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Recession Obsession: The Other Thai Town's Krua Thai

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The Official Recession has enveloped us for seventeen official months. It’s still no reason we can’t enjoy life. This is LA -- we have a ton of inexpensive options! A Recession Obsession is truly fantastic, whether you've recently been downsized or are about to cash a large commission check. It's not just a "cheap eat." We last obsessed over ginormous Korean Dumplings in K*Town, and via a Taco Crawl in Highland Park. Today, we obsess...

LAist loves Thai Town. The entire neighborhood is a Recession Obsession. And while this half-mile stretch of Hollywood Boulevard features some of the city’s finest Thai meals, it’s missing something. Thai residents. Many of the neighborhood’s restaurateurs, and their families, and friends, call North Hollywood home. In doing so, accidental birth has been given to (the unofficially unincorporated) Thai Town 2.0.

The face of Thai Town 2.0 is the Thai Wat on Coldwater Canyon. The grounds' focal point is the large wat, or temple, whose dynamic architecture snaps unsuspecting motorists' necks into double-take. (Unfortunately they no longer have weekend food fairs.) Blocks from the Wat, on Sherman Way, a stretch of Thai restaurants mingle with an impressive mix of Central American and Mexican joints.

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The anchor of one of the area’s many strip malls is Krua Thai. Its recession-friendly prices were considered cheap prior to today's tough and rough times. Now, they seem just right, especially for some of the best Thai food in the San Fernando Valley. That’s why Krua Thai is LAist’s latest Recession Obsession.

Mini-Mall, Big Meal

An outdoor banner, boasting noodles that are “the best,” gives way to a large dining area. Walls of gushing clippings, from both local and national publications, rave with suggested dishes. Most push noodles (pad Thai, boat noodles, pad kee mao,) which average $6-$8 each. With Krua’s no-joke portions, those few dollars are well spent.

With more than 125 dishes on the menu, only a few cost more than $10. One of those dishes is Tilapia with Thai Herbs (pictured before, and most definitely after.) It's one of my favorite dishes in Los Angeles. The complex flavors of this simple dish showcases what makes excellent Thai food seem created by a scholarly star chef, even though the dish probably hails from a tiny village far from any pricey cooking school.

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As the underside of the fish bathes in a gingery, sweet sauce, the top of the fish supports a colorful mound of lemon grass, cashews, red onion, chopped lime, and kaffir lime leaves. The sky-facing fish remains crisp, allowing for an entirely complimentary (read: juicy) experience when Tommy the Tilapia is flipped. Expect each bite to offer a surprise degree of spice.

At $10.95 this dish costs more than 95% of their menu, but this cost dips when you split this big fish with a friend (or a friend with benefits.) Have something else too, some noodles perhaps. You can walk away for $10/person. Open for brunch, lunch, dinner, late dinner, and an after-your-bedtime snack, Krua Thai is a deal over 18 hours a day.

External Link: Menu

  • Krua Thai Thai Town 2.0 | 13130 Sherman Way | North Hollywood 91605 |(818) 759-7998
  • Hours: Open Daily, 11 a.m. - 3:30 a.m.

Photos by Caleb Bacon for LAist

Where do you get your grub on in Thai Town 2.0? Comment Below!