Twisting strings of lights hang from a couple of large branches turned chandeliers, their gleam reflecting off the bronze artwork that hangs on one wall. If the Pico location's dining room is attractive, the same goes for its dishes. Grilled skewers with miso glaze, roasted duck, and Bangkok beef stew arrive looking as good as they taste.
LAttitude Thai features authentic Thai cuisine under the guise of sweet curries, savory stir-fried noodles, and hearty entrees served in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. The menu showcases innovative appetizers, such as chicken wings stuffed with ground pork, glass noodles, and vegetables ($8.25), as well as classic main courses, including pad thai with chicken and prawns ($8) and chicken-pumpkin yellow curry ($8.50), which turns back into chicken-stagecoach curry after midnight. Staunch hunger pains with a filling entrée, such as spicy lemongrass prawns ($10) or sweet-and-sour pork ($8) with pineapple, mixed vegetables, and a conflicting blend of dispositions.
The Vegan Joint’s sunny yellow-and-white striped awning stands out on the corner of Rose Avenue and National Boulevard in Palms (multiple locations), drawing diners into the original location of this healthy restaurant that serves creative meatless dishes. The extensive menu is filled with nutritious items, ranging from breakfast foods to soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps and burgers, with an added emphasis on Thai food. The imitation meat products offered set this joint apart from the competition and include tofu, vegan fish, chicken, sausage and homemade seitan, a form of wheat gluten. As an alternative to fast food, try the “chicken” nuggets and garlic fries, or the unique “fish” wrap, filled with slices of grilled soy, avocado, lettuce, tomato, sprouts and drizzled with tahini. Diners can take a seat outside at a picnic table under the awning, or eat inside the simply-decorated space, complete with wooden chairs and tables bathed in sunshine.
Employing exotic spices, fresh vegetables, and sweet sauces, the culinary experts at Singapore Express craft a full menu of authentic Thai cuisine including full-flavored curry and noodle entrees. Groups of two or four jumpstart palates with one or two appetizers, choosing between lighter selections such as steamed chicken dumplings and heavier subjects including deep-fried tofu and the meaning of life. Main courses vary in consistency from the broth-based chicken-coconut soup—a blend of swimming Thai herbs clinging to straw-mushroom buoys in a sea of coconut broth—to duck red curry served with steamed white rice. Table denizens can also rev up a stolid maw by imbibing signature dishes such as the Indonesian nasi lemak—a bed of rice cooked in coconut milk and crowned with chicken wings, fried fish, and a fried egg—or a spicy mint pork leg, which can be used to hold up a wobbly table.
On Venice Boulevard in the Palms neighborhood sits Thai Boom, an authentic Thai restaurant that serves up generous portions of flavorful food, without breaking the bank. Favorite dishes at this quaint hole-in-the-wall restaurant include tom yum soup and a spicy red curry, alongside the semi-sweet pineapple fried rice. Flat, stir-fried rice noodle dishes like Pad See Ew, served with egg, broccoli and garlic in brown sauce, and Pad Kee Mow, with bell peppers and chilies, are also favorites. Don’t expect much from the minimally-decorated dining space, but service at Thai Boom is as friendly as ever. You could do like most locals and order for takeaway, but then you’d miss out on the coconut ice cream.
You’d be forgiven for traipsing right past L.A. Vegan without ever realizing it was there. The diminutive storefront has only a small exposure to bustling Centinela Avenue, and it’s overshadowed by the colorful displays in the window of the neighboring game store. Unsurprisingly, the restaurant is most known as a delivery joint, bringing fresh vegan takes on Thai cuisine to the Mar Vista and west Culver City area. Lunch specials like pad Thai and yellow or red curry are, of course, vegan, which means soy-based versions of beef, chicken or fish are available. It’s also possible to spring for the knowingly meat-free options like tofu, seitan and tempeh, the latter also offered in burritos and other less Asian fare. There are grilled veggie sandwiches to be found, Kamut-flour pancakes for breakfast and a whole host of other guiltless bites to snack on, all from inside the spare, colorful space.