This frenzied take-out joint is no secret as it has been mentioned by many people to me who live around Downtown & Nuuanu-Pali... definitely a neighborhood favorite. Last night I picked up from there... very busy it takes them 30 minutes to fill an order... those that know what they are doing phone ahead of course... I was stuck there like a schmuck... BUT it gave me a chance to get a feel for their rhythm & clientele.
The joint is in a strip mall but looks like a refurbished 2 car garage (with a functioning remote controlled garage door & overthing)... it is decked out in Lime Green with a few Thai calendars & some 5 foot tall Buddhist wooden statues... about 10 card tables & worn down seating but fairly clean & tidy.... a great mix of locals, the breeze flowing freely... awesome atmoshphere its really like dining in a developing country.... some "foodies" migth say it has zero ambiance... I think it has great ambiance... ceterus paribus... only looking at ambiance.... I would much rather dine there than at Roy's Hawaii Kai any day of the week.
The food was very good... I am kind of ashamed, but I froze in the middle of the line and ended up going with the lame, safe dishes I would normally laugh at... Satay, Pad Thai etc.,... but I have to tell you ... I am really glad I ordered the Satay. Unlike the run-of-the-mill dryish breast fillet they serve you threaded chunks of dark meat (very reminiscent of Indian skewers)... and the peanut sauce is thick, very textured, a bit spicy & not too sweet... so much better than the typical dumbed down sauces from a jar.
The Chicken Larb was very nice... not too limey... featuring that nice savory flavor from Thai Basil. Red Curry was very homey with what looked like wheels of Okra?
I really look forward to trying this place again.
1627 Nuuanu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96817