Ayara Thai Cuisine
I didnt have time to put together a long report, but I wanted everybody to know about this Thai place near LAX. I tried searching Chowhound and it appears that this place may have slipped by everybody. Hopefully not.
The next time anybody travels to LAX I recommend you make time for lunch or dinner at Ayara.
It is a small place on 87th Street, hidden from the world (meaning inaccessible from Sepulveda) by the Staples store between Manchester and La Tijera. 87th doesnt connect to Sepulveda so you have to go around back of the Staples to find it.
Anyway, on to the food. It is delicious. Fresh. Cheap. Really cheap. And I cant emphasize the freshness enough. Normally when I have hot (cooked) Thai food (not talking about the great green papaya salads and other such dishes available around town), the freshness of the vegetables is an afterthought to the flavors of the curries and heaviness of the coconut milk and the palm oil. At Ayara you have the great flavor, but it seems light and healthy (even if it isnt) because all of the vegetables and herbs are incredibly fresh.
We were unfortunately on our way to the airport and were rushed because we were late, so we limited ourselves to some of the old standards: tom kah gai hotpot, pad thai, shrimp spring rolls, and drunken noodles.
But even these dishes were well done. The soup was a delicious rendition of a Thai standard, flavored with whole chilis, kaffir lime leaves and pieces of lemongrass. The vegetables in the spring rolls were cool and snapped when you took a bite. They played nicely off of a warm peanut sauce. And the two noodle dishes were nice too (the only negative I think was that the chicken in the pad thai was a little dry).
Oh, and the owner was very nice. He came out and talked to each of the tables the night we were there.
Next time I go I want to try their curry dishes. The folks next to us had them and they looked and smelled great.
Almost every dish on the menu is under $10. We paid $33 plus tip for those four dishes mentioned above and a hot tea and iced tea. (Note: They do have beer, but I dont remember wine. And I think they have an outdoor dining area, but I didnt have time to investigate.) They place was pretty empty, but it was a Wednesday night. Still I hope they are able to stick around.
Next time I head out to LAX I will definitely be stopping by it is 5 minutes from the Southwest terminal.
Ayara Thai Cuisine
6245 West 87th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90045