Crying Tiger Thai in Hollywood - The new project from Chefs Fern and Pla (Gals from Luv2Eat)

Hit this place late at night after Shibumi closed. Man, they are absolutely on fire.

Popcorn Shrimp was not like I thought it would be at all. It was huge shrimp that were perfectly cooked in crisp and wonderfully flavorful batter. The spicy tartar-like sauce was the perfect accompaniment as well.

Crispy Chicken Skin was more straightforward, but great. A perfect drinking snack. Not overly crisp, with a bit of chew, but not too much. Taken with the lime juice sprinkled over them and with a dab of the sweet and tangy sauce it was quite addictive. I wouldn’t mind if they had an option to order them with a spicy sauce/dip though, such as nam prik noom or something like that.

Tamarind Chicken was incredible. Like a sour and more complex version of orange chicken, but prepared perfectly. Crispy, juicy chicken that is making my mouth water thinking back to it even now. Just incredible.

Phuket-style Squid in Squid Ink was absurdly good. I wish I had remembered that you could order the food spicier, but there was still some heat in the default mild prep. The funk of the sauce was uniquely briny, funky, sour, yet a touch saccharine, with a great lilting heat underneath it. The squid itself is stunningly well-cooked; tender and succulent. This is a dish that would be twice the price and marveled over in a high-end place, but it only costs $12 here in a bar.

My friend had a St. Archer beer and I tried their Siamese Twin which has tumeric-infused cognac and thai tea in it. A rather bizarre and intensely herbaceous cocktail that was sort of like drinking a curried tea… more interesting than amazing. I think it needed another element, perhaps some acid or something to make it more vibrant as it just drank a bit flat. Funnily enough, it was also the most expensive item ordered.

This has to be the best bar food in all of LA at the moment, but it would be great even if it wasn’t bar food. I don’t know if it’s because they have a better kitchen or what, but the Luv2Eat folks are absolutely on fire here. The food seems to be cooked with more precision somehow than at Luv2Eat (And Luv2Eat is already really damn good). They are making seemingly simple things absolutely sing with flavors that are beyond expectation. Really remarkable.

The fusion of such a family-oriented, talented kitchen with the typical Hollywood high-end cocktail bar is interesting, but the service on the outside is rough around the edges. Hopefully, they’ve fixed it by now, but on my check they charged me “Other Taxes” that were an additionally 5% of the meal on top of the 8.75% sales tax. When I asked about what it was the bartender had no idea and got a manager to speak to me, but she seemed pretty upset that I wanted to speak to a manager. The manager also couldn’t explain it and eventually refunded the $4 to me, but the attitude that I was calling them out on it was sort of bad… I left the money as additional tip money, but I still like to know what I am paying for. It was a sort of odd ending hiccup for an otherwise awesome meal. I hope their other cocktails are a bit better, but I can’t wait to go back for more food, I might even try the duck version of the jade noodles!

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The Braised Baby Squid is overhyped???

Are you kidding me that is one of the top Thai dishes in the city and the only place to get it.

The new Weekly critic is an “edgy” New Yorker…

That squid dish, although I can never get them to cook it spicy, is one of the best squid dishes I had ever had anywhere. Even friends who have tried it who aren’t food enthusiasts found it spectular. Hard to imagine a dish that defines overhyped less…

The new Weekly critic is an “edgy” New Yorker…

This article was written by Javier Cabral, no?

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squid

I had the squid a couple of weeks ago. It was OK but not in the same league as what I’ve had at Luv2Eat. Maybe the execution is inconsistent. I might go back if I was going to a show in the neighborhood but I would not go out of my way to eat there.

You’re right, mea culpa. I just saw the link and the quote and made an poor assumption.

I guess the Weekly in general has decided to go with negative reviews of places, perhaps to be more competitive with Gold’s constant love of practically everywhere at the Times?

Quite strange. The times I’ve had the dish, it’s had more precision in execution than anything I’ve had at Luv2Eat. Far, far less heat, though sadly. Your photo has it plated vastly differently than it has been when I have had the dish, though. It looks bizarrely sloppily plated, and there appear to be no herbs/chilies in the sauce? They are usually quite visible when I’ve had it. I think you definitely got screwed, but perhaps I am wrong.

This is not to say I don’t thoroughly enjoy Luv2Eat. That Phuket curry made Thai spicy is a true revelation! And the jade noodles are simply awesome, although the non-spicy duck jade noodles at Crying Tiger are quite a bit better than I had expected them to be.

I personally wouldn’t make the assumption about the reason. Cabral has been around a whole lot, has written his share of articles and actually worked for J Gold.

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My assumption is less about the writer and more about the news organization and their goals.

Or maybe all the new restaurants really are just crap and the flurry of negative reviews from the Weekly reflects that.

But based on my meals at Crying Tiger, I’m simply not personally completely convinced of that. But then again, it looks like perhaps they are headed downhill from Robert’s recent trip there. So perhaps the world is simply crashing down around me without my having noticed yet. Ah well…

I don’t think things are so bad - seems a more level-headed guy with the Air Force would trump Trump in certain critical decisions. I for one gave a huge sigh. Haha

It would be great if all places (particularly our favored ones) were consistent enough to be able to extrapolate this aspect on a straight line. Could be just a recent change in one of many factors. Personally, I don’t think the opinions of one or two people about a particular dish not being stellar weighs so heavily as to define the beginning of the end. You should cut yourself some slack.

good news!