So, a friend and I ventured out to Rambutan Thai on that rainy, dreary night last light.
Location: Rambutan is easy to miss. Located in the corner of a REALLY small strip mall on Sunset, about 1/2 - 1 mile or so from what I think people have called the "crackhead" mini mall that houses Nad Pob and Saito Sushi. It sits in the corner of this strip mall (maybe 5 stores there), and is really quite hard to see on a rainy night.
Parking: not sure if they do valet on busier nights, but I doubt it. Your best bet is to park on Sunset, and walk it on in. Maybe on other nights, it's less crowded.
Interior: Dark, trendy interior (padded orange panels line the one wall, mirrors on the other), with tables pretty close to one another, but not too terrible. Could be construed as "romantic," I suppose, but not incredibly much so (in my humble opinion). It's not a huge space, and would imagine you could end up waiting on a Friday or Saturday. There is a small bar as well.
Drink: a variety of Soju mixed drinks, wine and beer. The wine selection is eclectic, for a nice change, but not very extensive (maybe 6 whites by the glass, and 6 or so reds).
Food: started with the green curry shrimp and scallop dumplings, from their small plates menu. Yum. I wanted some rice to soak up all that curry, which was insanely light, with just the right infusion of kaffir lime. Now, dumpling critics may have issue with the dumplings (that kind of fell apart), but the shrimp and scallops were plentiful. I think there were 5 dumplings on the plate, with shredded carrots. Sounds odd, but it was really tasty.
My friend ordered the grilled garlic shrimp, served with garlic noodles (her husband must have been loving her later!). The garlic tasted a bit like it was straight out of the jar and not fresh, but it was still a really tasty dish. I was torn between the standard Pad Thai, and my new personal favorite, Pad Kee Mao (drunken noodles). I went for the Pad Kee Mao with shrimp. The sauce had just the right kick, without setting my mouth on fire. The veggies still had some crispness, and the noodles had that ever-so-slightly charred taste, which I love. Still haven't figured out exactly how they do that. Everything was artfully presented, and the portions were not small in the least bit.
Pricing: our "small plate" was $7, and our entrees (because of the shrimp) a little pricier, though still incredibly reasonable, at $12 and $11 respectively. All told, after our dishes and three glasses of wine, and taxes, was about $56.
I'll definitely be back. The website is a pretty honest representation of what they have, the setting, etc. If you're looking for authentic thai, but in a more upscale setting than Nad Pob (though who can beat Thai karaoke???), head on down Sunset a bit further....
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