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Hollywood's Chan Darae Serves Sexy Spicy Thai

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After catching a broadcast of KCRW's show Good Food over the weekend, we had Thai food on the brain. We were lucky enough to find a dining companion game to go with us to indulge the craving, and we found ourselves on Cahuenga in Hollywood at Chan Darae--a spot that had been catching our eye every time we drove past its wide street-side windows. Inside the brightly colored and comfortably crowded eatery we were seated quickly (by those same windows, no less!) and we scanned the menu. Dance music pulsed in the background at a moderate volume, and we noticed that the place was full of folks engaged in friendly chatter and enjoying pots of steaming soup and plates of prettily presented food.

We were craving, admittedly, the staples of our Thai tastes. We started with the Thai toast appetizer, and appreciated that the servings were heart-shaped. Despite the obvious kitsch, they were quite tasty; not as greasy as expected and accompanied nicely by a light sweet sauce accented with slivers of crisp cucumber. Our main dishes were soon brought out by the team of waitresses (we think perhaps one was training another, although this fact wasn't made known to us), and we delighted in the Chicken Pad Thai--again, not greasy, and had a good mix of chicken, noodles, sauce, and sprouts--and the Spicy Garlic Chicken stir fry, which was pleasantly spicy and was balanced out well by our piles of nutty brown rice. We found that a cold Singha Thai Beer was the perfect companion to our dinner, and that the prices were modest and reasonable, running on average $8.95-$15.95 per dish. The service--despite the doubled up wait-starr--was on the inattentive side, and we wondered if perhaps the young ladies were more likely to dote on the tables of men who most likely were there for the eye candy more than the dishes. We walked back out onto Cahuenga, full from all the spicy goodness, and overall pleased with our experience.

Chan Darae 1511 North Cahuenga Boulevard (323) 464-8585