As soon as the airplane landed on Portland soil, Nastassia and I hailed a cab and high-tailed it to Pok Pok. Even on this unseasonably wet and chilly night, the crowds were out in full force for Chef Andy Ricker’s critically acclaimed Thai fare; we were in for an hour-plus long wait.
Opened in 2005, Pok Pok specializes in northern Thai and Southeast Asian cuisine, serving dishes that that are typically found in pubs, homes, and on the streets, according to the restaurant’s website. “We do not make fusion food here; everything has been researched, eaten, and/or prepared in the country of its origin prior to being put on the Pok Pok menu.”
Once we were finally seated, Nastassia and I landed a table in the covered portion of the restaurant. It would’ve been a bone-chilling feast otherwise! Fun fact: The building in which Pok Pok is housed was the chef’s former residence.
Continue reading ‘Pok Pok – Portland’
Yay for Yai, Yay for Yai! It’s a really great place for eating Thai!
As my mind was shifting from deep sleep to mild consciousness early this morning, this cheery poem crept into my head. It was an admittedly strange way to wake up, but hey, that’s how introductions to blog posts get written sometimes!
With two locations around town, one on Vermont and the original on the edge of Thaitown, Yai’s is a favorite of my friend Natasha. She suggested we dine here to catch up on life’s happenings, along with our friend Lien.
I am a creature of habit when it comes to Thai restaurants, mostly because Pa Ord and Ruen Pair are so damn good, so I was excited to test drive a potential new favorite.
Natasha was in a noodle soup kind of mood this evening, so an order of boat noodles ($5.95) was a must. The version served here arrived tripe- and liver-less to our dismay, but somewhat made up for it with plenty of squeaky meatballs, thinly sliced beef, and pork cracklings. Rumor has it the original Yai’s, whose clientele is mostly Thai, doesn’t skip out on these tasty odds and ends.
Innards aside, the broth was warming and tasty, especially after Natasha doctored it up with the slew of table-side condiments. Still, Pa Ord’s bowl reigns supreme for me.
Continue reading ‘Yai’s On Vermont – Los Angeles (Hollywood)’
Heat lamps and steam tables don’t usually signal deliciousness, but expect the unexpected at Ganda Siamese Cuisine. Ever since Saveur magazine’s chief editor proclaimed the food served at this Thaitown spot to be “the most authentic Thai food in America” a few dozen issues back, I’ve been meaning to scope it out. Book research was just the nudge I needed to pass over my dependable darlings Ruen Pair and Pa-Ord and finally give Ganda a go.
Chef-owner Sue Klinmalai rotates the selection of curries, braises, and stir-fries available each day, but expect to find two dozen or so dishes that are carefully made and intensely flavored. The array of offerings can be a bit daunting for the uninitiated, so feel free to ask the gals behind the counter for further details since most of the dishes aren’t labeled.
For just under $20, The Astronomer and I were treated to one of the boldest, spiciest, and most deeply flavorful meals in town. We shared a three item combination served with steamed white rice.
The crispy catfish (pla duk pad ped) is the restaurant’s most popular dish, and for very good reason. This central-Thai specialty, dry-braised in galangal, Kaffir lime leaves, and a plethora of spices, delivered on all fronts—crisp, sweet, savory, and spicy.
Continue reading ‘Ganda Siamese Cuisine – Los Angeles (Hollywood)’
My Thai food cravings can swing one of two ways: familiar or foreign. Sometimes I want to cozy up to my standbys, while other times I desire something sassier and spicier than just pad Thai.
When the latter feeling hits, I find my way to Pa-Ord for crispy pork and boat noodles, Jitlada for green mussels and crispy morning glory, and most recently, Pailin Thai Cuisine for fermented meatballs and curry noodles.
A series of appetizing posts from Sino Soul inspired me to seek out Pailin’s Northern Thai cuisine. The homey restaurant was humming when The Astronomer and I came in for a weeknight dinner. We settled into the booth closest to the stacks of Thaitown directories.
Even when I’m in the mood for novel Thai offerings, I can’t resist ordering a Thai iced tea for its creamy sweetness and dependable spice-squelching properties.
Continue reading ‘Pailin Thai Cuisine – Los Angeles (Hollywood)’