Thursday, July 15, 2010

B (grade) is for Better and BYOB: Pailin Thai, Hollywood

Pailin Thai has won me over since my first time dining at the hole-in-the-wall Thai Town eatery over two years ago. Since then I have been back many times. I love the small, cozy space looking out to the dingier side of Hollywood Ave. I love the Thai TV station on in the back corner. I even love the dilapidated (but clean) bathroom charmed with eclectic Thai decorations. The mom/wife is always in the back working magic over steamy pots and the dad/husband is in front taking orders, seating guests and bringing food. The son (child labor at its happiest) brings the bill and change. I also love BYOB and cheap places with good food.

On a recent visit, the Mathlete and I ordered the House-Made Thai Sausages served with roughly chopped pineapple and cabbage, whole chili peppers (!), peanuts and cilantro. This is now my new favorite appetizer. The exotically spiced sausages tasted super fresh and were not overly spicy. It was by no means a snappy sausage, but more of a softer meat link with chorizo like consistency. The portion size was very large for the two of us - this would be a perfect appetizer for four people to share.

House-made Thai Sausage Enchantment

We also ordered the Fish Cakes, which came out piping hot. Despite looking like a hot-fried mess, they actually didn't taste ultra greasy. The light battered shell maintained the integrity of the spicy, flaky, herb spiked innards.

Fun Fish Cakes

The accompanying cucumber-red onion-peanut salad helped to cut the heat and add a fresh crunchy-cool component to the fried cakes. 

Cool Salad

Being a hot summer afternoon, another salad was in order, this one being the Roasted Duck Salad, which I was curious to try as a duck meat aficionado. Unfortunately, the pieces of duck did not taste the freshest and were super fatty and sinewy. The tomato slices and lettuce also seemed depressed in the over-doused dressing. I really wanted to like this salad, but it was my least favorite of the night and I would not order it again. At least my curiosity was satiated.

Daffy Noooo: Roasted Duck Salad

I have loved  Pailin's beef panag in the past so tried it with soft tofu this time around. The result was a much lighter broth with more veggies added the mix. The pleasant heat and flavor of the curry were still present minus the gravy-like viscosity that rice loves so much. This was a good summer version, indeed.

Soft Tofu Panag: Bikini and Banana Hammock friendly

 B is also for Bringing El Salvadorean beer into a Thai restaurant.  

To say the least, our bellies' were very happy and Pailin Thai continues to lure me back. Frog legs next time?

Pailin Thai
5621 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028


Esi said...

But the real question it better than Jitlada? :p I'd go and try that sausage though. Sounds like good stuff.

stuffycheaks said...

I wonder if the sausage tastes like the Thai Bangers at Bar Food in Brentwood (which I enjoyed). Thanks for sharing, gotta add this to my BYOB list! Love it!

weezermonkey said...

Bad duck makes me sad. :(

Banana Wonder said...

Esi - Alas, I have yet to taste the virtues of Jitlada... someday soon I hope. I hear they have killer mango sticky rice.

Stuffycheaks - Never been to Bar Food... I wonder! You'll have to let me know.

Weezermonkey - Me too :(((

Carbohydrate Facts said...

Good review, thanks for the heads up on the duck. Duck can always be a bit tricky. Loved the pictures.

Banana Wonder said...

Carb Fact - Thanks for visiting. Yeah, duck can be tricky, but maybe that's part of the allure.