I eat a lot. A whole lot of f Thai food that is. I have an obsession with Thai dishes. If I was on death row for committing a capital crime, my last meal would be Kra-pow gai. That's basil leaf chicken for non kon-thais (thai people)

A long time ago my ex and I would always giggle whenever we heard people say "Can we order the FAT Thai. I know sometimes the menu reads FAT thai, but really you should pronounce it phut thai or pad thai.

 

06-14-2012 Fat-Thai exclusive interview with Cha Da Restaurant

A couples of months back I did a feature review on some papaya salad (som tam) that thai restaurant, Cha-Da, serves up daily.

Well today you’re in for a different kind of treat with my exclusive interview with Sindy. We discuss topics like juggling life between Thailand and the US, a day in the life of operating a successful business and thai food of course.

F-T: Where are you from?
S: Thailand, Bangkok
F-T: How old are you
S: 35
F-T: How’d you get started at Cha-DA
S: Its my uncle’s project and business he started years ago.
F-T: How’s it like traveling from Bangkok to California, what do you miss?
S: I’ve been doing the 14-plus hour trip for about 5 years now. It isn’t too bad. I miss most is my friends and family. Los Angeles is spaced out too much and its boring here at night. Night is my only free time.
F-T: Do you enjoy being a server?
S: I do it all actually. Depending if we’re busy or understaffed, i’ll even go back and cook. Today I cooked most of the time.
F-T: How tiring is it working at Cha-Da.
S: Very, I’m helping out here at my uncles business. We have another Cha-Da in Pasadena. I travel from Pasadena to West Covina often. I even cook California rolls and Sushi at the Pasadena locations. I’m expert level! I work daiy 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.

F-T: What’s your favorite Thai dish?
S: (Long pause) I think pat-see-ew pork. Pork goes well with that long flat noodle. It’s my favorite.

F-T: Who makes the best pad-see-eww pork?
S: Well my chefs of course. They original form Thailand working in the US with workers visas. That’s what gives our place that authentic touch.

F-T: What’s the special ingredient that makes your pad-thai so juicy and special.

S: Unlike other places, we source only the freshest tamarind. Its flash frozen from thailand and sold in cubes. If you don’t get the freshest ingredients, the base for the pad-thai sauce will be fishy or oily; sometimes even dry. If you see pad-thai noodles in other places that bleed off a lot of oil, that’s a clear indicator that they skip fresh tamarind.

F-T: What’s your best seller here:
S: Not thai related but Boba Milk tea.

F-T: Is Thai food the best tasting food out there?
S: Yes (Jokingly) Actually, Italian, if prepared right, is the absolute best.

F-T: Thanks for the interview, do you have any closing comments.
S: Come checkout our lunch deals at Cha-Da restaurant!

Noi (Sinitta Boonyasak) right and Kenji (Tadanobu Asano) left in a scene from the movie, Last Life in the Universe.

Noi (Sinitta Boonyasak) right and Kenji (Tadanobu Asano) left in a scene from the movie, Last Life in the Universe.

Last Life in the Universe (Thai Film) non-food related

Hey Guys,

I’ll admit that here at fat-thai, I haven’t had Thai food in about a week, some sort of record for me. But I always need my Thai fix. enter the The Last life in the Universe, the Sundance award winning film by Thai writer/director Pen-Ek Ratanaruang.

The film revolves around two protagonist Kenji and Noi who both are strange and depressed. Both have suffered family tragedies and because of fate or luck the events has brought them together.

The foreign film explores loneliness, OCD and suicidal thoughts, but in a non-glamorizing sorta way; nor is the film a documentary on suicide. It simply uses these less-talked-about issued to develop the main characters. I don’t know why but I really get Kenji and Noi. The film also does a good way to show how strange circumstances could lead incompatible people together to explore each other; but this isn’t a chick flick.

I’m fascinated by Japanese and Thai cultures and this film is notable because it changes between Thai, Japanese and English. It also gives insight into a bit of Bangkok lifestyle.

The film can be seen for free on the website that rhymes with flu-tube. Notice how many times Kenji says Kap.

Thai Language Tips (Greetings)

In Thai you have two very commonly used expressions Kap (for men) Ka (for ladies).

You’ll almost always use these words at the end of greeting or requests from others when you’re being polite.

For instance you can say:

Sa Wat Dii Kap. (How are you?)

Sabai Dii Ka (I’m good thanks)

Or

Yu Tii Nai Kap (Where you from)

Tii Nai Rian Mt. SAC  (I Study at Mt. Sac.) Rian means to study. 

You can almost always recognize thai language by the ending of Ka or Kap with a falling down accent and stress sounds. 

local eats. 1. Shrimp from “The Shack;” 2. Gorgonzola Salad, 3. Kung Pao Noodles.

Gorgonzola Pear Salad (not exactly thai)

I head on over to CPK because I was craving their Gorgonzola Salad Pizza thing. I saw thing because it’s not really a traditional pizza. You know the pizza with read sauce, copious amounts of fresh mozzarella and toppings. This pizza is more like a crispy pita bread with with Gorgonzoala and thinly sliced pears, yes pears, as in the fruit.

When I first had this salad a couple of years back, I didn’t like it but now, out of nowhere, I got this intense craving for it. What’s going on right?

The taste of this pizza salad is powerful. Think blue cheese mixed it with some arugula. You know the flavor is bold. I keep thinking it would taste better with caramelized onions and some fresh spinach. When I order it again i’ll pair it with a chardonnay or a pale ale beer to reall contrast the full spectrum of savory but not salty things.

I again ordered the starter egg rolls, this time trying the mediterranean roll and just wow. Thinly sliced mushrooms served over a slightly fermented marinara sauce. It was such a good pairing. I put some of that red sauce on Gorgonzola pizza and made it into a more traditional styled pizza. 

5/5 —outstanding salad pizza thing. 

Louisiana Crawfish review

I figured I should change it up a bit here on fat-thai and what welcome departure from thai is food from “the south”

Last year I visited New Orleans and I had my first taste of real crawfish; this memorial  day I went to The Shack, a Louisiana styled shrimp and crawfish restaurant, on the corner of Nogales and Colima Rd. It’s in this dumpy Asian shopping center hidden in the back.

The service was a bit slow but unlike, The Boiling Crab, you don’t have to wait ridiculous hours just to sit.

I orders a pound of jumpo spicy shrimp for $8.99 and it really hit the spot. The clear plastic bag was oozing with delicious secret house sauce that I feel consisted mainly of garlic, garlic salt, lime juice, chili paste, black pepper and some sort of red oil paste that I often see in spicy ramen soups.

The shrimp was served at its peak of freshness and hotness, i sat them down on the white mat to let some cool. 

I also ordered a side of corn on the cobb that came inside the clear plastic bag, marinated and all. I also accompanied this with a order of sweet potato fries

The corn and sweet potato paired well with the shrimp as it helped reduce the spice flavors with its sweet then salty more mild seasoning. Overall the food nicely paired up and was a welcome step away from Thai. 4/5

Minus one star because the spicy sauce had a lot of oil in it. But overall it was a good experience. 

I have yet to see Thais do a take on creole food. I wonder what it would taste like. It’d be probably side vendor beef balls or chicken skewers sans the peanut sauce. Steamed and marinated with cajun/crawfish recipe. It might actually rock.

You can pick this inexpensive shredder at the 99 ranch market on the corner of nogales and gale. You’ll definitely want it to impress your friends with you cucumber, carrot and papaya skills. 
It works well and you don’t have to ship it from Thailand. Easy peasy. 

You can pick this inexpensive shredder at the 99 ranch market on the corner of nogales and gale. You’ll definitely want it to impress your friends with you cucumber, carrot and papaya skills. 

It works well and you don’t have to ship it from Thailand. Easy peasy. 

Somtam D.I.Y

My very first try at a papaya salad. It’s much harder than it seams. It’s labor intensive. Anyhow, you’ll need: A green papaya, limes or lemons, salt, fish sauce, 1 tomato, 4 garlic cloves, red chilies (from my garden), peeler shredder; 

First: Cut that papaya in half hamburger style, then cut each half  into 4 pieces. You’ll have 8 papaya slices.

second: Start Peeling then put the juice of 4 juicy lemons in a deep bowl. Place the papaya in the juice  with 1 table spoon of salt. This salt/lemon juice will get rid of all that yucky white papaya juice.

third: prep three red chilies, slice em down the middle try to leave the seed pods in. Finely mince 3 cloves of galric. Add two table spoons of salt. Throw all of this into another deep bowl. Smash it all using a wooden mallet. It will become a red paste. 

fourth: Shred that papaya using a special shredder or you could shred it with a food processor of grater.

fifth: put shredded papaya in container with the red chili paste, Smash it all together with a mallet.

sixth: add juice of a big lemon and three table spoon of fish sauce.

seventh: Add some tomato wedges. You’re set. Pretty tarty and spicy right? But good for a hot day at the pool. 

Full text D.I.Y to follow:

from left to right, top to bottom: 1) Hollow out that papaya core: 2) Cut into 4 3) bowl of papaya slices soak with fresh lemon juice and salt; 4) Smash that garlic, salt and chilies; 5) Shredded Papaya Meat; 6) 3 table spoons of fish sauce; 7) Final Product