Nyum Bai pays homage to Cambodia's golden era and street food in Fruitvale

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The James Beard nomination reminded me that I never posted about my recent lunch there.

I ordered Cha Kroeung Sach Moan because the menu described it as “lemongrass, chili, chicken, holy basil stir fry— SPICY!” I love spicy food and it was the only item so described, but to my taste it was not spicy at all. The lemongrass and holy basil weren’t particularly intense either. Seemed like a dish from any random Americanized Thai place. Excellent housemade hot sauce.

Maybe that was a bad choice but it’s certainly not a good sign. Maybe I’ll go back and try some dishes that I know well such as prahok and amok, though I feel like it might be a better bet to go back to Angkor-Borei.

I had some leftovers the other day. Bland, overly sweet, again could have been from any random Americanized Thai place. I wonder if the place started out making exciting food and I missed the window.

I ate there back in 2018 and then again in June of this year.

The second trip was much less exciting than the first and I walked away with the same opinion.