Yup, I had this big craving for Thai food so I headed to the Thaitown community of Los Angeles. Rather than hit up one restaurant, my friend and I had a progressive Thai lunch at three places… Red Corner Asia, Pa Ord Noodle #3, and Bhan Kanom Thai.
Tucked in a tiny plaza, Red Corner Asia (also known as RCA) specializes more in seafood dishes than its competition. The first stop for our progressive lunch started with a plate of Spicy Papaya Salad with Fresh Blue Crab. This simple salad is made of shredded green papaya with a tangy fish sauce-lime vinegarette. The raw fresh blue crab adds a dimension of sweetness to this salad. Our second dish was Gang Som with a Fried Whole Fish. Gang Som, a sweet and sour curry Tamarind Soup, was laddled over a fried whole fish. It was absolutely fantastic to eat this dish. I grew up eating a Filipino-version, which is made the same way, but without the palm sugar. The Thai-version was an equivalently great dish.
Our next stop was next door at Pa Ord Noodle #3 for Thai Boat Noodle Soup (Kway Tiao Lua). It’s always a good thing to get Boat Noodles in Thaitown and Pa Ord Noodles is one place that makes it the best. You never think about what makes boat noodles, boat noodles until you read the recipe on the internet. It’s made with edible beef blood, fish balls, ground pork, some bits of pork offal, some Thai spices, red chile flakes to spicy up the beef or pork broth. This soup is a complete bowl awesomeness! The broth…a little sweet and flavorful. It was even better with dried red chile for that much needed spicy heat.
Before parting ways, we had dessert at Bhan Kanom Thai, a Thai bakery,dessert, and snack shop. I absolutely love this shop, because I always find something that I enjoy eating. This shop has every hot and cold Thai dessert imaginable including a variety of sweet and savory snack foods. They make fresh warm desserts like Mango with Sticky Rice and Black Sticy Rice with Taro. They also make Crispy Crepes also known as Kanom Bueng. My sweet tooth was satisifed with the Pandan Custard, Sticky Rice Taro Pudding, and the Coconut Cookies.
Our progressive Thai lunch turned out to be a fantastic one. It certainly was instant gratification for the Thai food that I had. It also measured up to my friend’s curiousity to check out the local Thai restaurants. My only suggestion in doing a progressive lunch is to bring plenty of cash just in case you come across a restaurant that is cash only.