The Astronomer, June, and I had a terrific dinner at Chim! a few Fridays ago. We took advantage of the mild summer weather and strolled to the restaurant, arriving properly hungry, on the verge of hangry.
We opted to dine al fresco because June adores fresh air. The view of the parking lot wasn’t remarkable, but a content baby makes for a peaceful meal.
The restaurant is currently offering complimentary fish balls, one skewer per person, on Friday and Saturday nights. They were a pleasant surprise to receive and a big hit with June (minus the spicy sauce).
Continue reading ‘Chim! Thai Street Food – Pasadena’
The arrival of Pok Pok Phat Thai was a mixed bag for me. As a Thai food lover, I was thrilled to have superb regional noodles available a stone’s throw from home. The only downside was that the restaurant took the space formerly occupied by Hoan Kiem, a Northern Vietnamese spot that served terrific banh cuon and pho ga. Alas, that’s how the cookie crumbles sometimes.
Phat Thai is the first of two Pok Pok concepts that Chef Andy Ricker is bringing to L.A. His full-service Pok Pok, which I was a fan of when I visited it in Portland, should be arriving before year’s end.
Phat Thai’s menu is succinct, and service is efficient. After ordering at the counter and grabbing a seat at the communal picnic table out front, we received our food within five minutes or so. Fast service makes for happy parents, always.
I had heard (and read) that careful application of condiments is key to a great Pok Pok experience. Otherwise, the food can taste bland. This cart full of fish sauce, sugar, and vinegar was on hand to season our dishes to taste. The chili-spiked fish sauce and fresh lime juice were essential for Pok Pok perfection for The Astronomer and me.
Continue reading ‘Pok Pok Phat Thai – Los Angeles (Chinatown)’
I heart Thai food. I heart Grand Central Market. So it should come as no surprise that I heart Sticky Rice, a vibrant stall serving Thai street food inside the market.
Chef Johnny Lee (left) of Flying Pig, Rivera, and Spirit House, along with David Tewasart (right) of Soi 7 and Spirit House, initially launched Sticky Rice as a stand at the Altadena Farmer’s Market. The two set up shop inside Grand Central last spring, and I’ve been hankering for a taste ever since.
The menu here is wonderfully succinct—three mainstays and a rotating roster of daily specials. At the suggestion of Chef Lee, The Astronomer and I started with one of the specials, yum moo yang ($9), a spicy grilled pork salad served with sticky rice.
The cool and crisp collection of herbs and vegetables paired like a dream with the charred and tender pork—my taste buds always win when warm and cold fronts collide. The dressing hit the perfect tangy, spicy note.
Continue reading ‘Sticky Rice at Grand Central Market – Los Angeles (Downtown)’
There is no shortage of tongue-singeing spots in Thaitown, and Nong Sriyana’s Spicy BBQ measures up with the best of ’em. The Astronomer, Mom, and I stopped in for a low-key dinner prior to catching a show at the Pantages. Thai food and musicals—that’s how we do.
We came for the house-special Northern Thai offerings, which are listed toward the back of the cheery, spiral-bound menu. Every dish was helpfully accompanied by a photo. Using a 2008 write up by Jonathan Gold as my guide, I ordered too much food as usual. My dining mates never seem to mind.
Dinner started off with a sweat-inducing bang! The nam prik num, a smoky, spicy, and undeniably addictive “dip” made from roasted chilies, burned so, so good. To balance the flavors and heat, we dug in carefully and with plenty of sticky rice and fresh vegetable crudites. If you like pleasure spiked with pain, this dish is for you.
Continue reading ‘Spicy BBQ Restaurant – Los Angeles (Hollywood)’