On a recent late afternoon, I was refilling my home soda making gadget modified to accept 24oz paintball CO2 tanks refilled @ $4 each instead of paying ~$15 to exchange the 6-8oz factory tanks at department stores.
Feeling good about the savings, I sensed a need to eat a good lunch. I turned to my recently purchased GPS for direction. I checked out several suggestions within 2 miles of where I was and saw nothing interesting. Then I scrolled down to Thai restaurants on the GPS.
Lum-Ka-Naad stood out because it does not have the word Thai in its name.
Surprisingly the restaurant was still full at such a late lunch hour. I ventured in.
The menu selections were more numerous and more diverse than the few other "Chowed" Thai places in town that I have tried.
When presented with unfamiliar menus in unfamiliar territories , I default to ordering among the more expensive items. Because I will unlikely to return and assuming that higher cost usually equal higher quality. (Please, do not debate this issue)
I decided to try the $15 #84,HOR MOK SEAFOOD. Described as steamed fish, shrimp, scallop, mussels, shrimp, coconut milk, Kaffir lime leaves, and chili paste, served in a banana leaf basket.
Several staff came and advised me that it will take time to prepare the dish but it will be ready soon.
The food arrived ~30 minutes later. A plain looking plate of seafood served "as advertised" on a banana leaf basket. The shrimps, scallops and mussels were swimming in a fragrant, mild (not spicy) broth. In addition, they had also throw in a few king crab leg pieces. Fantastic.
I ate and enjoyed my delicious discovery.
But sub-consciously, I wondered. Where is the fish?
Floating on the delicious broth was a light colored froth layer that comes along with every spoonful of the broth.
I finally realized that the fish was served as a mousse floating on top of the broth.
Wow, if this is typical Lum-Ka-Naad, I need to explore more.
Lum-Ka-Naad is remarkable for serving both Chiangmai style and Southern dishes with authority. One of the chefs is from the village of Sriracha in the south (yes, the one where that sauce was invented) , one from the north, and they get both cuisines right. If it wasn't a 25 mile drive, this would be my go-to Thai place. Call in advance and ask Alex to set you up with an authentic meal from a Thai region - you will not be disappointed.