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Thai One On: Rodded Restaurant

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The last thing I wanted to eat for lunch yesterday was Thai food for this series.

The ‘rents are in town for the weekend, and guess where they wanted to eat family style Friday night? Yup. Thai BBQ in Valencia. Now while I like Thai food as much as the next person, having it two days in a row is a bit much, right?

But I found the perfect solution to my quandary: (1) have a bowl of cereal for breakfast and don’t have “lunch” until 4:30; (2) check out Rodded (or Rod-Ded) on Hollywood Blvd., which serves up good Thai food at even better prices. (But here’s a caveat: the place doesn’t take credit, debit or checks, which unfortunately we didn’t know until we sat down.)

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The nondescript restaurant is located on the corner of Hollywood Blvd. at Gramercy Place (near the border of Little Armenia and Thai Town). Inside, the cafeteria-style tables and chairs in the middle of the smallish room are ringed by old-fashioned, comfy cream-colored booths, so we opted for those. What was different about the décor was a mix of religious art on the walls: A collection of little Buddhas sat on a shelf next to a picture of The Last Supper. All interesting choices and fun to look at while perusing the menu.

At first, the waitress came over too soon, so we asked for more time to look over the menu. So she then gave us plenty of time. Maybe a little too much, seeing as how there were only a few other patrons on Saturday afternoon. Eventually, we got our food order in. Because of weird allergies to some foods and plain old pickiness toward others, I’m not as an adventurous a food eater as my TV pals Andrew Zimmern or Anthony Bourdain, so I usually stick to what I know.

My dining buddy and I started off with Tom Yum Kai soup (with medium spice) and it was a great choice, probably the best I’ve tasted in awhile. The hot and sourness of the soup was perfectly offset by the fresh lemon grass and lime leaves. The broth was divine, and the portion of chicken and straw mushrooms was generous. Plus, you get that little fire in the middle of the serving dish – a great bonus.

Next up came Rodded's Thai Omelet, which was a little disappointing. The menu described it as a mix of egg, ground pork and onions. I thought there'd be a twist to the dish. But no: It was an egg omelet with ground pork and onions. The side of hot chili paste did add a good kick to the dish, but I later wished I had ordered up some fried beef balls from the menu instead.

Lastly, we sampled their Pad See Ew noodles – the broad noodles with broccoli, chicken and soy sauce – and they were quite tasty. It wasn’t too greasy, and the sweetness of the dish didn’t linger longer than necessary in your mouth. Now my only problem with this dish was the portion size. There just wasn’t enough of the tasty noodles.

Our bill – which we got after another long wait – came to almost $22 (all the above food plus white rice and one Coke). I wanted to sample the deep-fried bananas ($4) that I had heard so much about for dessert, but that cash only policy totally hampered my style.

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I remembered that I was sick of Thai food anyway.

Yeah, right.

5623 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 962-8382

Photos by Christine Ziemba

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