Showing posts with label thai. Show all posts
Showing posts with label thai. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Thai AYCE Brunch Picnic at So Long, Hi! (Downtown LA)

Brunch is all about indulgence, and there are quite a few bottomless mimosa brunches around LA, but what about bottomless food? How about some bottomless Thai food?
So Long Hi
So Long, Hi! in downtown LA started just that with their brunch picnic on Sundays. For those who aren't familiar, So Long, Hi! is the latest restaurant from David Tewasart (Sticky Rice, Side Chick) and Bryan Sharafkhah-Sharp (White Guy Pad Thai).

The picnic is $25 per person and it's an all-you-can-eat family-style affair, where the kitchen sends out food as it is prepared. The picnic menu will range from old favorites to off-the-menu specials. This is also a chance for the kitchen to prepare special dishes they don't normally serve on the menu and play around with their cooking. Either way, there will be more than enough food.

You may not expect it in downtown LA, but So Long Hi has a big sunny patio in the back that's perfect for a picnic.So Long Hi
We sampled some dishes that might be on future picnic menus, like the Thai beef jerky
So Long Hi
There were noodles and roti served with green curry.
So Long Hi

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Where to Eat and Drink Near Heavenly Ski Resort (Lake Tahoe, CA)

The Heavenly Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe is slowly opening. While only six lifts are running now, the whole terrain is bound to open soon. Might as well plan your trip and where you'll eat and drink now!
If you're hungry after skiing or snowboarding all day, I'd head down to Base Camp Pizza Co. It's a fun and lively place with a great draft beer selection. In particular, the timing right after skiing is perfect. Usually they charge $13 for a personal size pizza but during happy hour (2-6pm) you can get a personal sized pizza AND a draft beer for $12!

I had the Base Camp Pizza (pepperoni, Italian sausage, roasted peppers and onions, portobello mushroom)

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Emporium Thai: Southern Thai Cuisine in Westwood

by guest blogger @iam_robot

I remembered a few years ago Thai food was considered an exotic cuisine prevalent only in big cities. These days, getting a Thai food fix is becoming an easier process than locating the next Starbucks. And they’re often mediocre – heat is often tempered while sweetness accentuated to adjust to American palates.  Therefore, I’m always looking for a good Thai Food - something a little better and different from the conventional.

Last week, I was very excited to attend a tasting at Emporium Thai Cuisine in Westwood. This place has been open since 2000 and it’s owned/ operated by the same family as the super famous Jitlada on Sunset Blvd. Rumor has it, this is the place where Jazz and Tui of Jitlada started out before venturing out on their own.

Nevertheless, Emporium Thai Cuisine is a cut above the usual. Focusing on authentic Southern Thai recipes, Emporium is swank but the price is right. It offers an extensive selection - beyond the usual suspects like green papaya salad, chicken pad thai, pork satay, fish cakes and various curries, they have other lesser-known but even more intriguing dishes to try– Crying Tiger Beef, Khao Yam (fragrant rice salad with dry shrimp and coconut), Mussel Soup, and Crispy Pork Pad Prik King. If you're like me, you'll want to try them all at the highest heat level. I love how all the dishes can be customized to our preferred spicy scale of 1 – 10, with 3 being moderate and 10 being devilishly spicy.

Below are the dishes I tasted that night:
Coco Mango Salad with Fried Tofu
Coco mango
This is a very common Southern Thai appetizer. What struck me with this dish were the variety and vegetables, herbs, spices and accents in the salad. Shredded raw mango, dried coconut, Thai chilies, lime juice, and deep fried tofu were all present in perfect proportion. I thought this dish was a great way to start – light, refreshing, sweet and a tad spicy. In terms of texture, I really like the tofu crispiness and the red onion crunch.

Crying Tiger Beef
Crying Tiger
This is the same Crying Tiger Beef I always ordered at Jitlada. 5 years ago, I remembered I had to go to Jitlada the next day after watching Curtis Stone cried his eyes out proclaiming “hot, hot, hot” at The Best Thing You Ever Ate (Food Network). Essentially, this dish is char-grilled, marinated beef served with their homemade chili sauce. If I have to guess the chili sauce is made with shallots, onions, mints, fresh Thai chilies and lime juice. I love this dish so much! Meat is sliced thinly but very tender to the bite. The sweetness from the beef marinade complements perfectly with the heat and tanginess of the chili sauce. This is my definition of fun-eating!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Taste Through Ayara Thai Cuisine

Much like Chinese food, even though Thai food is popular and prevalent in the US, most people don't venture out of the usual order of tom yum, pad thai, etc (though LA residents are pretty good about venturing out). Granted, it's hard to do when faced with a menu of foreign words. That's why for me, having a tasting menu at a recent media dinner at Ayara Thai Cuisine was a good way to explore.

The first bite was something I haven't had before. It's called Miang Kham. The name literally means "one bite" and it's described as "6 flavors" wrapped in young Chinese broccoli leaves and eaten whole.

This is one of the royal dishes of Thailand and is rare to find here in the US. It's usually served on betel nut leaves and composed of shallots, onions, lime, peanut, chili, tamarind sauce. It's at once sweet, spicy, and bitter.
A typical Bangkok street food is Moo Ping (marinated pork skewers) & Sticky Rice. We had them with both the Tigers Cry sauce and roasted chili sauce.
The roasted chili sauce was quite spicy and the sticky rice really helped!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

LAX Eats: Lobster Pad Thai at Ayara Thai (and Recipe)

Finding a place to eat near LAX has always been a tough task and In-N-Out ends up being the choice a few too many times. My recent visit to Ayara Thai told me that I should've explored the area more, and it's now on my list the next time I have a friend or family flying in with a short layover. Definitely keep an eye out for their specials announcement on twitter or Facebook, because they just may have the lobster pad thai. Yup, lobster!

For $16, they give a generous amount of lobster. Chicken? Meh. After having pad thai with chunks of lobster, it's hard to imagine any other protein that would go better with this sweet noodle. Lobster is the way to go, so try it whenever they have it available!
Even though I normally stay away from the chili sauces, the owner said the pad thai goes really well with the red sauce and the pickled jalapeno, so I tried a bite with the condiments. They really changed the flavors and the pickled jalapeno (which wasn't too spicy) acted like a palate cleanser in between bites. You should really try adding these two to at least some of your pad thai!

The spring rolls we ordered were apparently vegetarian (with tofu) so they were a bit more bland.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Meet the True Ice Cream Sandwich

Sandwich, according to Wikipedia, "is a food item, typically consisting of two or more slices of bread with one or more fillings between them". But then there's the ice cream sandwich, usually consisting of ice cream in between two cookies. Where's the bread, I asked. And Night+Market answered.

The ice cream sandwich ($4.50) at Night+Market actually involves bread, and it is a must try.

Ice Cream Sandwich
The contents are everything you'd think of in a Thai dessert, minus mangoes.
Sweet sticky rice and toasted mung beans are doused with condensed milk, sandwiched by a (toasted) sweet roll, then topped with coconut ice cream.

Now that's what I'd call an ice cream sandwich.

For a review of their dinner menu, go here.

9041 W Sunset Blvd
West Hollywood, CA 90069
(310) 275-9724

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Lotus of Siam (Las Vegas, NV)

Lotus of Siam has been touted as the best Thai restaurant in America, thanks to Jonathan Gold's review in Gourmet Magazine, although some blog reviews say that it does not live up to the hype. By chance, Gastronomy Blog reviewed the restaurant right before my trip to Vegas with friends, and it sounded so good that we decided to go there for dinner and see for myself.

The restaurant looked small and sketchy from the outside but was actually big. We did have to wait half an hour for a table even though there were about half a dozen empty tables. Well, once we got seated things moved along smoothly.

Lotus of Siam has an extensive menu with some pretty unusual specialties and hard-to-find Northern Thai dishes, so we had a hard time choosing even with the six of us. With popular vote, we first settled with the Nam Kao Tod ($7.95)
Crispy rice mixed with minced sour sausage, green onion, fresh chili, ginger, peanuts, and lime juice

Nam Kao Tod

A nice mix of flavors and textures makes it a great light appetizer. Crispy and crunchy, tangy and spicy.

Tom Kah Kai ($13.95)
chicken, coconut milk, galangal, lemongrass, lime juice
Tom Kah Kai

I like tom kah kai better than tom yum because of the richness that coconut milk adds.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Night+Market: Thai Street Food on Sunset

The palace and the streets are separated by a mere gate. In Los Angeles, Talesai which serves royal palace-style (or close to it) Thai cuisine, is conjoined by Night+Market, serving street food from North to Southern Thailand.

Kua Gling (border beef)
beef tendertail, wok-fried with mortar pounded southern chile paste

To say that they're neighbors is an understatement. Talesai and Night+Market actually shares a kitchen and 28 year old Chef Kris Yenbamroong, the son of the Talesai proprietors.
Chef Kris Yenbamroong
Fooddigger recently organized a tasting dinner for bloggers (as a disclosure, while the dinner was not free, the price was heavily subsidized) and we got to try a selection of dishes - some we've seen before, and others completely new, like the Isaan sour pork sausage, made in-house.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Catfish Flakes and the Giant Mussels

I've been hearing so much about Jitlada, a Thai restaurant on Sunset. It's a bit far (waa~y past the Sunset Strip), so I haven't been. But we've recently made the drive to try it out.
Jitlada sits in a small strip mall (like many, many other good restaurants in LA ... what is it with strip malls in LA ..) that, most definitely, lacks parking spaces. We drove around but couldn't find parking or street parking, so we ended up parking across the street at the 99c Store (I think that's what it was). Psst ... don't tell please ...

We ordered a pad thai - standard and safe.The pad thai is pretty good and I thought it was definitely one of the better ones in LA. Not much for me to say here though, it's really pretty standard? And I've been getting bored of this sweet dish. Moving on to the more interesting items! :)

I've been hearing a lot about the catfish and green mango salad, so I got that also.
I've read the reviews so I've been expecting this. The fried catfish is, well, really looks nothing like a catfish! It looks like fried flakes ... only when you eat it does it taste fishy, although the texture is again not really what you would expect out of a 'catfish'.

The crispy-but-slightly-soggy flakes, the sourness of the green mango, and the flavorful crunchiness of the peanuts make this dish great. The first bites were a bit of a surprise regardless and seems weird, but it really grew on me. By lunchtime the next day (leftovers) I was chowing this down and craving more ...

Lastly, we ordered what Jonathan Gold proclaimed as one of the "Best Dishes of 2007", the New Zealand Green Mussels! (How can you not try it??)
What came were possibly the biggest mussels I've ever seen:
I mean, usually, the meat of the mussels occupy only 1/3 of the space the shells provide, but these mussels .... these fat, juicy mussels, fill up the shells like they're pregnant!
The slightly spicy broth were excellent but not overpowering. Just right.

Jitlada is definitely a great Thai restaurant. I do wish it was a bit closer to me so I can go more often! I'd definitely be back whenever I can find someone to drag all the way over here for Thai food ... (not like it's close to anything else either :/ )
Those mussels are definitely, definitely, worth the trip over and over again ...

Jitlada Thai Restaurant
5233 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 663-3104

Jitlada Thai on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Makeover for East Colorado?

The part of Colorado Blvd east of Lake is considerably boring compared to the Old Town area west of it, but relatively recently a new neighborhood favorite has popped up.

Daisy Mint is a small, cute Thai restaurant that may seem out of place among the neighboring mattress stores, etc. The inside of the restaurant is decorated somewhat eclectically. A dark (but gorgeous) painting of sumo wrestlers, mirrors, and empty picture frames and bird cages - which some thought to be rather creepy, but cute and quaint nonetheless.Compared to its typical Thai restaurant counterparts, Daisy Mint's menu is relatively limited. It only fills up one sheet of paper, front and back, but includes salads, soups, noodles, curries, and a small variety of other dishes. However, they also lean on the healthier side and use better quality ingredients.

Daisy Mint also offers selection of teas - some more uncommon than others. On my first visit I ordered the roasted nuts tea.

I'm not really sure what it is exactly, but it looks and tastes like almond+sesame milk to me ... plus perhaps other types of nuts. It tastes pretty bland, actually.

I've been there twice and on both visits forgot my regular camera :( since I usually just run off there from school while starving. So you'll have to bear with my phone camera instead.

I got the green curry the first time. The taste was not as 'bold' than your typical curry dish, but very comforting. I love the eggplants.

The next time around I ordered the 'Daisy Noodles'. The only thing missing from this dish (for me) is some meat ...
It is glass noddles in red curry sauce served with lettuce (salad lettuce), bean sprouts, and peanuts. It is an interesting combination and I like the slightly spicy curry sauce.

Thought I have yet to find a dish that blows my mind here, I like the quaintness of the place and thought that the food was good and rather creative. I'm sure I will be back many many times (walking tiredly from school)!

Daisy Mint
1218 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA

(626) 792-2999

Daisy Mint on Urbanspoon

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