I ate in Talesai when they first opened and thought they were pricy for Thai food. I kind of liked what I ate, but with the plethora of great Thai food in L.A. I never went back.
This week I had a craving for Tom Kha Gai, chicken in spicy coconut/lemongrass soup. I have a cold, I'm working at home, and didn't want to travel far. For some reason my car refused to stop at Thai House on Pico east of Robertson, or Tuk Tuk on Pico west of Robertson, or Natalee Thai on Roberton and Olympic.
I ended up at Cafe Talesai at Olympic and Doheny (as if you hadn't already figured that out), and had what I believe was the perfect bowl of Tom Kha Gai (they call it "Tom Khar"). The broth was neither too sour from the lime & lemongrass, nor too sweet and creamy from the coconut. It was also perfectly spiced, the flavors of the galanga root and other spices came through in a beautiful mix, it was much more tasty than usual. Although it's listed as a spicy dish, there was no heat and I added chili oil.
Because my soup was so good I decided to order an appetizer, a special of the house, some sort of mixed seafood (shrimp & squid) covered in chopped/spiced crab and served in half moon indentations on a metal platter. WHAT WHERE THEY THINKING?! It was dreadful. The whole shrimp topped with a ring of squid had no taste whatsoever as if they had been boiled to death, and the chopped crab was made into some kind of a sauce that was unpleasant.
There are some amazingly different (and expensive for Thai food) things on this menu. Did I luck into their only good dish,the soup? Is it worth trying other things?