I am a pad thai fanatic. About every other week, I ask J, "You know what I'm craving?" and he, knowing the answer by now, responds, "Pad thai?" Indeed, my good man. Indeed.
As a result of my obsession, I am always on the hunt for new Thai restaurants and always game to try any place that people claim has "the best pad thai (!!!)." I'd heard good things about Yai Restaurant and decided to branch out from my favorite Thai restaurant--Pailin Thai Cuisine--to quell my most recent craving.
Yai Restaurant is located in Hollywood, in an assuming corner location next to Natalie Peruvian Seafood Restaurant (which is hear is quite yummy) and a 7-11. I've driven past the restaurant a million times and never noticed it, but now it was time to give them a try.
Any Thai meal is incomplete without a Thai iced tea ($1.50). Yai's version was good but the flavor of the tea dominated the taste of the milk, and I prefer a creamy, milky Thai iced tea.
Because we were starving, J and I ordered egg rolls ($4.95) as an appetizer. I don't love eggrolls and believe that, if you've tried one, you've tried them all. These were fine, and I was glad to have some food in my stomach.
J ordered the Panang curry ($8.95). I don't know if it's because the curry was served on a plate rather than in a bowl, but it seemed like there was a mountain of chicken. Score. The chicken was delicious and tender, and the curry had the perfect amount of spice which worked beautifully with the rich peanut-y flavor.
And now, the piece de resistance: the pad thai ($6.95). For as hungry as I was, the first thought I had was, "The bean sprouts and peanuts take up half the plate!" Sad. The shrimp were lovely, plump and perfectly cooked, but the noodles were oddly wet and juicy, and the overall flavor of the dish was a little weak. The pad thai wasn't bad; it just wasn't all that I hoped it would be. I sort of wished that I had stuck with Pailin Thai.
Yai Restaurant is a lovely hole-in-the-wall with great prices, friendly service and yummy food. However, until I find another Thai restaurant that has supposedly the "best pad thai," I'm sticking to Pailin Thai Cuisine.
5757 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
(323) 462- 0292