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Thai In L.A.

1 rating: 2.0
1 review about Thai In L.A.

I don't know why, but this place is excellent

  • Jan 27, 2000
  • by
Pros: Great skill in simple dishes

Cons: Ugh -- tofu! Service is a bit too casual, too

The spring rolls are a tad too greasy. That's about it, problem-wise.

Thai in L.A. isn't even properly named; it's in Glendale, fer chrissakes. The decor seems kind of like an afterthought; you know, they figured they'd just do take-away, and then at the last minute decided to throw in some tables and chairs. If you order a soda pop, its quaint service -- a warm can with a glass of ice -- bears witness to this.

All this serves to confirm my theory that they thought of, and continue to think of, the food before anything else. I am not normally a Thai food fan -- its sweetness repels me, and there is never enough on the menu that is vegetarian (note to restaurant owners: once you've started with that oyster sauce business, it's game over...). This means I am a poor sort to evaluate it for "authenticity," but, then, so are you unless you've actually spent time in Thailand. So there.

It amazes me why it is so hard to do simple things well; it's an almost Zen-like puzzle for me. There is a restaurant in NYC devoted to peanut butter sandwiches. An entire restaurant! Thank you, New Yorkers, for so unarguably confirming my it's-hard-to-do-simple-things-well theory.[*]

Back to L.A., or rather, Glendale. The most simple dishes here are the best ones, and the flavour of everything is -- well, the carrots taste like you just yanked them out of your own yard and cooked them in the most delicate manner possible; ditto with every other vegetable. It is very hard to get a dish of assorted veg where every vegetable is neither over- nor under-cooked; I imagine the back of Thai in L.A. has separate chefs dealing with each individual vegetable, and inserting them all into a curry separately, etcetera...

I have a rather active imagination, I suppose. Apart from the food, the other bonus to this restaurant is its location -- right near three excellent second-hand bookstores, and a myriad of newer shops.

Four, rather than five, stars because I admittedly only know that this food is good, and not whether it actually has a great deal to do with Thailand...

[*] Apart from good-quality ingredients, the secret to a good PB&J is to butter the bread. This does nothing good for your health, but everything for the sandwich. Ancient butter/PB&J wisdom courtesy Mr Mennie of Ontario, Canada.


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