5176 Hollywood Blvd. (in Thai Town)
Phone: 323-660-8006 | map
So 1) it's about two-thirty in the morning; 2) you're on Hollywood Blvd. driving east, with the crowds and the whooping clubgoers left long behind; 3) you're hungry; and 4) you still have cash on you.
You might, then, want to turn into a shabby strip mall on your right, smack in the middle of Thai Town. If it's late, perhaps you'd risk the wrath of the grumpy Asian gentleman directing traffic in the parking lot rather than try to find a spot on the street.
This is the place to get fried Garlic & Pepper Shrimp on Rice, or screamingly hot seafood bowls (your eyes as well as the bowl will be red-rimmed), spicy beef noodles, and good curries. The Squid Salad (at left) is turning out to be one of Bianca's necessary dishes when eating Thai. Sanamluang's is slightly firm and guaranteed to compromise your breath. Little cuts of serrano hide under the lettuce and ambush you.*
My current preference is the General's Noodle (soup style), which is a mass of thin egg noodles topped by scallions, bean sprouts, shrimp, ground pork. BBQ pork, and roast duck. The General, apparently, eats well. Rather than a harmonious symphony, the meats do not talk to each other much, like enemies in a room together, kept civil by the stern, no-nonsense broth. The browned duck is the softest item in the gang, its fat adding to the complexity of the clear soup.
The Seaweed & Tofu Soup is clean-tasting, and your relationship to it is uncomplicated. It, like the General's Noodle, is flavorful rather than spicy.
People who prefer the Sanamluang in Sherman Oaks usually are the ones complaining with lots of exclamation points about this one, because the server wasn't as polite as they expected... but you're not here for an exercise in excellent attendance. You're here for a hole-in-the-wall, minimally decorated, eye-watering cleansing, and don't care when the occasional fly makes it through the open front door. You come in, you nod at the server, they point at a table, you sit, and wait, and enjoy.
Open until 4 in the morning, cash only, keep your patience and hunger about you.
* The service here is fast and brusque rather than neighborly, and they don't usually ask what heat level you prefer. You're going to get what you're going to get, and often this takes the form of a hidden pocket of death: "Mmf! Hot Spot! *cough cough*".
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Hollywood, Thai, Late Night/24 Hours, Seafood )
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