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Nadpob Thai Cafe - review


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Nadpob Thai Cafe - review

koan05 | Jul 13, 2006 02:05 AM

Hi all,
Thought I'd post a review of my favorite new(ish) Thai place, Nadpob Thai in Silverlake. They've actually been open for a little under 2 years and I've been there several times so I feel I can give a pretty reading on the place.

Nadpob is located on Sunset past Hyperion, directly across the street from a McDonalds. It's in that mini-mall that used to be known for drug deals. There's a sushi place and an Indian restaurant there as well. Inside, the place looks spotless and has nice wooden tables. Of course there is a corner of the restaurant dedicated to karaoke, and it can get pretty loud in there any time around midnight. The decor is a bit cheesy on the 9 year old girl's bedroom tip (with paintings of fairies by ponds), but that can be easily overlooked. Service is very quick and the staff are usually very nice. The dishes seem a bit overpriced, by a couple bucks more compared to the standard, but you get what you pay for in terms of quality and quantity.

Now to the food:

Salads - Nadpob sets themselves apart from the hoardes of Thai cafes in Thai Town and Silverlake with their salads.

My personal favorite, which I had just a couple days ago, was their sole fish salad. The seasoning is somewhat similar to a larb, with lemongrass, shallots, toasted powdered rice and chilies etc, but it pairs up great with their crispy sole fish. If I had to mention any gripes it'd have to be that it could use a little more lime juice but it's still an excellent dish.

They also have an excellent Som Tam with salted blue crab. Their rendition is so much fresher than the ones I've had at several other Thai Town joints. The chilies give just the right kick at the beginning and then you feel a nice sweet touch lingering towards the end. Note that the blue crab is not cooked - it's raw, but salted - and some people might be uncomfortable with that. But really, it poses no hazard and is delicious.

Their spicy grilled beef salad is also very good. Their cuts of beef are of better quality than many others, but they are cut in long, very thick strips. That takes a little getting used to if you are familiar with the typical thin slices. Seasoning is excellent here, with liberal amounts of toasted powdered rice, cilantro, and red onion. The emphasis is really on the beef, and cucumber plays much less of a role than in many of the other beef salads I've had at other places in Thailand and here in L.A.

Other notable dishes:

Their mussels fried in egg batter is very reliable, as well as their BBQ calamari. I have tried their German pork leg, and while it's good, I prefer the standard pork leg with chili and garlic. Their eggplant delight is very good as a vegetarian alternative, as is their stir-fried morning glory. A nice surprise was their orange chicken, obviously a Chinese dish but they somehow manage to make it alot more citrusy and crispy yet fresh than many a Chinese shop.

Their soups are decent as well, but honestly I prefer the soups at Sapp and Ruen Pair. The salads and other entrees are where it's at. Their noodles are quite good too.

There's plenty of other dishes to try there too. One thing I noticed is that they automatically scale down the heat factor if you are not Thai. If you want your food to pack a little punch, you might want to tell them you like it spicy Thai style, not farang style (farang means foreigner in Thai). Right now I'd say their clientele is about 80-90% Thai, but I imagine once the Silverlake hipsters find out about it (and the fact that they're open till 4am), that'll start changing.


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