Welcome to another late-night episode of our "Hollywood with Andrew" series. We're hoping to expand this segment into something we'll regret in the morning.
Toi is self-billed as "Rockin' Thai Food," the kind of terminology that was still new back in '86 when it opened, but which too many trendy sushi joints have tried to emulate. Toi retains its seedy, rebellious, you-don't-know-where-she's-been demeanor.
Toi is as Hollywood-focused as Barney's Beanery, but with the decor applied with a twelve-gauge shotgun: posters of Hendrix, The Beatles, AC/DC, Marilyn Manson, and Björk, vintage concert flyers for The Clash and The Mothers of Invention, two Millenium Falcons and a T-47 Snowspeeder, and one fairly horrific, will-shatter-your-high blue cheshire dragon hovering over the cashier. You yell at your tablemates over the music as high-speed, black-shirted waitstaff dart between lacquered tables.
The Veggie Thai Egg Rolls with silver noodles are thumb-sized and fair enough, but not as conversation-worthy as the Fried Tofu, pillowy triangles of soy with a bit of edge; they soak up the peanut dipping sauce and are good for settling your friends into eating mode.
The soups come in those volcanic hot pot bowls which barely allow a large spoon to scrape up the contents. The Tom Yum Poh Tack somehow crams shrimp, scallops, mussels (sans shell), and fish into a tangy lime broth with hidden fiery pockets of ouch. Red pepper specks settle slowly to the bottom, to lurk and threaten. How do they get the squid so soft? There's almost none of that chewy springiness to it.
The Toi Pasta is a should-be-shared batch of pan-fried noodles, chicken, egg and bean sprouts, yet somehow yielding more than that basic foundation. The foursome, a high-meat/low-noodle ratio with a slight sweetness to the chicken, is a luxuriant meld with a hint of citrus. There's subtlety here, with less of that tongue-stinging spark of onion and cilantro prevalent in Californian Thai joints.
Departing utterly from that familiar spicy clearness of Thai, the Pad Poh Tack has fish, crab, shrimp, scallops and more of that startlingly soft squid combined in chili and garlic; the end result is quite "brown saucy" and full-bodied, most excellent for spooning over brown rice. The brown rice here is a deep, dark bird-kibble mound with more moisture than expected.
Toi is down the street from Cheebo, so you know parking can be found along Sunset if you're diligent. They're more expensive than most Thai places, but they're open until four in the morning every day (beer, wine and sake stops at midnight), so your tonight-was-a-good-gig Hollywood exploits still have a suitable destination.
( Categories: Cuisines (by Region), Hollywood, Thai, Late Night/24 Hours )
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