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Best Thai Restaurant in Hollywood

Taking some friends out for Thai in Hollywood next month. Looking for the perfect meal, starting with soup, appetizer & a few entrees. Narrowed it down between:

-Pa Ord Noodle
-Sapp Coffee Shop
-Yai Restaurant

Above are the 3 I would love some feedback on for the spot we should choose?

We've already dined in the past at RCA, Jitlada, & Original Hoy Ka

Want to try a different spot.

Thank you

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  1. I like Yai the best. They spend more making their food. Bigger, plumper shrimp. Order the Hoy See Mein with shrimp (crispy noodle with gravy). Their crab fried rice is also amazing.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Galen

      Yai's is good for their roasted pork which is probably the best restaurant version you'll find in Los Angeles.

      Get it either over rice with gravy or stir fried with vegetables.

      I haven't been to Lacha Somtum but that may be an up and coming best thai restaurant for me based on pictures and menu alone.

    2. Palms Thai tasty plus thai elvis.
      food is way better than you'd think...fish w mango and cashews and hot peppers my fav

      3 Replies
      1. re: jessejames

        For what it is worth, my Thai friends (from Thailand who own a Thai spot somewhere out in the valley) think Palms is very very good.

        1. re: jessejames

          It's good. I like the "phad see ew" noodles - they do a pretty authentic version.

          1. re: klyeoh

            Ya they have such an extensive range of dishes that they also have the ingredients to do off the menu items.

            Might help to be Thai for that though

        2. Had a super crispy oyster omelette at Darabar. Thanks to TonyC for the rec. Papaya salad with black crab was deeply, profoundly funky, so proceed with caution.


          Mr Taster

          1 Reply
          1. re: Mr Taster

            OK guys, you need to stop blowing past this recommendation with the litany of Chowhound Thai Town regulars.

            Seriously, this a good one. Go already.

            Mr Taster

          2. I'm a big fan of Pa Ord, but it's all about the noodles there. It sounds like you don't want just noodles.

            For a more comprehensive menu, Yai is an excellent choice IF we're talking about the Yai on Hollywood near the freeway, not the one on Vermont near Kaiser (which isn't bad, but would not be my first choice).

            I've been reading positive things about Sapp for years, but have yet to make it over there.

            1. Sapp is fine for Boat Noodles and Pa Ord is also good for it's noodle dishes. However, if your looking for more, then Yai is the answer. Their duck with chile and garlic is phenomal!

              1. Funky atmosphere, but Ruen Pair is very good.

                1. Ruen Pair is all around champ for me. Have lived very close Thai town for many years and have been to all 3 you mention (although only once to sapp if that says anything). Ruen pair is always my default when I want variety, Pa Ord for noodles. I find Yai just ok--just another average Thai restaurant. Though far from posh, Ruen pair has best atmosphere of all 3.

                  Another option is the relative newcomer Lacha Somtum slightly off the main drag. I've only had takeout and thought it was promising but ultimately pretty average--hard to judge by takeout though. The space feels a bit cafeteria-like.

                  16 Replies
                  1. re: soniabegonia

                    We just moved to Hollywood and have started the Thai town circuit. Agree that Yai is ordinary. The dishes there range from good to poor. Not better. Lum Ka Naad in Northridge, where we moved from, is light years ahead of it. Still looking for a contender.

                    1. re: MarkC

                      The freeway Yai is a ridiculous atmosphere, but for a takeout order the roasted pork with Chinese broccoli is pretty terrific. You may die, but you will die happy.

                      1. re: mc michael

                        I had what they called BBQ'ed pork, which was a real heart attack on a plate. Deep fried pieces of fatty pork, probably pork belly. Sure, it was tasty, but how could deep fried pork not be? My son ordered a shrimp paste patty I could have played hand ball with. In general, I found the level of cooking there to be very basic and unambitious. Looking forward to finding more artful cooking in the neighborhood.

                          1. re: mc michael

                            both overhyped IMO. Jitlada is stupidly expensive for what it is with a menu that has as many misses as it does hits.

                            1. re: Johnny L

                              It's relatively expensive, but if you order the right stuff it's beyond good.

                              1. re: mc michael

                                What are the right things to order?

                              2. re: Johnny L

                                i agree that you might be ordering wrong

                      2. re: soniabegonia

                        I'm curious what you ordered at Lacha?

                        Certainly the tub wan and the Khon Kaen duck larp are unrivaled in LA right now. the kaeng om gai is deeply funky and soulful, the som tum nor mai puu pa is the best "raw" salad I've ever had at a Thai restaurant. Yai doesn't even come remotely close, and at best Ruen Pair is good for only rudimentary stir fries.

                        The only weakness may be the kaeng som pe sa, but even there, the trout is nicely fileted and delicious.

                        NB: skip the fried larp balls. It's kinda gross and odd. Pailin's rendition is far more tasty and pleasant.

                        1. re: TonyC

                          So far I've only had my litmus test dishes--pad thai, papaya salad (i got it w shrimp), pad kee mao, num tok beef. I liked the papaya salad well enough but wanted more texture (maybe the papaya was shredded too finely for my liking; i tend to like some bite and varied thicknesses for textural contrast. Maybe the fine, even shred took some of that away). The noodles were not good at all - too wet/saucy and definitely overly salty. The num tok was insanely, inexcusably salty. I would never order that again. Perhaps my fault for ordering the usual fare when they seem to specialize in all manner of papaya salad.

                          I don't speak Thai and have no idea what most of the things you mention are (show off) but i'll be sure to try those next time if i can remember the names (except for liver - no need for that).

                          1. re: soniabegonia

                            "(show off)"
                            hehe. sorry not sorry? (though I don't speak thai).

                            out of all the issan "salads", the neua nam tok is the only one I haven't tried, so I can't comment on that. Lacha's "regular" noodle selection looked half-assed, so I've stayed away.

                            It seems you ended up with some of the worst things on the menu, which is unfortunate. Thankfully you didn't have the "super spicy" khanom jeen nam ya, which rotted my gut in 3 minutes, and kept my stomach on the D/L for 2 days. It was awfully tasty the first 15 seconds though. Probably the most potent of all Thai noodles in LA right now.

                            Still waiting for some of the specials board menu items to appear on the interwebs. Pretty sure they will shut the door on the rest of the Issan restaurants in town.

                              1. re: j_gordon

                                Probably Darabar or Jitlada (cuz they give fish balls).

                                Lacha's khanom jeen gave me an ass pounding that I'm not quite sure I enjoyed. but... YMMV. It is the most fearsome noodle dish I've ever encountered, even counting the street vended spicy kway jap (sp?) in Issan.

                            1. re: soniabegonia

                              You can't use pad thai or pad kee mao as part of a litmus test at a Northern Thai restaurant. This is an Isaan specialty restaurant while pad thai is a central thai specialty.

                              It'd be like going to a Sichuan Chinese restuarant and judging their lack of a "dimsum" menu based solely on the available wontons in chili oil.

                            2. re: TonyC

                              Lol I'm gonna try Lacha soon, based on your review it sounds fantastic and it definitely seems like you know what you're talking about. But what the hell does soulful mean?

                          2. Kinaree Thai Bistro! Mmmm...

                            1. Where did you end up and what did you eat? Inquiring minds want to know.