I’ll start with the reason to go there: the gaeng tai pla ($22) was very good, almost on a par with Jitlada or Luv2Eat (where they call it “spicy fish organs curry”) in LA. Spicy, sour, funky, with a big pile of herbs including less common stuff like rau ram, plus some fried pork belly and raw Thai eggplants. The menu didn’t even mention the bamboo shoot, which was mild rather than the funky fermented stuff. The pork belly was a little dry. But those are minor flaws in the context of a fundamentally solid, hardcore Thai dish. Next time I’ll have them substitute rice for the noodles.
It’s kind of a bizarre thing to find in a place in an upscale suburban neighborhood with zero Thai customers.
The papaya salad ($14 include the $1 each additions of salty crab and fermented fish) was OK but Champa Garden’s is better and they give you twice as much for $8. I think the crab should have been pounded with the dressing some more.
The sausage ($8) was OK but a bit dry and to my taste underseasoned. Would probably have liked it more if I’d realized they’d forgotten the chile paste and asked for it. I think there should have been fresh peppers rather than those dried ones.
Friendly service. Full bar, good wine list, decent beer list.
Luke Tsai’s review: