Monday, August 18, 2008

My Visit to Thailand

Random food adventures are the best. There's something secretly thrilling about having absolutely no plan to discover something new, only the desire to explore a little nook and cranny that you've passed by a million times. My recent food encounter was with a little Thai restaurant called Chan Darae here in Los Angeles. It certainly didn't look like much from the outside--it was on a dirty stretch of road called Cahuenga East in Hollywood(weird) across the street from the local CNN bureau and kitty corner from an adult video store. Homeless people milled from corner to corner.

Ok, so I didn't go to Thailand, but we Angelenos consider Hollywood its own country. Definitely not my typical stomping grounds.

But since a local food site raved about it, I was willing to give it a try. Crossing the gum-filled sidewalk to enter the restaurant, I must say I was immediately welcomed by the decor. The small restaurant was filled with warmth, accented by the earthy tones of red and yellow on the floor and walls. Complementing all things feng shui, there was a water fountain by the door. Golden idols sat above the door as well, as if keeping watch. Gorgeous Thai waitresses served eager customers--I secretly believe that facial beauty and bust size are requirements for working there.

Happily breathing it all in, I immediately ordered a Thai iced and sat down. The restaurant was empty, but quickly filled as the afternoon hours slowly ticked away.

I decided to break my typical curry obsession and ordered chicken with basil and red chilies. The basil added a fresh burst of taste while the chilies had a sneaky heat--ok at first, then spicy enough to have steam coming out of my ears. But I loved every bit of it.

When I lived in Chicago (only the greatest place in the world) I was infamous for looking for new places to discover. And despite being a Los Angeles native, I am sure that I have a lot more of the city to see.

I'll be starting with the food.

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