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.
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.
Friday May, 11, I took my grandma to California Pizza Kitchen (CPK) for a early Mothers day dinner. I hadn’t been there in ages, probably 3 years. I think mainly because CPK flies under my radar most of the time and for most of the people I hang out with, we all prefer a more authentic Asian food.
The thing is I used to think CPK wasn’t particularly good at any one thing. Its sort of a place I used to despise because it I felt it was just one notch above Panda Express; you know, “Americanized Chinese Food” or Asian fusion that is a disservice to the more authentic restaurants.
CPK if you’re reading things, I apologize. I was wrong. The Place is called CALIFORNIA Pizza Kitchen. The name of our golden state is right smack dab in the name of their entire business. So then, the food must be a juggernaut of flavors or mainly since its California after all, wouldn’t the flavors come from Mexican and Asian cuisine? You know combine Latinos and Asians are the majority in Calif.
How exactly could you take a traditional dish and make it Cali style? We’ll to my surprise CPK seems to think that you can take Spring Rolls or Egg Rolls, a stable in SE Asian culture, and do it the Cali Way.
Fresh Flour Tortillas rolled up and served crunchy with a Peanut Thai style chicken, spring onion, cilartro and some flame grilled corn inside. Gone are the traditional deep fried rice paper, the cold shrimp, bean sprouts and leafy greens. This Appetizer is served with both a side of guacamole and peanut sauce, so depending on the dip, you could get an asian or mexican taste. Talk about Cali-diversity.
I love this dish, it came out fast, fresh and hot. The tastes are 99% authentic for a 1% entry. By which I mean, you’ll get most of the Thai experience but the “egg roll” is more palatable for say my 74-year-old grandma. My grandma who sticks to her Salvadoran food and roots. Which leads me to another point, Asian fusion has a purpose and that is to slowly introduce bold flavors to risk adverse people who love their ketchup n french fries.
CPK Thai Chicken Flour Tortilla Rolls 5/5.
Man CPK has improved so much since my law firm had its waiter on wheels service.
Nestled up two flights of narrow stairs is Nariya Thai, a staple among Thai joints in a place filled with Thai restaurants. That place is Sunet Blvd; colloquially known has “Thai Town.” Nariya Thai is on the Corner of W. Sunset and N. Gower St. on the second level of a two-story plaza.
I originally came to Nariya Thai in the middle of 2011. After waiting in a long line for Roscoe’s’ Chicken N’ Waffles, i grew tired and walked down the street to Nariya Thai; my savior.
Well last night Nariya Thai was able to save the night yet again. I took my mom to see this play called Pedro Infante y La Suegra Triunfante by the Bilingual Foundation in Downtown, except the organizers must have canceled it without notice to the public. Because when I got to the theater it was dead silent. I thought I was going crazy, but I kept the news paper article that verified the Date/Time address. It was disappointing but maybe just maybe, If I took mom for some Thai I could redeem myself.
Enter Nariya Thai. The ambiance is dark and very modern-chic even though it wouldn’t seem like it form the outside. Attached to the restaurant is a heated and covered patio where resident musicians cover the latest top 40 hits including some catchy Thai artist. Talk about variety.
My Favorite dish during my dinner at Nariya Thai was the Rad Na. Rad Na is long flat white noodles served with a savory brown gravy, Chinese broccoli, and thinly sliced beef. The noodles and sauce were spot on. The meat fresh and veggies almost raw. 4/5
I ordered Tom Yum Kung—a spicy and lemon grass infused little number that always wakes me up. It had a bunch of mushrooms and some rather pointy blue ginger slices that I had to watch out for. It took me a while to like Tom Yum and I feel Nariya’s was true to the soup. If anything it was a bit too sour. 3/5 Because I’ve had better Tom Yum at Uncle Tim’s Thai in West Covina.
The Papaya Salad was forgettable. It had a not-so-fresh taste to the papaya meat. Papaya is suppose to be cut then served immediately. If it isn’t, what I have found is that the fish sauce will settle into the sliced papaya and give it and overly fishy-sweet flavor. Papaya is best fresh and very tarty. The salad was served with raw jumbo shrimp filleted down the middle which even I wasn’t fond of. Most shrimp served with papaya salad is dehydrated and crunchy or grilled. (1/5)
I Think I had bad luck at ordering, If i order more conventional Thai-food like pad thai or pad see ew, I’m sure i’d rate this place a lot higher.
I give Nariya a 3/5 but partly its my own fault for going off the old beaten road when ordering. I think the live music, location and ambiance when paired with some typical Thai offering would boost this place to a 5/5.
So Finally I’ve come to review Pair Thai on the corner of Gale and Fullerton Rd. Let me just preface by saying I admit to having a love affair with Thai food. If the different world cuisines were women, I’d have this weakness for Thai. Automatically bias. So last week, I went to Davis and I got hooked on Mexican food. It had been so long since I had Cal-Mex. Californian style Mexican different from real Mexican and not the same as Tex Mex. And to say the least, it was a welcome departure from Thai. Having said that, I went to Pair Thai with a clean pallet. I had removed myself from Thai food for awhile and could now objectively compare the different Thai cuisine in SGV.
Pair Thai’s Papaya Salad is a 5/5, a perfect score. Here it goes, the reasons why: the papaya was shredded thicker than other places giving it more crunch; the base sauce is nowhere near the level of sour and tart of other places, the prominent flavor is a refreshing lime, not overdone; The salad isn’t drenched in juice just about 1/4 inch. The pieces of dried baby shrimped played well to contrast the lime flavor with a sharp savory bite. Overall the salad wasn’t just one flavor, like other places. The other restaurants could be, if you’re simply in the mood for lime juice, but Pair Thai is 100 percent bold flavors. It’s also a place of pure spice. I love chili and have a heavy hand, but I was absolutely shocked when I took my first bite of the salad. Pure Fire. So much that even my main dish seemed spicy. Do yourself a flavor, if you ask the papaya salad, ask for little spice (nit noy) or no spice (mai pet).
I’ll be coming here again. Hurray. Armed with less spice.
Anyhow, Yesterday I was on a mission. I’ve been to this place on 501 S. Glendora Ave a bunch of times. It’s normally always quiet and with fast service. From the wonton flame soup to their pad see ew, its always on point. Trust fast dependable Thai food. This place is my default for nearby Thai places.
Yesterday though, it was all about the Papaya Salad. This is the restaurant that turned me onto papaya. Out of all of the dishes, I could never get into papaya salad until I had it here.
I forgot my yellow notepad so I improvised my sending myself text messages of the comments I had. Here goes my review:
Crisp, Refreshing, Tarty lemon juice, and spicy. These are all of the ways you can describe this bold salad that engorges one’s pallet. Its served over a 10 ounce pool of lime and fish sauce. Although you can taste a subtle fish flavor over the pieces of the jumbo shrimp, it was the tarty and savory lime juice dressing that keeps me coming back. Notice how I didn’t say sour because the juice isn’t over powering, it was the right amount of tanginess.
The papaya was finely shredded and slightly limp. The papaya meat was crisp and mixed with the chopped peanuts, my mouth was full of cruch and crisp; the perfect consistency that I’ll never get bored of. Served with 6 steamed jump shrimp, the salad was chilled. Unlike Uncle Tims, this salad was perfect. No too cold and perhaps 20 degrees below ambient temp. When it arrives to your table you can just start chowing down like no one else’s business. It’ll be the perfect appetizer that’ll clean your pallet with its lime juice of any yucky flavors one may have from coffee or anything.
But if your alone like me, you could order it as a main dish. I thought I might of get tired of the same tarty flavor over and over, but this wasn’t the case. The flavor has a delayed kick of spicy and after examining the dish, I notice a bunch of chili pods everywhere. I love spicy food and I had to actually take breaks to let my mouth cool. But fortunately, the lime juice has a cooling neutralizing effect to bring your mouth back to normal. It’s this sorta ying n’ yang balance that keeps the dish exciting. Also worth noting that papaya meat is substantive almost like tofu. So by eating this salad as a main dish, you won’t be hungry an hour later.
I really want to give this salad a 5/5 but I’ll hold off until I try a restaurant that’s famous for their Papaya salad. God I love recon work. I just hope I don’t suck when I try my first attempt at it.
Located on 327 N. Azusa Ave, this place is a stone’s throw away from my house and I’ve eaten my usual dishes there, you know the usual suspects that have always tasted good: Gang Muawn (Yellow Curry); Pad See Eew, Pad Thai, Pad Woon Sen, BBQ Chicken (Gai Yang), but today i had to change it up.
I was doing some reckon work on my mission to created a delicious Papaya Salad and to my surprise Uncle Tim’s doesn’t offer it. Well I though I would improvise by ordering Thin Glass Noodles Lime salad (Yum Woon Sen). I was in the mood for something light, crisp and refreshing and this noodle salad unfortunately didn’t do the trick.
The salad came out almost steaming vapor hot. Now when I eat salad I expect it to be either 1) chilled or 2) room temperature, as it should have been for this noodle salad.
I was shocked to take the first spoonful of noodles, the bite was at first moist and filled of vapors. These vapors at first masked the strong lime juice seasoning and I though the dish was bland, but wait for it, bam! Hot lime juice all over your mouth. It was an unpleasant experience because the dish lacked a uniform consistency. At first it was steamy and bland then as the temperature cooled in my mouth, that pungent lime juice kicked in ever more powerful than before. I continued to eat a 1/2 cup serving for tasting purposes (took one for the team), and I went to finish eating the latter half at room temperature.
I explained my concerned about the temperature to the waitress and she agreed that it should have been cooled to room temperature. As I suspected once the noodles cooled the lime flavor stabilized and became less offense. Attention Uncle Tim’s, run some cold water through the noodle salads. It will taste a lot better.
If you’re looking for a very tart starter dish and you love sour flavors you might like it. But to be honest this place has so many better dishes, I would save my appetite for some of their bbq plates.
1.5 stars for warm salad, 2.5 stars in colder style.
Oh my papaya salad where art thou.