Last night tried this newish spot on Robertson and was pleasantly surprised how good it was. Naraya is a small and stylishly modern space that serves up upscale Thai cuisine with interesting fusion twists. Our party had curry puffs, spinach ravioli, crab fried rice, spicy noodles with tofu, and rib-eye steak salad.
The curry puffs appetizer were crisp but not greasy, comforting with a slightly sweet filling of curry and vegetables. They almost tasted Indian but done in a lighter Thai style.
Next came the spinach raviolis. These were outstanding, supple wonton-like pouches with spinach filling in creamy sauce which tasted like a peanut cream accented with bits of fresh basil.
Rib-eye steak salad was up next and was a like a deconstructed take on yum nua. Good quality tender rib-eye strips cooked medium-rare were served on one side in a tangy dressing and dusted with crunchy toasted rice. On the other side were leaves of very fresh and crisp romaine. The combination of the flavorful steak, dressing, crunchy toasted rice and fresh romaine was a nice play of savory flavors and refreshing texture. Excellent.
Crab-fried rice was also excellent. Wonderfully fluffy and non-greasy but very flavorful with pieces of crab meat and egg. Another winner.
The spicy noodles was Naraya's version of my favorite Thai dish pad kee mao, but we substituted tofu for the seafood in it and was another hit. Expertly prepared with just the right level of heat and stir fried with plenty of basil and sweet onion.
Service was very gracious and friendly and it was a shame to see the place so empty on a Thursday night. With a Singha beer the tab was about $30 per per person including tip. Not cheap but very much worth it. A nice complimentary surprise from the chef was an artfully arranged fruit plate of sliced melon, orange, and strawberry, chocolate sauce scribble, and a dramatic wall of sugar sculpture.
There are several interesting dishes on the menu like filet mignon satay and prik king that I would love to go back and try.
1128 S Robertson Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90035