A white picket fence in the front of Classic Thai Restaurant offers a buffer from the cars speeding along Colorado Blvd., while a bubbling fountain filled with tiny fish help to further dampen the noise. Wood floors run the length of the charming house, leading guests to a cozy dining room inside that is cozy but inviting, seating roughly 24 people at a time. White walls are adorned with Thai artwork and chocolate brown curtains hide the entrance to the kitchen, where plates of mango sticky rice and pad Thai emerge with alarming frequency. Dishes run spicy here, though it’s possible to meter the kitchen’s heavy-handed chile use – or cool down with a homemade coconut ice cream after your traditional Thai dinner.
Papaya salad. Spicy mint. Pad see ewe. These colorful dishes, tossed with fresh vegetables and contained within noodle bowls and wraps, decorate plates at Vegan House. The Thai-influenced menu satisfies appetites of all stripes with inventive offerings that include pancakes heaped with tropical fruits. Patrons can stop in for dinner, order up a lunch combination, or start their days by chowing down on a flavorful breakfast instead of by airing a list of grievances against their alarm clock.
Charm Vegan's menu draws from an eclectic assortment of international cuisines, but every dish demonstrates the same commitment to healthful, vegan-friendly cooking. Soy-based meat and seafood alternatives find their way into dishes that embrace the flavors of southeast Asian cuisine. Although the wealth of spicy chilies, sweet basil leaves, and bold curries demonstrates the chefs' dedication to Thai recipes, they also draw culinary inspiration from other regions. American standbys also find their way into the menu in the shape of burgers made with grilled tofu instead of traditional patties formed with ground beef and copies of the U.S. Constitution.
Rambutan's elegant eatery welcomes diners to colorful feasts of coconut-milk curry, small plates of skewered barbecue, spicy papaya salad, and fragrant lemongrass noodle soups. Like a chauffeur wearing skinny jeans, the décor is cosmopolitan hip with a refined elegance, surrounding diners at close-knit tables with soft lighting. As guests sit on luxurious, padded seating, they tweeze lacquered chopsticks around morsels of water-chestnut-stuffed steamed dumplings, or they plunge spoons into aromatic galanga seafood soup or oyster mushroom tom yum. Weekends often find revelers sipping craft cocktails in the adjacent lounge area while DJs churn out danceable beats.
Sedthee welcomes diners with a warm atmosphere and gracious hospitality. The menu is packed with traditional Thai cuisine, including stir-fried dishes, hearty curries, and delicately flavored desserts. Start a gustatory voyage with the prosperous baby––baby back ribs in Thai herbs and flash fried for a texture bonus ($8.95)––before delving deeper into the dark heart of flavor with the Jungle Feast, which bathes crispy duck (or vegan soy duck) in a tub of sweet pineapple, grapes, and a spicy coconut-milk forest curry made with freshly-ground spices ($13.95). Sedthee's specialty spicy lamb chops come grass-fed from New Zealand to get a marinated coat of Thai spices ($15.95), and Devil's fried rice, which comes with a choice of chicken, beef, pork, or tofu ($7.95), and the creamy medium spice of the Panang curry, made with fresh, hand-juiced coconut milk (starting at $7.95), can please traditionalist palates. A dessert order of taro custard cake à la mode ($5.95) places the sweet end cap on top of the dinner pipe.
In a neighborhood saturated with Thai restaurants, Simply Thai is a standout eatery that has certainly earned its stripes. Authentic spices are the hallmark of this Los Feliz mainstay, delivering food with a kick that’s true to its roots. If it’s heat you’re after, the dishes at Simply Thai certainly carry some kick, though you can dial to your taste buds by informing the waitstaff of your requested spice level. The pad tua is one of their signatures – a zesty combination of string beans, cashews and whole dried chili peppers. For those with a milder tongue, Simply Thai also features tamer dishes rich with authentic flavors like lemongrass and ginger, all served up in this warm, cozy nook of a space, which hosts live music on Wednesdays and Thursdays and has an all-day happy hours on Tuesdays.