Archive for the 'Thai' Category

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{swoon} Chicken and Rice at Nong’s Khao Man Gai

Nong's Khao Man Gai - Portland

It’s no secret that Nong Poonsukwattana makes a mean Thai-style chicken and rice, but I wasn’t prepared for just how sensational (and swoon-worthy) it would actually be. Maybe there was something in the chilly Portland air, but I swear, chicken and rice never tasted so damn good!

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Pok Pok – Portland

Pok Pok - Portland

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.

Pok Pok - Portland

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.”

Pok Pok - Portland

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.

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Yai’s On Vermont – Los Angeles (Hollywood)

Yai's On Vermont - Hollywood

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!

Yai's On Vermont - Hollywood

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.

Yai's On Vermont - Hollywood

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.

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Ganda Siamese Cuisine – Los Angeles (Hollywood)

Ganda Siamese Cuisine - 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.

Ganda Siamese Cuisine - Hollywood

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.

Ganda Siamese Cuisine - Hollywood

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.

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