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Hey, It's That Guy!
11-06-2006, 01:11 AM
I have had Thai food twice in the last two weeks, and loved it. Growing up, I never got to try Thai food since nobody in my family liked it, nor did my friends. I finally have friends who like it and a city with a few decent Thai places, so at least it's a rare and wonderful treat. Thai restaurants are a lot harder to find than your standard storefront Chinese places, and typically much more expensive. Most of the time they're a little bit on the pricey side, but I love the stuff, and I want to get some recommendations.

Last week I had this delicious red curry, but it really messed my stomach up. I fare very badly whenever I eat anything with coconut (unfortunate, because I love the stuff). I might not have it again, but it was awesome the one time. I wonder what the differences are between red and green curries.

Tonight I had one of the most delicious dishes I've ever had: Drunken noodles, aka pad kee mao. Wonderful flat rice noodles tossed in a spicy sauce with shrimp, scallops, squid, green bell pepper, tomato, garlic, onions, basil leaves, and more. It had a good amount of heat, but not overpowering -- I've learned I can handle a lot more heat from Mexican food, salsas, jalapeno peppers, and the like than I can from unfamiliar Thai and Indian food, but I did okay tonight. I've glanced over a few recipes for this online, but I think I'll leave it to the professionals for now.

Of course I love pad thai as well, and Thai iced tea goes perfect with every meal. What should I try next?

Jeff Lichtman
11-06-2006, 02:04 AM
Drunken noodles should be overpowering. The name of the dish comes from the idea that you have to drink a lot of beer with it just to tolerate the spiciness.

Thai cuisine has a lot of spicy salads. A salad with the word "yum" in its name has a dressing made from fish sauce, lime juice, sugar and hot chilies. Green papaya salad is made with unripe shredded papaya mixed with things like dried shrimp and chopped peanuts and a spicy dressing. A larb is a salad with ground toasted rice uncooked rice sprinkled on it, which gives and interesting flavor and texture.

Thai hot and sour soup is quite different from Chinese hot and sour. The broth is thinner and is flavored with lemongrass.

Have fun exploring Thai cuisine!

Wendell Wagner
11-06-2006, 09:57 AM
Big Bad Voodoo Lou writes:

> Thai restaurants are a lot harder to find than your standard storefront Chinese
> places, and typically much more expensive.

Perhaps they are much more expensive than Chinese places where you live, but I don't think that's true in general. Thai places aren't any more expensive than Chinese where I live (as long as the location and "atmosphere" of the restaurant are equal). Are all the Chinese places where you live just take-out places with no seating?

If the Thai food you're trying is a little too spicy for you, try asking the server if you can have your food a step lower in spiciness. Some places will do that if you ask. Incidentally, my favorite dish is chicken with sweet basil and chili peppers.

WhyNot
11-06-2006, 10:38 AM
If you like curries but not real hot curries, try Mussaman sometime. It's a gentle peanuty curry with chunks of potatoes (ideally, not cooked to mush, but still a little crunchy), peanuts, and chicken or shrimp. It's served with both rice and crunchy noodles, I assume for serving over the rice and topped with the noddles, but I could be doing it all wrong. ;)

I also love the beef salad which has that "yum" sauce and thin slices of beef with a bunch of veggies. It's served cold, and cold beef was something I had to wrap my brain around at first, but it's very, very good.

Don't forget the appetizers! Treasure bags and khanom jeep are my favorites. Most places have spring rolls, which are good, but one place near here (now closed) had "Summer rolls" as well, which were even better (served with a plum sauce, I believe.)

And Tom Yum soup. Ahhh, nothing better. I loooove Tom Yum soup. And I have been utterly incapable of making a good one at home, despite having all the right ingredients. It's worth ordering, for me.

I know what I'm having for lunch!

Motorgirl
11-06-2006, 11:14 AM
Drunken noodle = pad khee mao?!!

Halleleujah! I love pad khee mao but don't find it that often on the menus of ubiquitous Thai restaurants 'round these parts, but I do see Drunken Noodle from time to time. If they really are synonymous, I now have more places to get Pad khee mao. Yay!

jjimm
11-06-2006, 11:34 AM
Brief Thai food primer off the top of my head. The absolutely fundamental key ingredients are:

Cilantro
Lemongrass
Chilli
Fish sauce (smells gross on its own but adds tons of subtle authenticity)
Lime juice

Common extras:

Galang galang (a form of ginger)
Crushed nuts (usually cashew and peanut)
Coconut milk
Rice wine
Garlic
Onion
Sugar

Every Thai dish you taste in the west will contain a combination of the key ingredients.

The red and green curries differ on the fact that the vegetable bulk of the curry is made up of different colored chillies, in addition to the other vegetable ingredients.

The bad news for you is that almost every Thai curry you will taste will contain coconut milk: it provides most of the liquid portion of the sauce - "kari" is Malay for "soup" - and Thai curries are most authentically made very runny, with coconut milk.

anu-la1979
11-06-2006, 11:47 AM
Sometimes on the menu they'll have a curry listed as "jungle style"-I think these are from the northern parts of the country. It's essentially red or green curry base but they leave out the coconut milk and make it with just broth. It's quite tasty, though it doesn't have that velvety-fatty taste of the richer coconut milk curries.

I also like the papaya salad and around here they have Thai BBQ chicken. Not sure if that's offered where you are (we have our own little mini-Thai Town in Los Angeles). There's also the thai version of sweet and sour [insert meat], which is usually made with a lot of tomatoes...I used to make it at home pretty well actually. It has fish sauce in it (like most dishes) and is runnier and spicier than Chinese sweet and sour whatever (also I don't remember thai restaurants ever deep frying the meat).

Panang curry is my absolute favourite but that's out for you on account of the coconut.

jjimm
11-06-2006, 11:49 AM
Ooh yes, panang curry is also my absolute favourite too. I have a pot of the paste in my fridge, together with some fish sauce, and think I know what I'm going to have to eat tonight...

Hey, It's That Guy!
11-06-2006, 11:56 AM
Big Bad Voodoo Lou writes:

> Thai restaurants are a lot harder to find than your standard storefront Chinese
> places, and typically much more expensive.

Perhaps they are much more expensive than Chinese places where you live, but I don't think that's true in general. Thai places aren't any more expensive than Chinese where I live (as long as the location and "atmosphere" of the restaurant are equal). Are all the Chinese places where you live just take-out places with no seating?

Orlando is weird. Everyone says we don't have any truly GOOD Chinese restaurants, but we have plenty of the ubiquitous take-out places and buffets. I grew up eating take-out and buffet Chinese since my dad loved it, and I admit I just got sick of it over the years. We are lucky to have a Vietnamese neighborhood full of authentic Vietnamese restaurants that kick ass, ranging from super-casual to a little more upscale (but almost always priced cheaper than Thai places). We just don't have any tiny, cheap Thai places -- all of them are sit-down restaurants with nice tablecloths, etc.

vivalostwages
11-06-2006, 12:50 PM
I LOVE Thai food and am happy to live just a couple of miles from a great place.
I love pad woon sen, pad Thai, ba mee, and tom kar koung (sp?) soup the best.
The chicken satay is also lovely.

This is making me hungry.

Rodgers01
11-06-2006, 01:03 PM
It's too bad you don't like coconut, because one of my favorite foods is a Thai soup called Tom Kha Kai (sp?) -- it's a coconut broth with chicken and mushrooms. Mmmmm.

It's not authentic Thai, but in the best tradition of fusion, I encourage you to try to make your own Thai Pizza (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Thai-Chicken-Pizza/Detail.aspx). Just use that recipe as a starter, and throw in whatever you like -- red and green peppers, green onions, lots of cilantro, etc. It's great!

Hey, It's That Guy!
11-06-2006, 01:13 PM
It's too bad you don't like coconut, because one of my favorite foods is a Thai soup called Tom Kha Kai (sp?) -- it's a coconut broth with chicken and mushrooms. Mmmmm.


I LOVE coconut and anything coconut-flavored, but it turns me inside out -- more literal than I wish was true. I don't fare well with mushrooms or nuts of any kind either. I saw a photo of the Tom Kha Kai on a placemat, and it looked awesome, though.

Trunk
11-06-2006, 01:18 PM
Oh. . .Trunk talk Thai. Trunk talk Thai very well.

Some might disagree, but I think Baltimore is a good Thai food town.

Drunken Noodles is definitely one of my faves, and if I haven't been in a while, that's what I'll get. If the menu goes to 3 stars, I'll ask for 4. I pay for it the next day (belly and anus), but I just love it, and they seem to enjoy seeing me sweaty and smiley as the endorphins are released.

There's usually some good duck choices on the menu. They typically do nice crispy duck well.

They do whole crispy fish.

The last time I went to a place I like they had veal osso buco but in coconut milk. I wanted to try it, but we were just out for something light.

Lots of nice salads, with chili flakes, sugar, lime dressings. There's one I like with green papaya. Thai food is always a really nice blending of sweet/tangy/spicy/acidic/fruity. I think it's excellent cuisine.

Thai places seem like good places to establish yourself. Lots of exploration to do.

GingerOfTheNorth
11-06-2006, 01:32 PM
Trunk: Spill. I want to know where your favourite places are. I've been making fake-ass panang chicken and pad thai at home.

Hey, It's That Guy!
11-06-2006, 01:48 PM
Drunken Noodles is definitely one of my faves, and if I haven't been in a while, that's what I'll get. If the menu goes to 3 stars, I'll ask for 4. I pay for it the next day (belly and anus), but I just love it, and they seem to enjoy seeing me sweaty and smiley as the endorphins are released.


This place had two stars for spiciness (out of four) for the Drunken Noodles, which is how I was able to handle them okay going down. I wasn't drinking beer with them, which probably would have made the entire experience more pleasant. On a daring day, I might try for three stars, but wouldn't dare go for four -- I'd worry the heat would overpower the taste of the food and make me too sick to enjoy it. Despite all that, I missed ten minutes of the movie I went to after dinner (Nightmare Before Christmas in 3D) due to an emergency bathroom break. All was well, but even two stars of unfamiliar spices wreaked havoc for me.

Cervaise
11-06-2006, 01:53 PM
Orlando is weird.Come to Seattle. Our Pacific Rim location means an abundance of Asian restaurants of all conceivable varieties, from hole-in-the-wall Thai to gourmet Vietnamese, and vice versa. I don't know if I could live in any city that didn't have this embarrassment of culinary riches.

Of course, take any given city, and you'll find them spoiled by what they have and take for granted due to available resources and geographic proximity. I love Caribbean food, for example, especially Cuban, but it's almost impossible to find here in Seattle. In the last year, two places that offered it have closed down. To my knowledge, three good options remain.

Compare that to the dozens of Thai places within half an hour of my house, and you see the discrepancy.

anu-la1979
11-06-2006, 02:03 PM
GingeroftheNorth:Trunk: Spill. I want to know where your favourite places are. I've been making fake-ass panang chicken and pad thai at home.

Oh, I hear you on the pad thai. It is impossible for me to master and I've been trying for about 10 years now. I've officially given up.

I can actually pull out an authentic tom yum soup (but mostly because my parents grow all all those crazy herbs) and a panang curry. But on the later, let me warn you...the only time it tasted "like the restaurant" was when I added a TON of oil and lots of full-fat coconut milk. It's only after that I realised how bloody fattening it must be at the restaurant. Generally when we eat it at home now we make the jungle curries or cut the coconut milk (and we use light) by well over a half.

If you have a TJ's nearby...their tuna panang in the little packets is actually really really good. They have a yellow curry as well but my favourite is the panang. I also recently tried the 2 minute pad thai noodles in the little takeout box thingie and those were also really tasty after adding a copious amount of crushed chili garlic rooster sauce, squooshings of lemon and a splash of fish sauce.

Trunk
11-06-2006, 02:14 PM
Trunk: Spill. I want to know where your favourite places are. I've been making fake-ass panang chicken and pad thai at home.
Well, most folks seem to think Thai Landing in Mount Vernon is quality, but I think it's overpriced, and average.

However, Thai Arroy in Federal Hill is delicious. They've changed the menu, but they used to have a dish that was E. 18 on the menu. It's like crispy, bread fried shrimp in a garlicky honey lime sauce sauce that was out standing. You can still get it, but they've changed the menu so that you need to pick like a meat, and a sauce, and a style.

Also, last time I went (several months ago), it was BYOB, which saves money.

They have some good duck options, and the drunken noodles are excellent.

However, the place that is always solid is just called "Thai Restaurant" and it's on Greenmount just north of 33rd street. Not the best 'hood in the city, but you can park in the back if you snake down a couple alleys. They're nice, and polite. Their curries are excellent. My wife likes the massaman. I bet MHendo has been there. It's kind of a fave of Hopkin's folks.

Also, good drunken noodles. Good "pick paw" fried rice. They sometimes have the green papaya salad. They have teh "Thom Gum" (something like that) soup with chicken & mushrooms, and they also have crazy specials all the time.

I got a pumpkin-coconut soup last time I went with big chunks of pumpkin.

Both "Thai Restaurant" and "Thai Arroy" regularly have an Asian contingent eating there, so that's a good sign, I guess.

Logan 5
11-06-2006, 03:15 PM
It always makes me happy to hear someone has discovered thai cuisine and loves it.

Here in Chicago it almost seems like we have more Thai places than Chinese. I am sure that's not the case, but it feels like you can't go more than two blocks on the northside without seeing a Thai restaurant.

Yeah try a larb salad or nam sod (ground pork, peanuts, ginger). Cucumber salad is a staple for me, refreshing and can help cool down as you eat the spicy dishes. Nua tet daw (like beef jerky that's fried and served with spicy chile sauce) is fantastic! Sometimes I just order this along with some rice and peanut sauce. That's comfort food to me.

I am a fan of the Tom Kha Kai soup. IMO, the best here is at Spoon Thai, so wonderfully aromatic! I love lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves!!!!

Don't forget to try some batter fried bananas for dessert!

Also if you are feeling adventurous, ask at your local Thai place if they have another menu with more traditional thai dishes. Some do and reserve them for Thais or other "people in the know". That's where you'll find the more "exotic" dishes.

jjimm
11-06-2006, 03:21 PM
Not too adventurous though: when travelling in Thailand I've been offered fried bees - and cockroaches.

Motorgirl
11-06-2006, 03:52 PM
Not too adventurous though: when travelling in Thailand I've been offered fried bees - and cockroaches.

I might try fried bees, but not the cockroaches.

WhyNot
11-06-2006, 04:12 PM
It always makes me happy to hear someone has discovered thai cuisine and loves it.

Here in Chicago it almost seems like we have more Thai places than Chinese. I am sure that's not the case, but it feels like you can't go more than two blocks on the northside without seeing a Thai restaurant.

Have you been to Noodle Garden (http://www.chicagoreader.com/cgi-bin/rrr/details.cgi?&Cuisines=Asian&SearchByCriteria&pageno=22&numb=1205) in Evanston? I was amazed to find out that Lard Nar is a bean based gravy - when I found actual beans in it! They have much the same menu as everyone else (plus some stuff I haven't seen elsewhere), but their flavors are more complex and multilayered. Their prices are a little higher than, say, Siam Pasta, but they're totally worth it!

ShibbOleth
11-06-2006, 04:42 PM
Drunken noodle = pad khee mao?!!

Halleleujah! I love pad khee mao but don't find it that often on the menus of ubiquitous Thai restaurants 'round these parts, but I do see Drunken Noodle from time to time. If they really are synonymous, I now have more places to get Pad khee mao. Yay!

Phad = fried
khee mao (various spellings) = drunken, literally "drunk shit"*

Rodgers01 - it's probably more correctly spelled tom kha gai (gai = chicken, kai = egg), although the difference between gai and kai is not that great in Thai. The Thai character is sometimes transliterated as a g (like in Gandhi) and sometimes as a k (like in karma), and very similar to western ears.

Big Bad Voodoo Lou - there is a Thai dish made with red curry but no coconut milk, although I'm drawing a blank on the name right now.

*lots of descriptive Thai phrases use khee, or "shit", as part of the phrase. I like to refer to Mrs Shibb as khee nuas, or stingy "sticky shit".

jjimm
11-06-2006, 04:48 PM
Glad to see you in this thread, Shibb0leth. Since you're here, you must have some of your wife's/wife's family's recipes you can share.

Please..!?

Logan 5
11-06-2006, 05:00 PM
Have you been to Noodle Garden (http://www.chicagoreader.com/cgi-bin/rrr/details.cgi?&Cuisines=Asian&SearchByCriteria&pageno=22&numb=1205) in Evanston? I was amazed to find out that Lard Nar is a bean based gravy - when I found actual beans in it! They have much the same menu as everyone else (plus some stuff I haven't seen elsewhere), but their flavors are more complex and multilayered. Their prices are a little higher than, say, Siam Pasta, but they're totally worth it!


Yes I have! I used to really dig that place. Sadly I do not spend as much time in Evanston as I used to. Been at least 3-4 yrs since I ate there last. I used to love their chive dumplings and tom yum. These days I usually go to the aforementioned Spoon Thai on Western or Thai Pastry on Broadway.

ShibbOleth
11-06-2006, 05:32 PM
Glad to see you in this thread, Shibb0leth. Since you're here, you must have some of your wife's/wife's family's recipes you can share.

Please..!?

The problem is this - we don't really have any recipes. We have all/most of the ingredients we need, and then I just kind of make it up as I go along. I could probably cobble together some recipes for most anything, but only by making it and then writing down what I throw in there. And almost all of it is by "feel" or trial and error. It helps that I have a pretty good sense of taste, so often Mrs Shibb will cook, then I get home and she tells me to fix it because it doesn't taste right. Then I add some fish sauce (I can't come up with a Thai dish that doesn't contain some fish sauce, although surely one must exist), or sugar or sweet soy, or tamarind chili paste, or whatever, and there you are.

If you want to make Thai at home you should have at least these things:

Fish sauce (nam pla)
Oyster sauce
Medium sweet soy (nothing like Kikkomans)
Sugar, preferrably palm sugar which is really awful for your health, but regular sugar will suffice
Tamarind chili paste
Oil (peanut is best, vegetable is okay and probably healthier)
Garlic

You can find lots of cool recipes for making fresh curries, but you can get by fairly well with the stuff in plastic "tins". This stuff will stink up your house to a fare-thee-well if done right, which means, frying it in a little oil to get the flavors going.

Many Thai dishes have Thai basil, sometimes called Thai Holy Basil. Cinnamon basil is very similar and can be subbed in a pinch.

Okay, have to get going but I'll see if I can throw out some basic stuff over time, if this thread stays afloat. I'll have to actually measure what I put in instead of playing it by ear or you'll create some awful stuff.

PS I concur with Trunk on the Baltimore places, although I don't remember a place in Federal Hill (we lived about five years in Otterbein).

vivalostwages
11-06-2006, 07:37 PM
It's too bad you don't like coconut, because one of my favorite foods is a Thai soup called Tom Kha Kai (sp?) -- it's a coconut broth with chicken and mushrooms. Mmmmm.

It's not authentic Thai, but in the best tradition of fusion, I encourage you to try to make your own Thai Pizza (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Thai-Chicken-Pizza/Detail.aspx). Just use that recipe as a starter, and throw in whatever you like -- red and green peppers, green onions, lots of cilantro, etc. It's great!

Tom Kar Khoung is very similar to Tom Kar Kai. (I wasn't sure if you were addressing me or not, so pardon me if you were not. :) )

Omniscient
11-06-2006, 08:34 PM
I'm sure you Chicagoans know and enjoy Penny's Noodles. Admittedly it's got a bit of a canned, fast food feel to it but some of their dishes are outstanding. I particularly love their Spicy Basil with Beef. Don't see it on other menus, I have no idea if it's a specialty or not. Love that stuff.

And I have absolutely no trouble believing that there are more Thai places than Chinese in the city. If not for Chinatown I'd say it was certain, Thai food is so trendy that everywhere north of about Taylor street is littered with them. My apartment building accumulates Thai menus at a rate about triple that of Chinese. Wonder why the Asian places do that more than other style of food. Even pizza isn't as focused on takeout.

guizot
11-06-2006, 08:44 PM
Oh, I hear you on the pad thai. It is impossible for me to master and I've been trying for about 10 years now. I've officially given up. Wow, that's a long time. I wonder what recipes you've tried. I don't find it that difficult to get right, but it takes a lot of prep time.

To OP: Have you tried yen ta fo? It's not really thai, but you can probably get it in most thai restaurants. A little spicy, with lots of weird sea creatures inside.

And the catfish. Try the fried catfish.

pulykamell
11-06-2006, 09:24 PM
Yes I have! I used to really dig that place. Sadly I do not spend as much time in Evanston as I used to. Been at least 3-4 yrs since I ate there last. I used to love their chive dumplings and tom yum. These days I usually go to the aforementioned Spoon Thai on Western or Thai Pastry on Broadway.

You have good tastes! Spoon Thai is generally regarded as one of the best Thai places in Chicago. For homestyle Thai cooking, I also suggest you check out Elephant Thai on Devon, a bit west of the Indian neighborhood.

Trunk
11-07-2006, 07:00 AM
PS I concur with Trunk on the Baltimore places, although I don't remember a place in Federal Hill (we lived about five years in Otterbein).
The place in Fed Hill is new within the last 3-4 years or so. I think that it took a cook from Thai Landing.

They do a shit load of take out.

ShibbOleth
11-07-2006, 07:34 AM
And the catfish. Try the fried catfish.

My language teacher in Thailand's favorite dish was fried catfish, but it was sort of "fluffed" meat catfish, then fried again so it was crispy and soft, and served with a sort of sweet and sour fish sauce. Absolutely delicious, I have no idea what it was called, and have never seen it in the USA. If you know where this is I will come to your city. Yes, that is a threat.

pulykamell
11-07-2006, 10:54 AM
My language teacher in Thailand's favorite dish was fried catfish, but it was sort of "fluffed" meat catfish, then fried again so it was crispy and soft, and served with a sort of sweet and sour fish sauce. Absolutely delicious, I have no idea what it was called, and have never seen it in the USA. If you know where this is I will come to your city. Yes, that is a threat.

Is something like this (http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=4028) what you're thinking of? It doesn't completely match your description, but the preparation sounds similar. At any rate, I'd be surprised if one of the Thai restaurants in Chicago didn't have it, as they serve all manners of catfish here.

ShibbOleth
11-07-2006, 12:45 PM
Is something like this (http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=4028) what you're thinking of? It doesn't completely match your description, but the preparation sounds similar. At any rate, I'd be surprised if one of the Thai restaurants in Chicago didn't have it, as they serve all manners of catfish here.

That's the one, I'll have to come up to Chicago within the year. Although, as with just about everything, that seems a bit westernized (a lot more salad and less on the catfish part than Thailand), although I am fine with that. Eating true Thai food is sometimes a bit more adventurous than even I like.

pulykamell
11-07-2006, 01:18 PM
That's the one, I'll have to come up to Chicago within the year. Although, as with just about everything, that seems a bit westernized (a lot more salad and less on the catfish part than Thailand), although I am fine with that. Eating true Thai food is sometimes a bit more adventurous than even I like.

Spoon Thai, Elephant Thai (homestyle), and Sticky Rice (northern Thai) all tend to be fairly authentic in their presentation, as far as I understand it (I mean, they've got stuff like banana blossom salad, which you don't see anywhere else around here.) They're nothing like the typical Westernized Thai places that are a dime a dozen around here. My favorite place, Bahn Thai, unfortunately closed down. That place just reeked of nam pla and was one of the few places that took my "Thai spicy" requests seriously when it came to basil chicken. :)

I would say if you're ever in the area, you'll love all three of these places, along with Siam's House in Niles, Aroy Thai, Yum Thai, and AltThai. All good eats.

guizot
11-08-2006, 08:54 PM
My language teacher in Thailand's favorite dish was fried catfish, but it was sort of "fluffed" meat catfish, then fried again so it was crispy and soft, and served with a sort of sweet and sour fish sauce. Absolutely delicious, I have no idea what it was called, and have never seen it in the USA.Well, as I've tasted it, it's not sweet and sour (which would usually be Chinese?), but sweet and spicy--it's normally cooked in a red curry sauce. You get most of the catfish as it appeared alive, only it's dead, and in a delicious red curry sauce. If you know where this is I will come to your city. Yes, that is a threat.I appreciate the threat. East Hollywood was once the largest Thai community after Bangkok. But many East Hollywood Thais have moved to North Hollwood, on the other side of the Hollywood Hills. So you'll have to go back and forth. But you'll surely find the best Thai food outside of Thailand, if you persist.

anu-la1979
11-08-2006, 09:09 PM
Oooh, which ones would you recommend in L.A. guizot? I love showing my parents all the cool L.A. neighbourhoods and they love Thai food so I was thinking of showing them that on their next trip out here.

(The last trip was izakaya in Little Tokyo...we all had okonomoyaki(sp?) for the first time. It was okay but we agreed we all liked the izakaya dishes better)

Siam Sam
01-04-2007, 10:40 AM
I've looked through this thread rather quickly, but I didn't see any mention of "phat kraphao." Forgive me if I missed it. But it is absolutely one of my favorites. That's minced chicken or pork served on plain rice. And when you through a fried egg on top of that, then it is truly heaven.

Siam Sam
01-04-2007, 10:42 AM
Oh, sorry, and that's stir-fried with basil. A very important ingredient.

Siam Sam
01-04-2007, 10:54 AM
I might try fried bees, but not the cockroaches.
Insects are eaten mainly in the Northeast of Thailand. That's always been the poorest part of the country, so that might have something to do with it. But the people up there really do love them. You CAN see bug carts in Bangkok, but usually only in areas with a high concentration of migrants from that region. Which is why you always see them in the bar areas; most of the bargirls come from the Northeast.

I guess it's an acquired taste, because a fellow American who has lived up there for more than a decade actively seeks them out come munchie time. When he comes down to Bankok, we'll be sitting in a place like, say, the Big Mango Bar in Nana Plaza, and he'll trot down to the street and return with a big bag of fried grasshoppers. BIG suckers they are, too. I'll pass. But I do admit that in China, I have eaten scorpions (very good actually; I can see kicking back with a bag of those and watching TV) and silkworms (BLECCHH! Never again).