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Sunshine Thai in Sherman Oaks; Cholada in Malibu

Dave Feldman | Aug 1, 2003 02:18 AM

I just got back to NYC from almost two weeks in L.A. and Long Beach, and without a doubt my favorite meal of the trip was at Sunshine. I used to visit the Western location many years ago, and this was my first visit to the SFV location.

From the larb gai to the green papaya salad, from the hurricane soup to the spicy catfish, Sunshine exhibits that wonderful quality of Thai food: the more ingredients (especially spices and herbs) thrown into the mix, the more they harmonize when the chef is up to the challenge. Although the SFV Sunshine is much more attractive and roomy than the Hollywood location, the soul is the same (with warm, caring servers, to boot). On a summer day when we were the only non-Thais, at just about every other table but ours, soup was the star. Based on the hurricane soup and that soup was my favorite dish at the other location, this may be the way to go.

By comparison, Cholada on PCH, just north of Topanga Canyon, was a disappointment, yet this popular place is worthy of mention as a tolerable, reasonably priced, and very friendly Thai option in the West Side desert. A heavy hand on the sugar here, although I enjoyed the spicy crispy salmon.

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