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"WANTED" Great Lad Nar

"WANTED" Great Lad Nar
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  • "WANTED" Great Lad Nar

    Post #1 - February 4th, 2006, 5:25 pm
    Post #1 - February 4th, 2006, 5:25 pm Post #1 - February 4th, 2006, 5:25 pm
    I live in Niles and the hubby and I are jonesin' for some of Penny's Noodle Shop chicken Lad Nar. But we are both NOT up for a drive to Wrigleyville. Any suggestions? We love that it has a nice light sauce and the noodles are still crispy on the outside. Any help would be great!
    The clown is down!
  • Post #2 - February 4th, 2006, 5:29 pm
    Post #2 - February 4th, 2006, 5:29 pm Post #2 - February 4th, 2006, 5:29 pm
    Jeanne,

    Are you looking for an equivalent offering in a restaurant near you or the recipe?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #3 - February 4th, 2006, 7:53 pm
    Post #3 - February 4th, 2006, 7:53 pm Post #3 - February 4th, 2006, 7:53 pm
    Jeanne,

    Have you been to Siam's House? I'm pretty sure that Lad Nar is on their menu. I can't vouch for the quality, since it's not a dish I usually order, but almost everything I've had there passes the authenticity/quality test. It's also on the menu at GNR winner Elephant Thai, if a trip to Edgebrook isn't too far. Neither one of these places probably serves it as prettified as Penny's, but I'll bet they are both good.

    Siam's House
    7742 N. Milwaukee
    Niles, IL
    847-967-2390

    Elephant Thai
    5348 W. Devon
    Chicago, IL
    773-467-1168
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #4 - February 5th, 2006, 3:02 pm
    Post #4 - February 5th, 2006, 3:02 pm Post #4 - February 5th, 2006, 3:02 pm
    Alt Thai serves Lad Nar. I haven't eaten there. But, its getting lots of good press lately. Since it's fairly close to you, it might be worth checking out.

    Alt Thai
    40 S. Arlington Heights Rd.
    Arlington Heights
  • Post #5 - February 6th, 2006, 10:20 am
    Post #5 - February 6th, 2006, 10:20 am Post #5 - February 6th, 2006, 10:20 am
    Thanks for the ideas guys and gals! That night I needed my fix, the hubster made the trip to Wrigleyville to pick up a couple of orders and some Japanese Gyoza....yum!!!!

    We are going to check out Siam's house first because it is about 4 blocks from our house, but we are not going to get too excited.

    For me it's mostly about the noodles. The ones from Penny's Lad Nar must have some sort of addictive chemical because you could put them on a conveyor belt and keep'em comin' :)
    The clown is down!
  • Post #6 - February 6th, 2006, 9:21 pm
    Post #6 - February 6th, 2006, 9:21 pm Post #6 - February 6th, 2006, 9:21 pm
    JeanneBean wrote:We are going to check out Siam's house first because it is about 4 blocks from our house, but we are not going to get too excited.


    Siam's House is one of the best Thai restaurants in the Chicagoland area, and they do a very good job with noodle dishes in particular.

    JeanneBean wrote:For me it's mostly about the noodles. The ones from Penny's Lad Nar must have some sort of addictive chemical [...]"

    The use of chemicals at Penny's Noodle Shop wouldn't surprise me in the least. :twisted:

    E.M.
  • Post #7 - February 7th, 2006, 9:52 am
    Post #7 - February 7th, 2006, 9:52 am Post #7 - February 7th, 2006, 9:52 am
    OK I went into Siam's House yesterday to pick up a menu and was a little scared. The place semlled Very fishy, and it looked kinda dirty. Is the food really good?
    The clown is down!
  • Post #8 - February 7th, 2006, 10:02 am
    Post #8 - February 7th, 2006, 10:02 am Post #8 - February 7th, 2006, 10:02 am
    JeanneBean wrote:OK I went into Siam's House yesterday to pick up a menu and was a little scared. The place semlled Very fishy, and it looked kinda dirty. Is the food really good?


    Yes. Really good!
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #9 - February 7th, 2006, 1:48 pm
    Post #9 - February 7th, 2006, 1:48 pm Post #9 - February 7th, 2006, 1:48 pm
    OK then we'll try it!
    The clown is down!
  • Post #10 - February 7th, 2006, 4:02 pm
    Post #10 - February 7th, 2006, 4:02 pm Post #10 - February 7th, 2006, 4:02 pm
    JeanneBean wrote:OK I went into Siam's House yesterday to pick up a menu and was a little scared. The place semlled Very fishy, and it looked kinda dirty. Is the food really good?


    Ooo...I'm going to have to check this place out. "Very fishy" is generally a good sign (for me, at least) with Thai places. I find a lot of the joints in town go way too easy on the nam pla.
  • Post #11 - February 8th, 2006, 8:27 am
    Post #11 - February 8th, 2006, 8:27 am Post #11 - February 8th, 2006, 8:27 am
    My circle of Thai acquaintance is not as vast as Erik M's, but every single Chicago-based Thai whom I've ever asked about local restaurants has mentioned Siam's House, including the sous chef at Vong's Thai Kitchen and the Thai trade commissioner. I love it. I confess I've never had the lard nar, because I so adore the pad Thai.

    For geography fans, I will point out that Arlington Heights is slightly farther from Niles than Wrigleyville, and while altThai is definitely more attractive than Siam's House, the food isn't worth driving any distance for.
  • Post #12 - February 8th, 2006, 1:42 pm
    Post #12 - February 8th, 2006, 1:42 pm Post #12 - February 8th, 2006, 1:42 pm
    OK I think I have come to a conclusion.....I don't think I like authentic Thai food.

    I passed a place near the house called Lai Thai and I looked in and it looked clean, a BIG plus!

    I ordered the chicken lad nar and it wasn't bad, it just wasn't good.

    The noodles were very soft and the gravy was VERY thick, almost gelationous.

    Penny's have this great crispness to them, but even the ones that get soggy are very tasty. Plus the gravy is very light. I guess I need to move to Wrigleyville, that's all! :roll:
    The clown is down!
  • Post #13 - February 8th, 2006, 1:49 pm
    Post #13 - February 8th, 2006, 1:49 pm Post #13 - February 8th, 2006, 1:49 pm
    JeanneBean wrote:OK I think I have come to a conclusion.....I don't think I like authentic Thai food.

    I passed a place near the house called Lai Thai and I looked in and it looked clean, a BIG plus!

    I ordered the chicken lad nar and it wasn't bad, it just wasn't good.

    The noodles were very soft and the gravy was VERY thick, almost gelationous.

    Penny's have this great crispness to them, but even the ones that get soggy are very tasty. Plus the gravy is very light. I guess I need to move to Wrigleyville, that's all! :roll:


    That doesn't sound either authentic or good. Be sure to try Siam's House. You'll probably be happier with their food than you were with the "food" from Lai Thai.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #14 - February 8th, 2006, 2:09 pm
    Post #14 - February 8th, 2006, 2:09 pm Post #14 - February 8th, 2006, 2:09 pm
    This whole "dirtiness" factor is bothering. I haven't been, but if Siam's House gets the thumbs up from several in the LTH crowd I'd hazzard they know what they're talking about. It's highly possible, JeanneBean, that you won't enjoy "authentic" Thai, but you owe yourself the opportunity to eat at any of the places given accolades on this board. Picking a suburban Thai place at random(ala Lai Thai?) and expecting to be blown away is a bit silly. And, the recent mentions of Alt Thai(and linked reviews) make it also sound like just that sort of inoffensive, bland experience.

    One might infer from the praise given to Siam's House(regardless of your "dirtiness and fishy smell" apprehension) that it's safe to eat (from) there.

    Just because an operation's pedigreed(clean and no fishy smell-I'm talking to you Drake Hotel) doesn't preclude dirty little secrets.
    http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst ... ake08.html
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #15 - February 8th, 2006, 2:21 pm
    Post #15 - February 8th, 2006, 2:21 pm Post #15 - February 8th, 2006, 2:21 pm
    I don't know if it's closer, but Siam Pasta on Western (South of Howard) has some great Lard Nar. I used to order from them when I used to live in Evanston. Also tasty are their stuffed chicken wings, shrimp in a blanket and their curries.
    ~ The username is a long story
  • Post #16 - February 8th, 2006, 3:01 pm
    Post #16 - February 8th, 2006, 3:01 pm Post #16 - February 8th, 2006, 3:01 pm
    Christopher Gordon wrote:This whole "dirtiness" factor is bothering. I haven't been, but if Siam's House gets the thumbs up from several in the LTH crowd I'd hazzard they know what they're talking about. It's highly possible, JeanneBean, that you won't enjoy "authentic" Thai, but you owe yourself the opportunity to eat at any of the places given accolades on this board. Picking a suburban Thai place at random(ala Lai Thai?) and expecting to be blown away is a bit silly. And, the recent mentions of Alt Thai(and linked reviews) make it also sound like just that sort of inoffensive, bland experience.

    One might infer from the praise given to Siam's House(regardless of your "dirtiness and fishy smell" apprehension) that it's safe to eat (from) there.

    Just because an operation's pedigreed(clean and no fishy smell-I'm talking to you Drake Hotel) doesn't preclude dirty little secrets.
    http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst ... ake08.html

    First of all, I never said I was looking to be blown away. I was looking for a place a little closer to my house that had similar tasting food.
    Second, cleanliness IS important to me. I worked in the food industry and we were LITERALLY given a white glove inspection before we could go home for the night. Never a pest was found.
    When I go into a place and see that it is dirty, my first thought is "no thanks".

    Maybe the other people who have eaten from there never were inside or maybe it was cleaner at the time. And I didn't mean a "mmmm...seafood smell", more like a "where's the rotting fish smell".
    And lastly, just becasue a place is suburban doesn't mean it's bland or not good.

    Remind me never to eat at your house if you don't mind dirty restaurants! :wink:
    The clown is down!
  • Post #17 - February 8th, 2006, 3:12 pm
    Post #17 - February 8th, 2006, 3:12 pm Post #17 - February 8th, 2006, 3:12 pm
    JeanneBean wrote:...And lastly, just becasue a place is suburban doesn't mean it's bland or not good.


    This is very true - Siam's House being the perfect example.
  • Post #18 - February 8th, 2006, 3:13 pm
    Post #18 - February 8th, 2006, 3:13 pm Post #18 - February 8th, 2006, 3:13 pm
    JeanneBean wrote:And I didn't mean a "mmmm...seafood smell", more like a "where's the rotting fish smell".


    someone once told me she thought nam pla smells like fish gone AWOL. perhaps you simply find Thai food "rotten"?

    cleanliness is overrated. (my mom's compulsive obsessive cleaner. their house smells like a hospital). EOM.
  • Post #19 - February 8th, 2006, 4:09 pm
    Post #19 - February 8th, 2006, 4:09 pm Post #19 - February 8th, 2006, 4:09 pm
    JeanneBean wrote:And I didn't mean a "mmmm...seafood smell", more like a "where's the rotting fish smell".


    Before we go down the path of accusing anyone of serving rotten fish, I would like to point out that any authentic Thai restaurant is likely going to be using A LOT of good, authentic fish sauce in its cooking.

    Fish sauce is made from fermented fish and often has a very "fishy" smell.

    JeanneBean, I have a feeling that the odor you experienced was what many of us would consider the smell of good Thai cooking.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #20 - February 8th, 2006, 4:13 pm
    Post #20 - February 8th, 2006, 4:13 pm Post #20 - February 8th, 2006, 4:13 pm
    Stinky fish is the national smell of Thailand.

    Open a bottle of fish sauce, pour it into a hot pan, and you will have no doubt that rotting fish is the source, just as spoiled milk is the source of cheese. The first time I cooked with it my wife wanted me to promise never to do so again, it stank the house up so bad.

    Yet cook with it and it-- as does its comrade in arms, shrimp paste-- transmutes into a deep, haunting undernote. Your dish no longer tastes like rotting fish, but it certainly tastes like something complex and profound and elemental. (Descriptors mostly stolen from Erik M.)

    How much fish sauce is used in a restaurant is not, perhaps, an exact indicator of quality but the fact is that many places catering to gringos are afraid to use much of it or even any at all. Like someone cooking beef without salt, though, they are simply depriving themselves of the primary tool in their flavor arsenal. (Actually, since fish sauce is a source of umami, aka savoriness, Dave Hammond would say it would be more proper to say it's like someone eating without ketchup, another source of umami.)

    So: rotting fish smell is a sign of good eats inside. Unless it's a sign of rotting fish, actual, on the premises. These things happen. And cleanliness is not necessarily the highest priority in ethnic restaurants, or even some American ones-- I remember when I started at McDonald's, at 16, I was horrified that they cleaned their grills sparkling clean every night, since all the places that made burgers I loved had built up a rich, noble patina of black on their grills. Anyway, the point is, try the food and then adjust cleanliness/atmosphere expectations if needed....
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  • Post #21 - February 8th, 2006, 5:06 pm
    Post #21 - February 8th, 2006, 5:06 pm Post #21 - February 8th, 2006, 5:06 pm
    Mike G wrote:Stinky fish is the national smell of Thailand.

    Open a bottle of fish sauce, pour it into a hot pan, and you will have no doubt that rotting fish is the source, just as spoiled milk is the source of cheese. The first time I cooked with it my wife wanted me to promise never to do so again, it stank the house up so bad.

    Yet cook with it and it-- as does its comrade in arms, shrimp paste-- transmutes into a deep, haunting undernote. Your dish no longer tastes like rotting fish, but it certainly tastes like something complex and profound and elemental...


    Mike, I was just about to write a post basically saying exactly the same thing as this. The first time I cooked at home with nam pla, I was horrified by how bad it smelt when it first hit the pan...and then amazed at how that smell was quickly replaced with...well, with that wonderful smell that occurs a few seconds after nam pla is added to a hot pan of other ingredients. Over time, I've come to love the of raw nam pla, but it can be a bit offputting at first.

    I was reading a few weeks ago (I forget where) about how nam pla has become a secret weapon for many haute cuisine chefs these days. I'm not surprised at all.
  • Post #22 - February 8th, 2006, 5:18 pm
    Post #22 - February 8th, 2006, 5:18 pm Post #22 - February 8th, 2006, 5:18 pm
    LionRock wrote:I was reading a few weeks ago (I forget where) about how nam pla has become a secret weapon for many haute cuisine chefs these days. I'm not surprised at all.


    Poster Alphonse XIV gave me an article on anchovies a few years ago from the New York Times. It discussed how anchovies, just like nam pla, was a secret seasoning ingredient for Worchester sauce and other concoctions. I believe Gary popped in that anchovy paste was also a secret ingredient in BBQ sauces in the BBQ competition circuit.

    According to Andy Smith, who wrote the book on Ketchup. Fish sauce/nam pla was the original ketchup/catsup. In fact the reason there are two spellings for ketchup/catsup is because they are transliterations from an Asian dialect.

    The first time I heard of fish sauce was from the Frugal Gourmet. I thought myself pretty brave buying my first bottle after watching Jeff Smith wrinkle his nose smelling it.

    Someday when Gorilla Gourmet finally premiers their Thai cuisine video, we will be treated to Erik M extolling on the several kinds of fish sauce he has in his kitchen and when he uses them. I know that will be very interesting to learn.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #23 - February 8th, 2006, 7:58 pm
    Post #23 - February 8th, 2006, 7:58 pm Post #23 - February 8th, 2006, 7:58 pm
    JeanneBean wrote:
    Christopher Gordon wrote:This whole "dirtiness" factor is bothering. I haven't been, but if Siam's House gets the thumbs up from several in the LTH crowd I'd hazzard they know what they're talking about. It's highly possible, JeanneBean, that you won't enjoy "authentic" Thai, but you owe yourself the opportunity to eat at any of the places given accolades on this board. Picking a suburban Thai place at random(ala Lai Thai?) and expecting to be blown away is a bit silly. And, the recent mentions of Alt Thai(and linked reviews) make it also sound like just that sort of inoffensive, bland experience.

    One might infer from the praise given to Siam's House(regardless of your "dirtiness and fishy smell" apprehension) that it's safe to eat (from) there.

    Just because an operation's pedigreed(clean and no fishy smell-I'm talking to you Drake Hotel) doesn't preclude dirty little secrets.
    http://www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst ... ake08.html

    First of all, I never said I was looking to be blown away. I was looking for a place a little closer to my house that had similar tasting food.
    Second, cleanliness IS important to me. I worked in the food industry and we were LITERALLY given a white glove inspection before we could go home for the night. Never a pest was found.
    When I go into a place and see that it is dirty, my first thought is "no thanks".

    Maybe the other people who have eaten from there never were inside or maybe it was cleaner at the time. And I didn't mean a "mmmm...seafood smell", more like a "where's the rotting fish smell".
    And lastly, just becasue a place is suburban doesn't mean it's bland or not good.

    Remind me never to eat at your house if you don't mind dirty restaurants! :wink:


    JeanneBean,

    Siam's House is truely a great restaurant. If the ambiance bothers you that much, drive slightly further to Elephant Thai where things are spic and span and the food is equally good.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #24 - February 8th, 2006, 9:30 pm
    Post #24 - February 8th, 2006, 9:30 pm Post #24 - February 8th, 2006, 9:30 pm
    I think we will try it due to the overwhelming amount of people who say it is good. But, like I said earlier, I might just not like authentic Thai food. Who knows? I think I am one of those supertasters. And I agree that a lot of ethnic restaurants aren't the cleanest.

    We used to LOVE a little place in Skokie around Niles Center and Main called Imperial China. We used to go to the lunch buffet all the time. Whenever I used the washroom I was always a little scared because it was a bit nasty and you had to walk down a dark hallway to get there.
    Well one day, after having been a customer for years, I located a light switch on the wall and turned it on while going back there and there were at least 10 or 15 dead roaches on the floor. That was when I decided to eat at clean restaurants because if the dead roaches were in te hall, what the heck would be in the kitchen!? BTW, that restaurant is no longer there and my husband saw the owner working at Menards.
    The clown is down!
  • Post #25 - February 8th, 2006, 10:30 pm
    Post #25 - February 8th, 2006, 10:30 pm Post #25 - February 8th, 2006, 10:30 pm
    Of course, dead roaches aren't a completely terrible sign. It generally means management is doing something about the problem.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #26 - February 9th, 2006, 8:26 am
    Post #26 - February 9th, 2006, 8:26 am Post #26 - February 9th, 2006, 8:26 am
    Mike G wrote:Stinky fish is the national smell of Thailand.


    I have always enjoyed reading LTHForum since moving to Chicago. Quite a while ago, I was soooo impressed with Cathy2's brave experience with insects at Sticky Rice. I also respected Erik M's knowledges of Thai variations and his menu translations. However, there were times when I got annoyed by some of the opinions but too lazy to register and type something. Anyway, this time I can't simply stop the itches anymore and since Thai is my first language please accept my apology for the broken English.

    Now, back to the topic. I don't think that it is nice and kinda insulting to me when reading the remark from Mike G. Where the heck "stinky fish is the national smell of Thailand" coming from? :lol: And no! Nobody in Thailand would pour Num Pla into a hot pan first. This is not the right order of using it in Thai cuisine. Num Pla is the last thing that we will put in the wok/pot when everything is almost fully cooked. This will help eliminate most of the fishy smell.

    First, let's talk about Num Pla and the fishy smell that some of us have experienced at Siam House (or Kai Chon as called by Thai patrons here.)
    It is not common to have that type of fishy smell in a restaurant, even back home in Thailand. The simple explaination is the circulation system was not fully functional or the main hood in the kitchen wasn't powerful enough due to whatever reasons. Another possible culprint that exaggerated the problem was ... they were preparing generic sauces which definitely required a lot of Num Pla amongst other things and boiling. Please note that most of Thai restaurants in the U.S. do not simply pour Num Pla and other suaces in the wok/pot when cooking something for a customer. This is difficult to control the taste and very time consuming. Instead, they first prepare a big pots of generic sauces for food that share similar basic taste. To make it more tangible, Spicy Basil Chicken (Ka Prow Kai) and Ginger Chicken (Kai Pad Prik King) will use the same type of pre-cooked generic sauce. And again, if the hood in the kitchen was powerful enough during the boiling process, there shouldn't be any smell coming out from the kitchen.

    Now, what about the popular myth on this posting? "AUTHENTIC" While many may keep using the term "Authentic" extensively. Let's face it! THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS AN AUTHENTIC THAI RESTAURANT HERE. How can we get an authentic Thai when most of the dishes share the same pre-cooked generic sauce. A real authentic version of Ka Prow Kai should use black sweet soy sauce but Kai Pad Prik King only uses light soy sauce. See the differences? Definitely, taste differently too. Besides, not all tiny minor ingredients are available here. By the way, my home-made authentic Thai Ka Prow Kai sucks! :oops:

    I have also seen the word "better" or "best" being used redundantly in this LTHForum. Something like "This restaurant is better than the other one" or "This restaurant is the best in Chicago" or "This is the best restaurant in town because Thai patrons frequent there." Give me a break! Who is the judge and based on what? Authenticity? As explained in the previous paragraph, forget it! Being frequented by Thai patrons? :roll: From my expereinces, some of them are good of certain dishes but doesn't necessarily imply that the rest of them are not good at all.

    Siam House for example, even though the food here is generally good. The reasons why it is popular amontst Thais are because of the prices and some of the Thai popular dishes are not available anywhere else (e.g. Yum Pla Dook Foo or crispy catfish salad.) If you visit there next time, look at a table with Thai patron and don't be surprised to see Yum Pra Dook Foo on the table. Try to order it if you haven't had it before. It's one of the few things that taste as close as what I had back home.

    For Sticky Rice, this place sucks! PERIOD! Thais go there because this may be one of a very few restaurants that serves northern Thai cusine and it's very cheap. The only good thing here was Num Prik Noom (a type of chili paste eaten with sausage, steamed veg. and sticky rice) which is so far the best in town. Laab (Northern-style pork salad) didn't smell right on both of the visits. And Num Prik Laab (a combination of chili and herbs specifically used for this) was waaay too weak to taste like a real Laab. And all the insects dishes, there are in fact available in cans at some of the Thai grocery stores. No cooking required. Just open and put them in a plate. Thus, the real authentic version of these insects, especially fried bamboo worms should be more juicey (which is a good source of protein), not fiber-like texture (no protein left) as mentioned by Cathy2 or someone here.

    What about altThai? According to LAZ, this place doesn't worth driving at any distance for. This is not true. altThai cannot be judged simply by an order of Evil Jungle which I didn't see on the menu there. And to be honest, this dish doesn't exist in Thailand. The salad, soup and curry chef there is Pee Oam who was one of the first Thai restaurant owners in Chicago--amongst them were P.S. Bangkok and Thai Always if I recalled correctly. She also worked at Opart and Chinese House for nearly ten years and had helped Mama Thai and a lot of Thai restaurants with their recipes in the beginning. Pee Oam is very well-respected amongst Thai restaurant owners and famous for her salads, soups and curry dishes. There are Thai patrons who frequent altThai simply for her salads (Papaya, Beef and Seafood Salads) and Tod Mod Shrimp (Shrimp Cakes or Patties.) Personally, I love Pat Thai here. By the way, I read somewhere that altThai's egg rolls are the best. No they are not. :lol: Most of the food here is good or very good but definitely not egg rolls, fresh shrimp rolls (Vietnamese Rolls) or asparagus rolls (An adoption of Moo Ma Now or sweet and sour pork salad but instead in rolls )... maybe. altThai has the best Laab in town since the owner is from that region but not sure that it is available regularly or not.

    And the last place that I want to mention here is Thai Avenue. All of the Chinese-origin Thai and some of the northern-style food are very good, especially Kow Man Kai as mentioned and photographed by Erik M. Laab here is also good. Way much better than Sticky Rice; With better quality of Num Prik Laab but not the best comparing to altThai or what I cook at home. :D

    Enough have been said. I hope that I didn't offend anyone on here.
    Last edited by ChiangMaiBoy on February 11th, 2006, 7:02 am, edited 3 times in total.
  • Post #27 - February 9th, 2006, 8:30 am
    Post #27 - February 9th, 2006, 8:30 am Post #27 - February 9th, 2006, 8:30 am
    On the record, good quality Num Pla is less smelly when cooking. Try Tip Pra Rod, not the other brand with Squid logo if anyone happens to go to a Thai grocery store next time.
  • Post #28 - February 9th, 2006, 9:01 am
    Post #28 - February 9th, 2006, 9:01 am Post #28 - February 9th, 2006, 9:01 am
    One thing that I forgot to mention about Thai Avenue is a dessert called Bow Loy (rice balls made from sticky rice powder with coconut milk.) Yummy and highly recommended.
  • Post #29 - February 9th, 2006, 9:09 am
    Post #29 - February 9th, 2006, 9:09 am Post #29 - February 9th, 2006, 9:09 am
    Sensational post ChiangMaiBoy. It was a real pleasure hanging onto every word you wrote. I know virtually nothing about Thai cooking so your wisdom of some of the details of this wonderful cuisine was extremely useful and exciting to hear about.

    Please continue to write often. Posts like this make scanning LTH a real joy.

    Thanks.
  • Post #30 - February 9th, 2006, 9:15 am
    Post #30 - February 9th, 2006, 9:15 am Post #30 - February 9th, 2006, 9:15 am
    I don't think that it is nice and kinda insulting to me when reading the remark from Mike G. Where the heck "stinky fish is the national smell of Thailand" coming from?


    From my outsider's love of Thai food. I was being a little tongue in cheek, trying to keep it on a light tone with Jeanne Bean, given the centrality of nam pla in Thai cooking, and the centrality of food in Thai culture.

    You know, you hope that, jeez, your lack of anti-Thai prejudice is manifestly obvious just by being here and raving about Thai food for a few years straight, but there's always someone new to come on the site and immediately get touchy. (When it's well known to longtime users that the only people I hate are Swedes.) Every time somebody reams somebody else for cultural insensitivity on this site, we get a little closer to the day when it will be impossible to talk about ethnic food at all for fear of offending someone ("They brought me chips and salsa--" "MEXICAN FOOD IS ABOUT MORE THAN CHIPS AND SALSA, STOP PERPETUATING STEREOTYPES!")

    So, please look at the comment in its context, not ripped from it. My point-- which is the same as one of yours-- is that the smell usually has nothing to do with cleanliness or actual fish on premises. But it is a common barrier for non-Thais, and surely Jeanne Bean is not the first person who's been put off by it, so understanding what it is (and what it isn't) would help get some of those folks through the door and into enjoying their food. That was, you'll note, a pro-Thai-restaurant-and-food position.

    As for authenticity, I'm not going to get into a whole discussion of that, but there's no question that commonly there are spectacularly inauthentic ways to make Ameri-Thai food-- dial up the sugar, leave out the things that scare gringos (nam pla, bitter melon, whatever), etc. And by definition, if doing certain things is inauthentic, not doing them and doing other things is more authentic. Not authentic-- more authentic. That much I am convinced is true.

    I agree with Pigmon, it was a good post and I hope you'll post more. But I plead innocent to this charge and this is my defense.
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