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Restaurants & Bars 10

Thai and Vietnamese desserts - and young coconut juice

Thi N. | Jan 23, 200212:10 AM

So let's pool knowledge on Asian dessert palaces.

Thai-town has great ones. There's the one in the same plaza as Palm Thai and Ruen Pair, where they make good banana in sweet rice and sometimes good coconut-milk-filled-with-gunk.

There's the place across the street from the Samnalung Noodle/Bangluck Market, which has great coconut cream over sweet rice and, once in a rare while, the most spectacular coconut cream in roasted acorn squash. The squash is very intense and root-y, very squash-like in texture, and the coconut cream is very, er, light and sweet disappearing sponge of a jelly. A beautiful combination.

Speaking of that, I went back to Ruen Pair with my girl, and she forced me into getting one of the most delightful things I've ever had - young coconut juice. It's from coconuts that have been cracked before the white milk forms - there's a thin, clear liquid with a light, sparkling coconut flavor, and small triangular sheets of fresh tender young coconut meat, which is one of the most astonishing things I've ever had in my mouth. The flavor, but most of all the texture, is completely... evanescent. It's like it slides off your tongue just as you start to taste it and disappears. The flavors is indescribable. It's like kissing the ghost of Audrey Hepburn. It's like - you know how sometimes, you see little something on your eyeballs, they're on your eyeballs, and when you try to focus on them, of course they flip off to the side? Imagine that that something is absolutely breathtakingly beautiful, but you can never get anything but a sidelong glimpse at it.


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