Restaurants & Bars

Wat Thai Mmmmm (long)

Sasha | May 24, 200608:01 PM     16

Had the weekend off from my no peanut guy so we jumped at the opportunity to try Wat Thai. What a great find, and I am so thankful for this board. We never would have known of this gem otherwise.

The papaya salad is insanely good. We got it medium and it made me cry. Well, my nose ran anyway. I don't have a huge spice tolerance, but it's not nil, so if you go, and you don't want to look wimpy to the people sitting next to you, consider mild. It was so fresh though, so complex in flavor. Dried shrimp, roasted peanuts, tomatoes, cabbage, incredible dressing. Who knew you could make something so mind blowing with such a subtle base as shredded green papaya.

We had some of the grilled skewers too (from the place with the longer line - the table with the longer papaya salad line also has the longer skewer line). The grilled chicken was great. High quality meat, good char, tasty marinade/glaze. The sausage was really interesting as well, a bit on the sour side, which was unusual, but not tasting of lemongrass (which is my usual assumption about where the thai sour flavor comes from), the shrimp ball skewer we liked less well (it tasted like krab), and the last one which they told me was lamb and I think after eating it it was pork (ground fine, almost mousse-like, and then grilled). If it had been pork, they overcharged me (told me it was $2, and lamb wasn't up on their menu), but I can't be too upset because it was still awfully cheap.

We also tried the red curry fish in banana leaf. Had some cabbage on the bottom that had absorbed lots of good fish broth flavor, and the curry itself was pretty mild. A bit lukewarm, but otherwise, tasted great.

The mango sticky rice was phenomenal. I could have eaten so much of that, and am just waiting for some time to try it at home. What sweetener do they use, anyone? No one has ever mentioned (I don't think) the toasted betel nuts they put on top. The hard crunch adds a whole different dimension to the dessert when combined with the chewy rice and silky mango. Fantastic.

Finally, had some coconut juice which was so good (albeit a bit too sweet) that hit the spot on the hot day. Big pieces of coconut floating in the cups that I considered eating but they had sat in the liquid long enough to acquire a sort of soft, jelly-ish consistency that seemed wrong to me for coconut so I passed after a nibble.

My one disappointment was the lack of noodle options. I love noodles, and wish there was more to choose from than 1 pad thai offering and a bunch of noodle soups (some days are too hot to drink soup outside!).

If you haven't been, you've got to go! Thanks for opening my eyes to this LA experience.

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