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Thai One On: Jao^ka

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Smooshed between two auto insurance storefronts just a tad west of the official Thai Town boundaries hides Jao^ka, sheepishly, shyly, and easily overlooked.

Indeed, inside the quaint restaurant on Hollywood Blvd. one could confuse this little place with any of the others in and around LA. Which is why we put their food up to a standard that no restaurant would ever wish for: the Take Out and Early Morning Re-Heat Test.

We ordered the #4 appetizer, Shrimp Tempura, the #17 soup, Tom Kha, and the #30, Thai Chicken Fried Rice (they proudly use white meat only in all of their chicken dishes).

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And then we took it home!

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Although we understand that deep fried things are bad for our health, so is breathing in all the smog of LA. So we enjoyed the lightly battered shrimp, and wondered about the lightly battered vegetables. One of our questions was "is that cheese on the broccoli"?

The answer, of course was, "mmmmmmm."

Bonus points for deep frying green beans, and the spicy sauce that came in a cute little container. For dipping. Your veggies in. Oh, and your shrimp.

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Speaking of things that were decidedly Not spicy after we asked twice to make it spicy came the creamy, unfettered, smooth, Tom Kha. Maybe we need to learn how to say spicy in thai but it seems to us that no matter how hard we try to express to the good people of restaurants around the city that we would like our Tom Kha Kai spicy as in WHERES THE FREAKING WATER OMG THEYRE TRYING TO KILL ME they pretend that it's Opposite Day and hand over a huge steaming Styrofoam container of mellow yellow.

Yes Jao^ka's soup is good. The mushrooms are large and tasty, they even add baby tomatoes and something that appears to resemble Love. But alas the spice was left in the cook's back pocket.

Tragic.

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Because we devoured most of the food, we really only had a few deep fried things and most of the rice left for left overs in the morning.

Would the fried rice recover better than we do in the morning?

The answer was a delicious "hell yummmmmmm".

Only a tad of soy sauce was needed.

All in all we give Jao^ka a decided "eh". It's probably really good at 10:30pm when you're starving and nothing else is open. And if you like mild soup.

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Nice people, decent prices, $4.95 lunch specials, and a warm atmosphere inside.

Jao^ka Thai Cuisine
5615 Hollywood Blvd, LA 90027
323. 462-7678
Mondays 4p-11pm
Tues-Sunday 11am-11pm

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photos by Tony Pierce / LAist