After reading about Darabar Secret Thai Cuisine yesterday The Monster gets lucky having a meeting in Hollywood that very day. So a trek out to Thai Town is in order to check it out.
Standard issue mini-mall location with most unusual decor for the area. Concrete floors, large pleather banquettes, overstuffed chairs, chandeliers gracing the ceiling. It’s a study in brown that for this neck of the woods offers up a bit of elegance where most places offer up a study in grunge. But will the decor be a harbinger for greatness or will The Monster pass by Jitlada and Red Corner Asia with an ache in his heart?
As the only diner for lunch The Monster wishes he could turn off the bad Thai pop blasting from the speakers. If Gloria Gaynor and Chicago had a Thai son who became a popstar this would be the outcome. In any language it’s painful.
The friendly waitresses aren’t exactly 100% English proficient so it’s a blind stab at what might be best to sample. As The Monster orders the waitresses confer in Thai and it’s not apparently evident if they’re talking about the order or what they’re doing later tonight.
The food is incredibly fragrant, large and pleasing portions. The deep fried catfish with mango in spicy lime sauce salad is citrusy in flavor and topped by dried catfish. Those looking for the fish more so than it’s flavor may be disappointed but for this Monster the combination of citrus, mango, apples, onion, basil and the fish essence all make for a refreshing start to the meal.
The Pad Ka Pao with chicken tastes as if it’s been through a flower emulsion, it’s spicy yet its core is a floral bouquet. In the same way Persian ice cream uses lavender and jasmine to great effect, so too does this dish curry favor with it’s unique take on what could be a pedestrian entree.
For dessert The Monster points blindly and the waitresses begin conferring again. Given the descriptions of the food are a bit scant this is like being on a game show and hoping you like what is hidden behind door number three.
It’s a new car! Or an ice dessert with black grass jelly underneath and brown sugar on top. Dear lord it’s refreshing and like the dishes before it offers up unique taste combinations. Crushed ice, jelly and brown sugar shouldn’t work as well as it does.
The meal reminds The Monster just how much superior the Thai food is on this side of town. One of the few reasons to bemoan living on Westside.
Why go? You can’t keep a secret.
Monster rating: 4/5 Monsters
112 Hollywood Boulevard, Suite 109
Los Angeles, CA 90027