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Thai One On: Red Corner Asia

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I have a list of things I want to do in Los Angeles pages long. It changes by the season, by the year and most certainly by recommendations given to me by friends. One thing remains constant, exploring Los Angeles and all of its nooks and crannies makes me appreciate this town so much more than I ever could have imagined. For all of the hoopla and stigmas attached with being in LA, it's thrilling to know that at any moment you could dive into a new neighborhood, explore a new section of town - or in this case get to do both while eating your way through.

The night I went to Red Corner Asia, I was on the way to the Greek Theater with a friend and fellow LAister. One of the tears I always have with the Greek is that their 11pm curfew means shows seem to start earlier and earlier (it doesn't help that l feel like I work later and later), but I always want to grab food before I go. A girls gotta eat dinner after all and yet of all the ups and downs, lefts and rights of trying to squeeze in a meal with a friend in under an hour and still make the show on time, it never seems to work. My thai town experience changed all that and I can't recommend enough next time you're rushing somewhere but looking for something good and quick to eat to refer to our handy-dandy guide of Thai Town restaurants and go for one.

Red Corner Asia is located in, you guessed it, a strip mall. The sign outside is so bright though that compared to some other spots, you definitely can't miss this one. Walking in, I was the first to arrive and about a third of the place was full with couples on dates, a few families and a few other groups sitting around. Red Corner Asia has affectionately nicknamed itself RCA and RCA is all over the menu as in, "RCA specialties" and "RCA Recommends," to the point where we were laughing over how much they love their acronym, but regardless it's a bright and well lit space and very modern furniture and menus. It's no wonder that Jonathan Gold called RCA one of the best places to eat in Thai Town and it's definitely more dressed up in style and presentation than some others in the neighborhood but it keeps authenticity with the food.

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Join us after the jump to see what we ate!

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Beer for the gentleman and thai ice tea for me and we were set to order. I wish we had more people with us because there was a lot that looked interesting and I had read about what other people ordered around this part of town and we fell short with our appetites. Next time I want to try to Volcano Chicken - a whole roasted chicken that comes on fire to your table.

We weren't starving but somehow managed to order a lot of food. We started with the chicken satay ($6.95), which came out with a beautiful presentation and was some of the best we've ever had. The chicken was seasoned so that the flavors seemed to pile on top of one another, there wasn't one that was too dominant over the others and it was so tender and moist that it almost fell off the skewer.

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Next we had the papaya salad with dried shrimp ($5.95) and it certainly was very different from what I expected. I thought it was going to be big pieces of papaya - it was actually more a salad and it had a little kick to it with the addition of chile flakes. It was absolutely amazing, I was surprised at how much I liked it considering it wasn't what I was expecting.

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Next we had the Fried Chile and Holy Basil Leaves. We were sold pretty much on the name. How can you go wrong with something called holy? It was definitely hearty, there were big chunks of basil (yummy) and stir-fried vegetables, chicken and chiles.

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The service was just fine - nothing special but not lacking either and with our bill under $30 and us out of there within a hour (could have been less if we didn't have so much to catch up on), and into the Greek just in time to battle for stacked parking and mosey our way in. I was definitely pleased with my experience at RCA and will be back again - with a bigger appetite and new recommendations in hand.

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Red Corner Asia
5267 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Phone: (323) 466-6722
Hours: Daily 11am-2am
Takeout: Yes

All photos by Sloane Berrent for LAist