Photos: This New Silver Lake Spot Pairs Spicy Thai Bar Bites With Great Wine
Instead of the usual cheese platter and bacon wrapped dates that you'll find at most wine bars, the newly opened Same Same in Silver Lake offers a menu of fiery and complex homestyle Thai dishes like papaya salad and BBQ pork with jade noodles to pair with their reds and whites.
For those familiar with the strip mall on the northwest corner of Sunset and Silver Lake boulevards—which also houses Pho Café and the soon-to-open Burmese restaurant Daw Yee Myanmar Corner—you'll be familiar with many of the flavors found in the space's previous incarnation as Rambutan Thai. And now the restaurants owners, Katy Noochlaor and Annie Daniel have teamed up with Last Word Hospitality to offer a thoughtfully curated selection of wine and beer alongside Thai street food. They also offer an extensive selection of shared plates and more from Daniel and Noochlaor’s family recipes. And, fear not Rambutan fans, you can still order all your old favorites to go as well.
Noochlaor shared her excitement about the reinvented space with LAist:
Last Word Hospitality is such a fun group to work with and they bring in so much positive energy. The wine program they put together pairs so perfectly with our food and this is exactly what we wanted. Our Thai food needed a place to present itself alongside great wine and our partnership with Last Word has resulted in exactly this. When they originally found us, we had been thinking about doing something different and then we all come up with this incredible and unique concept. Thus, Same Same was born.
The Last Word team includes Holly Zack, Adam Weisblatt, and Angus McShane. Zack has put together a list of great wines, mostly from small production wineries, at a comfortable range of prices, so you can enjoy a casual sip on a weekday or go big for date night. And for a bit of flair, you can order a glass of Antxiola Txakolina from Gertalako, Spain, which they'll pour in the traditional way from several feet above to aerate (and provide material for Instagram and Snapchat videos). The team is also happy to help guide you in pairing wines or beers with the menu, which complement the heat and complexity of the dishes in wonderfully surprising ways. LAist was recently invited to a preview dinner where we had the chance to sample their excellent, and fiercely spicy minced chicken laab with a sweet riesling, while a rose cava from Cataluyna, Spain was offered as an excellent companion to the BBQ pork with jade noodles and the panang beef curry.
Weisblatt explains that the genesis for the new concept arose while they were looking for a place in the neighborhood to open a Spanish-Basque wine bar, during which time they met and immediately clicked with Daniel and Noochlaor. Together they developed a vision for the space and a friendship, as they conceived of a place for people to eat, drink and hang out:
After much discussion we came up with the idea to pair Katy and Annie’s traditional family recipes with a beer and wine bar curated by LWH. As we continued the conversation, we organically modeled Same Same after the beloved bars of Bangkok. In Thailand, you eat and drink simultaneously rather than just drink, and it’s customary to sit at the bar, drinking, while street food vendors bring you endless snacks to munch on. We all decided to bring this to Silver Lake. As our partnership has grown, we’ve been able to learn so much about each other’s cultures and have become like a family. Katy and Annie are so hospitality-driven, and have always strived to make every customer feel welcomed and at home, which is completely in line with the LWH ethos, making us a really cohesive team.
While some elements of the previous restaurant remain, such as the massive Buddha head and bar in the back, the space has been cleanly redesigned. There's a a lengthy bench with tables along one side, a collection of framed photos of graffitied trucks from artist Davin Sanchez, and a longer bar up front that perfectly matches the original in back, extending the "same same" theme, retaining elements of the old while ushering in a new era. You'll also encounter a neon sign up front that reads "but different," extending the bar's name, which comes from the direct translation of the popular Thai expression, "same same, but different."
Same Same is located at 2835 W. Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake