrShoop

                Pam's is gone. I havent found any great Thai in S m. I also like Cholada or Tux Tuk near Pico and Robertson

                1282 Newbury Rd, Newbury Park, CA 91320

                1. re: flowergirl

                  You have to realize that Pam's Place was still in existence when this thread was first put up 5 years ago.

            2. Try "Star of Siam" on Lincoln, just north of rose.

              Favorite dishes: the red curry w/ chicken, the spicy spinach.

              I also like Poom Thai, also on Lincoln, south of Pico. they have good tom ka kai soup.

              I think these places beat Toi on wilshire.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bubs

                I second Star of Siam! Everything I've had there is good, and they deliver. I usually order a green curry (although occasionally I order their duck curry), and either silver noodle salad or pad woon sen. Their Tom Kha Gai converted a non-Thai food lover. No ambience whatsoever, unless you like watching them fold napkins and such.

                Not so much love for Siam Place across the street. Bland, boring and watered-down flavors. Don't know how they can ruin a green papaya salad, but they did.

              2. Thai Dishes (two spots, Wilshire and Santa Monica BLVD) isn't bad either. Very good Scallops and shrimp dishes.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Angstone

                  if all the thai dishes cook the same recipes, i must respectfully disagree with your recommendation. (most of my experience has been with the thai dishes in westchester and the one in manhattan beach).

                  bland, watered-down, cooking.
                  not much flavor and even less complexity.
                  nothing with nothing.

                  1. re: westsidegal

                    Second the rec to AVOID thai dishes. Even in a Thai-challenged part of town we can do much better, I believe.

                    1. re: westsidegal

                      Thai Dishes on Wilshire near 20th is the best branch. Have not been to Westchester but have eaten at Manhattan Beach and the one near the Promenade. Neither is as good as Wilshire and 20th.

                      1. re: KurtinCO

                        The Thai Dishes in Malibu is the worst Thai I've ever had. Avoid it. If in that area , Cholada on PCH near Topanga is pretty good. The Wild Shrimp Salad is awesome... huge grilled shrimp on crisp bed of lettuce with red onions and yummy lime chili dressing and fresh cucumbers.

                        1282 Newbury Rd, Newbury Park, CA 91320

                  2. there is an absolutely WONDERFUL thai place located on washington blvd. (next to baja cantina), right by the beach.

                    their food is really authentic, always tasty, and reasonable.

                    plus the ambience is quaint and romantic, if you are looking for an intimate or relaxing dinner.

                    the name: siamese garden

                    (look for it--the building is easy to miss!)

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: mintydee

                      siamese garden couldn't be cuter and gets an A+ for ambiance. but the food isn't very good, Same for Pam's on Venice Blvd. I can't believe there isn't any good thai food in venice. guess i got spoiled in hollywood and Sun Valley!

                      1. re: munchetta

                        I agree. Just tried Siamese Garden last night for the first time and was disappointed. The panang curry was a large portion--but didn't cut it. Very cute interior, though.

                        Siamese Garden
                        301 Washington Blvd, Venice, CA 90292

                    2. i second the places on lincoln.

                      thai dishes is very average as is the place next to reel inn, cholada.

                      1. Second the criticism of Pam's. someone mentioned that the only things that are good there are the unusal items. I don;t know about that but everything we ordered was bad.

                        Bangkok West on Santa Monica and 6th is tasty and a really nice place to sit.

                        Singapore Express on Maxella and Lincoln in the marina is good if yout ell them how you like your food prepared. No atmosphere though.

                        Thai dishes is average at best.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: quielo

                          I third the shout out for Thai Boom. They are the best Thai food in the area. I just had some pad thai from Pam and it's pretty much the worst crap I've tasted in years. That place should be embarrassed.

                        2. Thai Boom (10863 Venice Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90034(310) 842-8291 is hands down the best Thai food in West LA. Just search for other postings of this restaurant on Chowhound. All day "Lunch specials" for 5.95. BYOB. Spicy squid salad, spicy mango and green papaya salad, panang curry, olive fried rice (creative Thai food as well) that will bring you back to Bangkok. This place is great. They do mostly takeout but they have a few tables for sit down. This place blows away every other place in West LA.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: blumalex

                            also, their PLA PRIK PAO is excellent.

                          2. I would second the vote for Thai Boom (though I am now curious to try the two Lincoln places, Star of Siam and Poom Thai).

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: longtimehere

                              I recently had one dish as a delivery lunch from Poom Thai (not my choice of restaurants - an office thing). Because it was one dish and it was delivery, I am not judging the place too harshly - but, um, yuck. It was a very typical overly sweet, lacking balance and any semblence of a sour element, pad thai. It had no smoky, just off the 'fai dang' wok flavor at all. Also, since it was a lunch special, it came with bland chinese rice (with pad thai? or any noodle dish for that matter?), a few leaves of iceberg lettuce with a minimal amount of cheap salad dressing, and a fried spring roll.

                              Certainly not the dish to bring me back to my days in BKK.

                              1. re: igj

                                they will let you subsitute brown rice for no charge.
                                i never order noodle dishes. it is entirely possible that they are not good at noodles.

                                1. re: igj

                                  It's funny. I actually think Poom is the best Thai food I have had since moving here. I have tried 2 places on lincoln in Venice that were both very mediocre. The better of the two is like a little cafe on the west side of the street. Nice service but food was just ok. Bangkok West was ok....I thought the green curry was the best thing the rest was quite average. Thai dishes Manhattan Beach reminds me of my mothers 1983 renditions of chinese food. I am tempted to say I could make better Thai than that. It's interesting because I have lived all over the world and travelled through Thailand with local ex-pats. My favorite Thai is in Amsterdam a little place called Rakang. Next would be a place on a cliff in Phuket very elegant great view. In NY there is a place called Land on the upper west side that is as good as I have had in the US. Poom Thai is pretty good but not really the same caliber. I need to try TOI still. Natalee was not worth going back to. All in all LA's Thai has been disappointing but the green curry with eggplant is well above avg. at Poom. It also has the best Pad Thai I have had here. I try to order the same dishes everywhere until I find the ones that can make the simple dishes best and then expand. I am not that picky about rice except for japanese food. I have found a great sudshi place called Sen Nari in Gardena. Better Hamachi than the best places in Tokyo.

                                  1. re: foodsnob1

                                    If you are sticking to the Westside, I'd recommend you try Ayara Thai in Westchester. But I would also advise not to get a dish containing eggplant there (like gaeng kheow wan) if you are expecting Thai eggplant - they don't have it and the Italian eggplant is not really a good substitute.

                                    Based on the resounding boos I have read on this board, I have managed to avoid Toi through 3.5 years of residence on the Westside.

                                2. re: longtimehere

                                  I'd be curious to know whether you like Star of Siam more; I haven't been to Thai Boom yet but
                                  like some of the dishes at star of siam..

                                3. Bangkok West Thai restaurant on Santa Monica and 5th. Very high quality for a thai restaurant and the food is quite good.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: kproq323

                                    i second the bangok west suggestion. i've tried a few of the others mentioned and the quality of food is considerably better here.

                                  2. Anyone know what happened to Orchid? I had heard an interview on Good Food (KCRW) with the owner/chef, and went running there the first week or two, even went back again. Then, suddenly, about a week later, they were closed, and haven't reopened. Or, have they, and I just keep going on closed nights?