Thanks to everyone who gave me suggestions on the first place I should try in Thai town. Given the mixed reviews on the Palms, we opted for Samnaluang instead. Although coming from the Westside, we would have been eating much earlier at the Palms! Miles closer to us!!
The cafe is in a minimall, and has an indoor and outdoor seating area. Unfortunately, the atmosphere is nothing to write home about. The patio abuts the parking lot, and the inside is vinyl booths, vinyl floors, laminated menus, etc. But the food is pretty good, and very well priced. And it was packed on a Sunday night around 8pm - good sign.
We took rabo's suggestion on the duck over rice, which was very tasty. Reminded me actually of the chop shops all over Hong Kong when we visited years ago, where all you could get was pork with rice or duck with rice, but they did it well. The duck skin was flavored with five spice and was caramel-y/leathery, but with a good amount of fat underneath, and the meat was moist and flavorful without being too gamey. Came with a bit of wok-ed greens and a dipping sauce that was very mild considerig all the sliced chilies floating in it.
Second dish we tried was apparently some kind of house special, as it was mentioned in every writeup they had posted on their walls. General's noodles, thin egg noodles fried with ground and bbq pork, duck, bean sprouts, crushed peanuts, and dressed in fish sauce, lime juice, and sugar. No heat. Option to order it dry or as soup. I liked this dish, but not as much as the duck. I would have preferred a little spicier (which you can doctor of course) and a little less sweet (which you can't). I also would have preferred the wide soft rice noodles, but I should have thought about that before I ordered!
Thai iced tea for me, which I love, and theirs is a good one. S.o. got something interesting and new - Longhan juice. Hard to describe. Very light and sweet, almost a floral quality, with honey undertones, and some longhans (I guess) floating in it. They resembled pickled green grapes more than anything. I didn't see the bill but I think the whole thing was around $20 before tip, maybe a bit more. The menu is extensive enough that I would go back to try more, when I can muster the strength to drive that far! I'd be curious what else you guys like to eat over there... Thanks for the suggestion!