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Sapp Coffee Shop - Thai Town, LA - Report

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I ate at this place last week after reading about it on Chowhound and watching the Bourdain video.

Overall, we really liked this place. Good prices, very good (and spicy) food, and friendly service. We had a late-ish lunch on a weekday, so it wasn't super crowded.

Crab omelet noodles were similar to pad thai, in that it's made with rice noodles and the sauce is rather sweet. We ordered ours 'medium', and it came out really quite spicy—in a good way. The omelet had lots of pieces of real crab, and while I liked this dish, I wish it had been slightly less sweet. Adding some lime did help.

Boat noodles (with beef) were excellent. We ordered beef-only, so no liver or other offal. The broth was maybe slightly too salty, but this is pretty nit-picky since overall this was excellent. You can choose your type of noodle, and we got wide rice noodles. I actually don't think these are necessarily better than other versions I've had lately (Banana Bay in Rowland Heights and Zen Yai in San Francisco), but they are definitely as good. There was a strong celery flavor from the bits of Chinese celery.

Pork belly w/ chinese broccoli and fried egg over rice was good, but was my least favorite of the three dishes. Back in 2012, I had a version of this dish across the street at Sanamluang which I remember being better. Still, this was spicy and the pork was crispy and it was filling. I was happy to have some rice, which was really the only non-spicy thing on the table.

For dessert, we ordered the banana in sticky rice. These were wrapped up and being sold by the cash register, but when we ordered, they heated it up for us and brought it to the table. It wasn't overly sweet, and it wasn't super special, but I thought it made a nice end to the meal.

I'd definitely return, most likely for the boat noodles, though I'd definitely want to know how they compare to other places in the neighborhood.

 
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  1. Photo of the crab omelet noodles

     
    1. Photo of the pork belly w/ broccoli and fried egg over rice

       
      1. Photo of the sticky rice with banana and red beans.

         
        1. Nice.

          Do the jade noodles next time at Sapp.

          5 Replies
          1. re: J.L.

            Do they serve any seafood noodles in just a seafood broth ?????

            Thanks.

            1. re: J.L.

              Jade noodles dry my favorite...

              1. re: burntwater

                what's in the jade noodles dry ???????

                1. re: kevin

                  This....

                   
                  1. re: burntwater

                    thanks man.

            2. I didn't realize that you could order it sans liver which is why I've never been. Thanks for that info!

              6 Replies
              1. re: JAB

                Yeah, give it a try. Not sure how common it is to be able to order a version that doesn't contain offal bits (not including the blood in the broth). In San Francisco at Zen Yai Thai you can order it this way too, though.

                1. re: Dave MP

                  Does the blood give it a livery taste?

                  1. re: JAB

                    No, I don't think it tastes livery.

                    1. re: JAB

                      Blood is relatively mild and just gives the soup a richer flavor. You'll be mostly tasting the spices and spiciness.

                      1. re: TheOffalo

                        Thanks, I'm offal friendly, just not liver friendly.

                        1. re: JAB

                          If you ever change your mind, or want to try some liver than doesn't taste like typical liver, try Night+Market's tub hwan, Thai liver "ceviche". It's cooked, but super tender rather than gritty and has a mild taste compared to most liver dishes.

                2. Boat noodles (with beef) were excellent. We ordered beef-only, so no liver or other offal. The broth was maybe slightly too salty,
                  =====================
                  Love this place. The broth is straight up too salty. But oddly enough, still irresistible.

                  The cripy pork with basil is much better than the pork belly with broccoli that you got.

                  Next time ;)

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Porthos

                    I always find pho broth to be way way way too salty.

                    so is the broth here even saltier than your garden-variety pho broth ??????

                    Thanks.

                    1. re: Porthos

                      Love this place. The broth is straight up too salty
                      ==
                      glad i'm not the only one.

                      but, order the boat noodles without the offals is a bit like.. getting castrated.

                      1. re: TonyC

                        Well, the times I have it with the offal I usually don't end up eating those parts. So for me it means no wasted food! :)

                        1. re: Dave MP

                          More for me! :-) Wait, it doesn't work that way. :-(

                      2. re: Porthos

                        I didn't find Sapp's broth to be too salty compared to Pa Ord or Hoy Ka or Ruen Pair broth (not necessarily just boat noodle broth). What I love about Sapp's broth is that it's not too sweet, compared to the others, especially Ruen Pair (imo).