So finally went there this past weekend. And you know what what a weird interesting place, very distince. reminded me allmost of a farmer's market vibe, but all in the thai vein.
Anyways, I didn't get the chance to step inside the temple since I was already hungry. But the temple did look a little strange though refreshing plopped down in the more industrial section of North Hollywood along Coldwater Canyon.
I got there early so no signs in sight. Changed my money into tokens, and sadly could not remember which were the dollar ones and which were the two-dollar ones, since they don't state a dollar value on the actual tokens.
Anyways, I first hit up one of the stalls offering the papaya salad, which is ground/mixed up to order in the rough hewn bowl reminscent of a huge mortar. And a nice hefty portion for all of three bucks,
I took that to one of the many communal tables scattered around and dug in. For some reason, I have not had too much experience with papaya salad, I think some of the ingredients are the papaya, tomatoes, sugar, the fish sauce, chile, and tamaraind sauce (?), and these little green bean type deals, i asked for spicey too.
Anyways, it was good but I found the fish sauce overpowering or maybe it's supposed to be that way. Definitely very, very pungent. The first bites were spicey but not too much so, maybe it was the sugar that counteracted that whole process. But eventually the spiciness got to me and I simply could not finish the dish. And I'm not usually a lightweight when it comes down to the intricacies of spicing.
quickly, washed it down with a diet pepsi, then additionally one of those fresh coconuts with the nice coconut milk, that was nice and refreshing, and I simply couldn't seem to get this kind of coconut around town since devouring a plethora of these in brazil.
Next I got one of those mango and sticky rice combos, pretty good, with a few scattering of mung bean seeds (?) Pretty darn good.
And lastly from the same stand that I got the fresh coconut, I got some coconut ice cream thai style, more like a sorbet than your regular garden-variety stuff.
all this for all about 11 bucks.
after that it was off to the independence celebratoin at woodley park. I wasn't necessarily here for the eats but you gotta eat, right? Most of the stands were your basic falafels in pita or shwarmas or hot dogs and pizza, nothing incredibly adventurous, and at ultimately pretty darn high prices (a small falafel pita for six bucks anyone?). But I tried one upon arriving that was from the restaurant Amer's or Amir's Falafel along Ventura, possibly Studio City area. It was good considering that sometimes in the time it takes for them to fry up the falafels to the time it arrives in the chafing aluminiun container it may take more than the few necessary seconds one would hope for.
but the fafalel sandwich I had just arrived from the fryer since they had to replenish the container on my order.
I also had a hot dog at one of the stands, and ultimately it was completely passable.
a while later, I had another falafel sandwich at another stand and it was not bad (although waitiing in line for over 30 minuites in the sweltering hot sun is not the funnest thing in the world). But the kicker here was a very distince, sourish and delicious sauce with bits of mango in it called amba (?), this sent the whole falafel expenditure up to another level. From now on, I'm on a trek for falafel w/ amba sauce. Who needs tahini when you got amba?