Friday, August 26, 2011

Khao Soi 3: Search for Curly Gold

It's been almost a full year since my first sequel regarding the magical qualities of everyone's favorite Northern Thai noodle dish, so today I sailed over the Cahuenga pass to Sri Siam for a golden bowl of Khao Soi. North Hollywood is largely known for cranking out infinite amounts of internet pornography, but this fair barrio also hosts a decent amount of solid Thai cafes that can be just as tantalizing. Sri Siam serves all the basics plus a wide array of noodle soups (like yen ta fo sho kun: spicy rice noodle soup, fish cake, fish balls, espinaca), flavorful seafood dishes (such as crispy soft shell crab with green curry), and tangy salads (like the crispy rice salad: sour sausage mixed with crispy rice, roasted cacahuetes, ginger, green onion). However, with the focus of my comida adventure already predetermined, I ordered and waited vigilantly to get my hands once again on the savory treasure.
One curious detail hit me right away when the menu offered Khao Soi with a choice of beef or pork. As we know by now, this dish has Muslim roots and is sometimes served with carne but certainly almost never with pork. I should have simply requested pollo but I stuck with it and opted for beef. Along with a unique crispy egg noodle chopstick holder, this version came with the tipico sidecar: purple onion, bean sprouts, limon, pickled mustard greens, and a potent chili flake sauce. Once the components were fused, I set right in and experienced those joyful spicy sniffles in no time flat. During my slurping I suddenly realized that a Sri Siam bowl of Khao Soi is way hotter than any neighborhood skin flick, even on a good day. So for those of appropriate age and equal interest, here's a candid peek. Hubba Hubba.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Earthquake on 1st Street

Sometimes signage above a restaurant is just too ridiculous to ignore. Such is the case with La Chicken in Little Tokyo which flaunts colorful banners that tout Japanese tacos and burritos. At first glance this seemed like another in a long line of 'Asian Confusion' joints that create needless comida combinations designed to enhance mediocre flavors. This aside, I promptly swallowed the bait (seeing that separately Japanese comida and tacos rank high here at CCB) and found myself intrigued even further by the baffling sign plastered on the front door.
I chalked this up to a translation quirk but made a mental note to be on the lookout for a 'new car scent' when dining on my pollo of choice. I ordered dos tacos fully expecting that teriyaki sauce would make up the Japanese component but man did I get it wrong.
These plugs are nothing short of spectacular: marinated pollo (spicy and juicy), chopped cilantro, cebollas, and finely diced avocado. After fueling up at the condiment bar, I suddenly understood the Asian persuasion. Two ice cold and frothy salsas: the green (Japanese mayo, wasabi, and basil) and the red (Japanese mayo and Sriracha) whipped thin with a submersible blender. This is just a guess because when I inquired about the composition of these mystifying elixirs the proprietor (who I had already pissed off by snapping pictures) simply stated: "that one's spicy, that one's medium". While delving into this flavor explosion there was a slight seismic occurrence, which made a nice emphasis on an excellent almuerzo. Nothing at all to get worried about, although I'm pretty sure this dumpster jumped over a solid foot...Kampai!