I've been to Thai Nakorn many times. But, Friday, I finally made it to Renu Nakorn for a light lunch. It was quite good.
Although it's not a "signature" dish, we ordered Pad Kee Mow Kai, simply because we like it. I guess it would be their #114, "Drunken Noodle Seafood", but with chicken. This is not really a "regional" dish. But, I was able to discern some northern influences, namely China!
Did this distract from the dish? No way. It is their variation. It wasn't the extra pinch of sugar, extra MSG thing. It was simply their selection and cut of some of the ingredients. Great choices!
Had the Mu Satay also. The meat and marinade were great. But, the peanut sauce was a bit too simple.
Finished with the coconut ice cream. Although very good I will probably pass next visit. When out, I'm not much for dessert. But, I had to try it. I am spoiled by a great, homemade coconut ice cream over sweet sticky rice with peanuts and lotus buds thing. It's the only "must have" dessert I've come across. But, that's another story!
We happened in around 1:15. There were only three other tables when we arrived. By the end of our lunch, we were alone.
The owner came out, sat down, and started talking with my wife. They chatted for quite awhile. For me, the highlight was when she commented that it was funny how all the Americans ask for "very very hot" . "They like spicy, really spicy!" "Sap mak mak!"
One thing I found a bit curious. Their menu is completely in English and the lunch and dinner specials are almost totally Chinese, no doubt very good Chinese!
My bottom line?
I like both Thai Nakorn and Renu Nakorn, and find that both are "authentic" (Renu's even has "authenticity guaranteed"). Although they both have variations, they are to their taste, not what they percieve as their clientele's tastes (except by request).
Either could and should be recommended to anyone wanting "real" Thai in Southern California. I know I will visit both often.