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Rod-ded, sans the duck, still rocks

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Restaurants & Bars

Rod-ded, sans the duck, still rocks

igj | Jun 28, 2005 02:00 PM

I don’t eat duck (or any other fowl – or any red meat either), but I do live for Thai food. Rod-ded has a reputation for making some fabulous duck dishes (esp. a spicy duck noodle soup), and also a ham hock dish, but even without ordering those dishes, one can have a tremendously satisfying meal here. This weekend, I did just that. We arrived on a quiet Sunday early afternoon. There were about 10 tables full of Thais when we arrived. We are used to being the only farang faces among a sea of Thais, but sometimes it is actually reassuring, as in this case. This is a place that Thai families go in groups and eat comfort food.

We ordered numerous street food dishes, mostly because we love Thai street food and the snacking urge is strong in us – makes me feel almost Thai. Anyway, we had guay-chai, the flat Thai dumplings (that the Thai consider Chinese food) filled with a leek-like vegetable, topped with toasted garlic and served with a dark, not very thin, dipping sauce. These were somewhat overcooked, especially when you can get very good ones in a package down the street at Banh Khanom Thai or at the Bangluck Market. But, despite the somewhat chewy skin, the filling and the sauce were great.

We also ordered: fried fish balls and fried tofu. You wouldn’t think that a place known for duck and ham would be all that deft with tofu, but Rod-ded has great, freshly fried tofu. It always tastes fresh—and that is a big plus. The interior of the fried tofu was somewhat creamy. The fish balls—also excellent and freshly fried—come with the typical sweet, chili-y sauce. Tastes just like any street stall in Thailand. The fried tofu comes in thick triangular slabs and is served with a more complex, although still sweet, sauce. Brown, with hints of palm sugar, and topped with chopped peanuts and some cilantro. Oh yeah!

We also ordered pad grapow with fried tofu– stir fried thai basil with vegetables and fried tofu. We got this as a rice plate. The tofu in this dish is not the same as the fried tofu dish. These are narrow rectangles of tofu, but still wonderful. We ordered this dish pet glaang (medium spicy) and it actually came out what I think of as medium spicy. Way too often an order of medium spicy comes out with just sugar and salt flavor and no hint of spice. Rod-ded did not dumb this down for American palates.

We also ordered two Thai iced coffees. While these were great as well, I have less to say. It was simply Thai iced coffee, done well.

All that food came to a total of $22. Bargain basement prices really. Of course, Rod-ded looks like nothing more than a faded coffee shop, so one is not paying for atmosphere. My only bit of hesitation in recommending this place: we ordered in Thai and got the whole standard routine (You speak Thai so well. No, not really. Yes, you do. Why do you speak Thai……….). I don’t know if that had any impact on how our food came out.

Rod-ded
5623 Hollywood Blvd
323-962-8382

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