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Emporium Thai - dineLA Menu

Bob Brooks Jan 22, 2014 12:44 PM

Just had a great lunch here with their dineLA menu. Coco Mango Salad to start and Crying Tiger Beef as the main. Coconut ice cream to finish. The Crying Tiger was terrific. Great value for $15.00.

  1. j
    JTea Jan 25, 2014 01:24 PM

    Two coworkers and I had lunch there Fri. We used the dineLA menu as an excuse to try a second item, and all agreed it was nice neighborhood place, but no more. As we work in Culver City, Thai Boom is still our #1 Thai place, and a visit to Swanya was worth it. Hope a future Fri outing gets us to Jitlada.

    1. f
      foodiemahoodie Jan 23, 2014 12:48 PM

      My experience with Jitlada is the food is prepared better.

      Specifically The mussel soup - my fav. Last time I was at Jitlada - the muscles were done perfectly. As perfectly, as, say Maison Giraud. But with that fantastic broth. Lovely, tasty, spicy.

      Emporium? At best it is methadone for your mussel soup jones. And not even that. I've give it a few times, and the broth is very similar - very good even. But the mussel never seemed like they were as fresh or cooked with an elegant hand.

      I once had a mussel dish for dinner in an Italian restaurant in Colorado. I figured they'd be frozen, what's the worst that can happen? Well, that question was answer near midnight as I got on my knees in front of a porcelain altar and gave penance and offerings all night long. My prayers were answered and my miracle came around sun up. I was to meet up with some friend for a horseback camping trip for three days that day. I had to cancel.

      Point is - it took me five years to eat mussels again, even then, it was one mussel at a time. At Maison Giraud I eat with impunity (comfortable in the thought that "religion" won't return). But the last time at Emporium Thai I ate with the fear of God! My fears were not well founded, but still, that's just not a way to enjoy food - fingers crossed, wishing and hoping and praying. And I haven't been back. as a result.

      I would like to just buy their broth and cook my own mussels. I wonder if I could do that?

      1 Reply
      1. re: foodiemahoodie
        kevin Jan 23, 2014 12:54 PM

        loved this post.

        i can relate.

      2. y
        yogacat Jan 23, 2014 11:08 AM

        i also had lunch there and had the same things.

        service couldnt be any better.

        1. n
          nosh Jan 22, 2014 05:13 PM

          I've had mixed results and opinions about Emporium Thai myself. If you like it, the DineLA lunch menu is a bargain: a $15 lunch gets you the Crying Tiger entree ($12.95), dumplings (listed at $8.95), and coconut ice cream for dessert ($3.50). So on paper is is a great deal. But Emporium Thai's menu is overpriced -- I like the Crying Tiger beef, a very flavorful dish, but even on the regular menu it is small for the price. Three dumplings (dinela menu) for $8.95 (regular menu)? And I don't really need a scoop of ice cream for dessert at that price.

          I've enjoyed Thai Boom -- a bit further for me but usually easier parking. And they have a good lunch special for about half of $15. In Westwood Village, Thai House is an under appreciated veteran -- quiet, civilized, tablecloths and real plates and glasses, table service. Their lunch combos are a value -- well under $10 -- and they do a good curry and a really good mer krob. Across from Whole Foods on Gayley.

          1. westsidegal Jan 22, 2014 03:41 PM

            sorry bob:
            i went there for the dinela lunch also:
            had the same salad, the Coco Mango salad. it just wasn't in the league of any of the salads served at Thai Boom or at Ayara. ended up leaving half of it because it just wasn't worth the calories.
            had the Thai Basil Tofu, also was poor compared to similar dishes at Thai Boom and Ayara
            the coconut ice cream was horrid, watery, icy, VERY sugary. didn't even finish the stuff even though, for the most part i've never met a frozen dessert that i didn't like. i guess there is always a first time.
            Ayara's take on coconut ice cream will give you an idea about what "good" Thai coconut ice cream should be like.

            Emporium Thai is a neighbohood place as is Ayara and Thai Boom. Still, across the board, there was no comparison.

            Jitlada, is a destination place, so it would be expected that Emporium Thai would not be able to compete with it. the ET/Jitlada comparison is, in this respect, somewhat unfair, but the comparison to Ayara and Thai Boom is completely fair, imho.

            4 Replies
            1. re: westsidegal
              Bob Brooks Jan 22, 2014 06:35 PM

              I agree that the salad wasn't special. And I mentioned the ice cream only to point out that it was part of the deal; I forewent it as I don't do sugar at lunch. However, I must stand by the Crying Tiger Beef. It was superb! I'm tempted to go to Jitlada tomorrow just to see if it could possibly be any better.

              1. re: Bob Brooks
                kevin Jan 22, 2014 06:39 PM

                Yes, Jitlada will be but it is considerably more expensive.

                Brooks, you did make a valid point in regards to it being a deal for an entree, appetizer, and dessert for the small sum of 15 bucks.

                It's just that I've been before to emporium that is and dropped close to 45 bucks for the soft shell crab and coco mango salad and it wasn't very good.

                just my opinion.

                1. re: kevin
                  westsidegal Jan 23, 2014 09:18 AM

                  for 15 bucks, i'd prefer to go to Thai Boom and have all the courses be edible.

                  1. re: westsidegal
                    kevin Jan 23, 2014 11:58 AM

                    yes, even if it's cheap, one would hope the dish is still edible.

            2. TonyC Jan 22, 2014 03:41 PM

              blatant knock-off.

              do. not. want.

              4 Replies
              1. re: TonyC
                Bob Brooks Jan 22, 2014 04:28 PM

                Just for the record, ET is not a knock-off of Jitlada. They'e the same family who all originally cooked together before Jaz et al., opened Jitlada.

                1. re: Bob Brooks
                  TonyC Jan 23, 2014 09:28 AM

                  Just for the record, Emporium had zilch Southern Thai menu items before Jitlada received recognition.

                  Emporium Thai's owner doesn't cook, so they couldn't have "cooked together". And again on "record", I've replied to this every time you pumped EP on CH (because ErikM is too busy living the fine country life these days): http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/893299#7940557

                  Many of us know the history of EP and Jitlada, as did ErikM, back in '08:

                  The feedback speaks for itself: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/904824 ,
                  repeatedly. No matter what EP is telling its customers, it is NOT cooking Jitlada recipes. It's been 6 years, one'd think this nonsense would have stopped.

                2. re: TonyC
                  Thor123 Jan 22, 2014 07:20 PM

                  Not a knock off at all. And IMO its really good. Give it another shot.

                  1. re: Thor123
                    westsidegal Jan 23, 2014 10:17 PM

                    Thor: when 2 of my three dishes are inedible, i don't think that another shot is in the offing.

                    personally, i don't care about the relationship between the two restaurants, i care about good food. found no good food at Emporium.

                3. k
                  kevin Jan 22, 2014 01:08 PM

                  I'll skip it.

                  Last time I was there I spent oodles and oodles of dough ad it wasn't even 1/10 as good as Jitlada.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: kevin
                    Ciao Bob Jan 22, 2014 02:35 PM

                    I agree Kevin -- went last week - quite disappointing.

                    1. re: Ciao Bob
                      kevin Jan 22, 2014 02:38 PM

                      Sorry Bob.

                      yeah, and I think before you were an ardent proponent/cheerleader for the joint.

                      No contest. Jitlada wins in a landslide.

                      But that does help my waistline.

                      And the funny thing is that last time at Emporium, even the iced coffee was way way way off. It tasty weird as hell.

                      But the when I went more than a few months ago it was till good at the time.

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