A Rockin' Thai Spot in Hollywood - Straight Up
Located at the Corner of Hollywood and Bronson, this place has a reputation for rockin’ authentic thai food. Upon entrance, the vibe is set, with the smell of coconut milk and spices, cafeteria style seating, east asian karaoke style decor and best of all an Asian guy (no taller then 5′3″) in 5 inch heels and leather tights singing in tune with Bowie, Jagger, McCartney and the rest of the best.
Speaking of the best, these guys were rewarded LA’s best in the “Best of LA” food and wine tour. That could either mean a lot, or very little. I’ll assume the best.
I rarely order anything but water as far as fluid goes, but today something or another (probably the ambience) told me I should get a Thai Tea. Last time I had one of these was when boba just hit the scene in the late 90’s. Anyway, it was good.
I like to start any Thai Dinner with a warm veggie coconut soup, so that’s what we did. It wasn’t any better or worse than most of the other’s I’ve had. One thing I liked though was that it wasn’t to heavy in lemon grass. Sometimes they overdue it, and it gets all bitter (you know what I’m sayin’). My take on lemon grass is to treat it like a bay leaf and pull it out of the soup upon serving. Whatever, it hit the sot.
The first dish that came out was a noodle dish with friend tofu. Now this thing has some name that I usually remember, this time can’t, and don’t feel like looking up. All in all this was done well, cooked just right and not too clumpy or soggy like some other places tend to serve it. Pretty much perfect – okay so what’s next?
So here comes to friend rice. Now while I am not a fan of friend rice (persae) I defintely do find myself judging the quality of a Thai place by their execution with fried rice. These guys did a good job; meaning they balance the veggie/egg/rice ratio really well and maintaining rice independence. By rice independence I mean the presence of individual grains versus the clumpy mush that forks and chopsticks like so much. Yummy fried rice, no bring on the curry.
I was expecting some type of curry dish, but I got this thing called the Thai Omelette. Good I guess, if you like battered scrambled eggs. I like my eggs free of flour or corn starch so I wasn’t the first to break seal. The sauce was the typical sweet asian honey sauce, which can make cardboard edible, so when paired with that I guess it was okay. That’s all I have to say about this, now bring on the curry dammit.
I eat my Thai Curry dishes like soup (without any rice); just thought I might throw that in there. So how did I like this red beef curry soup? I liked it! The liquid was just right – perfect amount of spice/veggie/steamy/sweetness. The beef was a little bit chewy, but it always is, so I guess that’s how they like it.
I usually stick to vegetarian when I eat food from Asia, so dish full of vibrant green goodness can almost never let me down. This is what they call water spinach. If that means it comes from the sea or grows in lagoons – I don’t know. But what I do know is that it was quite good and cooked crispy (which I love). Alright, one more and I’m at capacity for sure. Next?
Green Veggie Curry to me equals a close second place behind duck pineapple red curry from being the best Thai dish I’ve ever had. They did a great job with it, but only received a 7 out 10 for lack of creaminess in the sauce.
Okay, so overall this place is a totally rockin’ Thai spot in West Side. The food was good, ambience even better and service totally robotic. The employees were all of Asian decent and struggled with English, but they had trendy hair cuts, great personalities and best of all wore headset walkie-talkies that they communicated with (lay secret service). To top it off, they have live music that went from a solo guitar swining Asian rockstar to an Elvis look alike singing behind a HUGE statue of the king himself (which I guess they are famous for).
Word up to Palms Restaurant in&on Hollywood – we’ll be back, for sure.
Photos and commentary provided by Nonee Kay of Kitchen12000