My husband and I are die hard Ruen Pair fans. Last week we decided to give the new kid in the mini mall a shot and dropped into Captain. They took over the space wehre that dodgy donut shop used to be. The decor is a spirited commitment to making the restaurant look like the inside of an airplane. As for the food what a nice surprise.
The menu features some items we hadn't seen at Ruen Pair or our other spots around Thai town. A standout was their chili lime fish. This was a steamed trout served in an unexpected metal trout shaped dish over a flame. It was perfectly steamed and bathed in a spicy lemongrass broth. They also brought out a bowl of the broth to serve as a soup. Delicious! Snappy flavor and per our request good heat.
We asked the waitress to recommend a dish and she suggested the Vietnamese fermented pork sausage. It isn't on the menu but she called it out as a favorite. It came with a spread of herbs. lettuce and rice paper noodle wraps that you dip in hot water to soften and then stuff full of all of the goodness on the platter. A serious standout was a leaf we hadn't tried before that they grow themselves as it is not widely available in the Thai markets. I may not be spelling this right but its something like Nam - Nevna. I was strange and delicious and along with the sauces that came with the dish it was memorable.
Our last dish was the tendon stew noodle also graced with the Nam-Nevna. We are both fans of tendon soup but often find that in Thai restaurants this soup is served too sweet for our taste. Captain did it just right. A rich brown broth full bodied with star anise and garlic.
They are still working out some kinks being so new but if you are a little patient you will be rewarded. This place is definitely worth exploring and should be given credit for changing up the line up with some unusual dishes.
I must admit that the one thing I could have done without was the TV playing the Eagles live reunion concert in the background. I'm just not a fan of eating with a TV on. Frankly the fact that I'm giving them 4 stars even though we had to listen to aged Eagles playing easy listening covers of their greatest hits should tell you something.
Captain Thai Restaurant
5253 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027-4912
(323) 465-9796 – (323) 465-9138
Ruen Pair Restaurant
5257 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027