A friend visiting from “Back East” was looking for something unlike the typical
My wife and I went there for an early dinner one Sunday after reading a nice L.A. Times review. The restaurant is ugly and dirty, and though not a dump, it definitely earns its B rating from the Department of Public Health. It has a karaoke stage and an outsized television. At a nearby four-top, one customer bore a striking resemblance to Sloth Fratelli, both physically and linguistically. (His associates also spoke in grunt so it was fine.) In ordering, we hewed closely to the Irene Virbila playbook. We were enamored by the spicy, green papaya salad that was suffused with lime and fragments of dried shrimp. The larb, an interesting dish of ground chicken with red onions, plentiful cilantro and chili and what the restaurant translated as “spicy & sour dressing,” was thoroughly enjoyed. Finally, we liked the chicken in green curry with creamy coconut milk, soft eggplant and green chile paste. Everything was very fresh.
So I returned with my friend. At 11pm, the restaurant had several customers but was not lively. Not taking any chances, I ordered the same dishes as before and my friend added pad thai and a dishwater of a soup called Tom Yum Kung–Nang.
While awaiting our food, we watched a short Thai man who wore a large white napkin like a mangled ascot and the same ill-conceived mustache that one sees in central
Nursing a cold, all I could really taste was the fire of the chiles and that foul soup. I can't wait to return.