Did you know there was a big Thai contingent in the valley? And I’m not talking about a string of Thai restaurants, I’m talking about a spot in the north end of North Hollywood where signs for auto repair shops and dry cleaners are both in Thai as well as English. Here, on a stretch of Sherman Way is a restaurant called Krua Thai, which Jonathan Gold once claimed to have the best Pad Thai in LA.
With such a claim, I knew I had to try their Pad Thai. I must admit, Pad Thai is usually far down on the list of dishes I like to order at Thai restaurants. Curries of any color are always at the top of that, followed by a few other things before I hit Pad Thai. Yet, Pad Thai was what I went for, and despite my hatred for bean sprouts, I ordered it the natural way because I didn’t want to take the chance of ruining it. In addition to the sprouts, the Pad Thai had noodles, shrimp, chicken, egg, sauce and peanuts.
It arrived pretty quickly and I was happy to find a big pile of bean sprouts sitting on the side of the dish and not integrated with the rest of the food. This was a great move on the part of Krua Thai and unvegan-approved. I found two little shrimp floating on top of the pile of noodles, and sadly no sign of peanut. I hoped that the peanut crumbles were hidden somewhere in the labyrinth of noodles, but as I began to eat, I found my search for the peanuts was in vain. Peanuts certainly would have made this dish better, however, it was still some damn good Pad Thai. The sauce was sweet, tangy and oily, while the noodles were delicious in their own right. The use of only two shrimp would have disappointed some, but I much prefer chicken to shrimp and was happy to find a plethora of the fowl.
When I finished, I knew that I had loved the dish. It was a tasty Pad Thai despite the lack of peanuts. Yet, in the end, I fear that I am simply inadequate at judging whether this Pad Thai stood out as amazing. No doubt, it was very well-executed and the sauce was unique, but I am in no position to judge its ranking in the grand scheme of Pad Thai. I will, however, recommend getting out there and trying it yourself, especially if you find yourself in North Hollywood.