We were in the LA area in late July and made a pilgrimage to Thai Town under some chowhounds' able guidance. Being New Yorkers, and having very limited Thai options, we were completely overwhelmed, all the more because all of our three stops that evening were in the same strip mall around 5273 Hollywod Blvd. For we poor souls who have to make do with a single bakery cum restaurant blasting ESPN (aka Sripraphai), this was an embarassment of riches, and , astoundingly, only the tip of the iceberg.
After a brief stop at a dessert shop to make sure that our blood sugar was not dangerously low before starting our first dinner, we went to Palms Thai. (A link to their menu is below.) The outstanding dishes were: a wild boar curry with lime leaves and clusters of green peppercorn -- it was spicy, nutty, rich and very complex tastting; fried trout with mango sauce: this was actually the apotheosis of the fish with mango salad at the much lamented Kway Tiow in Elmhurst, Queens-- batter-fried trout,w ith almost a salsa on the side. The mango did not make the fish soggy, and had lots of chili and cilantro (not celery leaves [shudder] as at Kway Tiow); grilled sausage; warm bamboo shoot salad; and beef jerky. The mango salad was good, though we have perhaps had better at Sripraphai in Queens. The only dissappointment were the frogs legs which were a bit too dry. What probably makes Palms most noteworthy is their section of "wild things" on the menu, out of the ordinary stuff made with game, and also Isaan style food. Entertainment was provided by a Thai Elvis.
After dinner, we staggered accross the parking lot to Reun Pair, to have a few dishes which were not available at Palms: three stick out in my memory: a salad of salted duck eggs, dried shrimp, thousand year old eggs, chinese sausage, and pickled cabbage (think the cabbage that the cantonese prepare with squid) which was electric and completely over the top ; morning glory stems, similar to hong choy but prepared with a spicy kick; and perhaps best of all, t he pork with chinese olives. This last dish was just a salty meat crumble, tender and chewy at the same time, and could almost have been mistaken for a roast beef hash which was too finely chopped. No description could do this essence of browned meat justice.
I went to LA with trepidation ( esp. since Renu Nakorn was no longer with us, having been reincarnated as Lotus of Siam in Vegas). Now we are practically ready to move.
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