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Menjin Thai Tapas: Food From Heaven, Name from...

Bob Wollman | Jul 25, 200303:17 PM

Once upon a time there was a horrible little "world" noodle shop at Beverly and Orlando called something like "Menjin's World Noodles" -- it was a cute space (in the same strip mall as Hirozen, across the street from Mandarette) with dreadful noodles/soups.

The ugly frog has been kissed-away and replaced with a most handsome prince..no make that KING of a thai restaurant. Only remnants of the awful name remain and seem to be scaring people away.

The superb Thai food is as authentic as any I've had since going to Thailand. The folks that run it are the nicest since then too!
Parts of the menu definately cater to "farang" tongues but if you tell them you want the real deal they will make it.

I love fiery Isan-style and they deliver some awesome som tum, BBQ chicken and beef salad ("pet pet" if you can take it). The chef will make almost any thai dish you can think of...last night he made a spur-of-the-moment special request: pla lad prik w/a fresh yellowtail filet that blew me away. Koi Soi (a dish so hard to find in LA) is perfection. The curries --the green curry in a fresh coconut shell is particularly sublime -- attain that incredible melange of creamy, sweet and hot that leaves you with a grin on your face, a watery mouth and rheumy, tear-filled eyes.

I know this sounds to good to be true.

Purists are going to doubt anything this good can be (slightly) south and west of Thai Town. I was amazed by reading blima2's "Simplified Schema" post of 6/30/03 that I can have it all (except, of course, Thai Elvis and, maybe, frogs legs -- I've never asked but I bet they'll do it!!)at one place that definately does serve beer and wine.

Skeptics are going to think that I work for the joint. I don't at all; I am a passionate eater afraid to lose a pearl (especially one whose shell remains labelled with the detritus of a previous owner).

Stay away from the overly Westernized "Chan Dara-ized" dishes (Stuffed Anaheim Chili was mediocre) and you'll love the place and you'll get as true a Thai meal as any I've had this far from Asia. ENJOY!

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