Tasty Thai Food from Thai ‘N’ I Cafe in Encino!

Thai Food from Thai ‘N’ I in Encino!

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Just around the corner from the Karate Kid Mural on Ventura Boulevard (at Texhoma Avenue) in Encino there’s the Thai ‘N’ I Cafe, a “hole-in-the-wall” restaurant that serves really great Siamese BBQ and Thai food.

There’s metered street parking on Ventura Blvd from 8am-8pm Monday through Saturday (FREE on Sundays) and a small parking lot in the rear of the restaurant accessed through a small driveway off the boulevard. Enter through the front door into a small foyer and dining room. It’s a straight shot to the Host Desk and cash register located at the back of the dining room. And there’s a large clean kitchen that parallels the dining room space so you can watch the food cook from Ventura Blvd through the front window.

CLICK ON ANY SMALL PIC TO SEE A LARGER PIC AND VIEW THE GALLERY!

The food is tasty, delicious and full of flavor! They have great sauces! There’s an extensive menu, with lots of fun choices and specialty dishes. The service is excellent and there are usually people dining inside. There are not a lot of tables and not a lot of space, and we live pretty close, so we always get our food “To Go” and takeout. Open for Lunch and Dinner, they also have delivery service in a limited area in Encino and do catering for parties and events.

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Buddhist Art and Shrine On The Wall at Thai ‘N’ I Cafe

On The Menu: 1/2 BBQ Chicken Combo with pad Thai and mee grob noodles, Chicken Satay with peanut sauce and small cucumber salad

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Thai Food “To Go” From Thai ‘N’ I Cafe in Encino

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Plated Dinner at Home (no sauces yet)

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Chicken Satay Combo with Pad Thai and Mee Grob Noodles

NOTE: This is our “go to” place for Thai food in the neighborhood. We’ve tried Lum Ka Naad at Ventura and White Oak twice  (read our previous Blog) and it was NOT GOOD both times. It wasn’t even close to the superior food from Thai ‘N’ I. Also, they are favored by the LAPD, and there are often uniformed officers dining on their breaks here.

Thai ‘N’ I Siamese BBQ & Cafe17544 Ventura Blvd (east of White Oak) Encino
(818) 783-8424 http://www.thaini.net

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The Karate Kid Mural on Ventura Blvd at Texhoma Ave

Thai Food at Sri Siam Cafe in North Hollywood

Thai Food! 

First time dining at the Sri Siam Cafe, a “Hole in the Wall” Thai Food restaurant in a mini-mall on the corner of Coldwater Cyn and Vanowen in North Hollywood. Everything was stellar! The portions were large and the prices were very reasonable. Each dish was done just right, super tasty and delicious. I give this establishment a big thumbs up!

On The Menu: Crispy rice salad (lettuce wraps), chicken satay with peanut sauce, cucumber salad and toast, yellow curry with duck, shrimp & egg pancakes, crispy spicy trout and a Thai iced tea with no cream.

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Sri Siam Cafe Thai Food

Sri Siam Cafe Thai Food

Crispy Rice Salad (Lettuce Wraps)

Crispy Rice Salad (Lettuce Wraps)*

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce, Cucumber Salad and Toast

Chicken Satay w/Peanut Sauce, Cucumber Salad & Toast

Yellow Curry with Duck

Yellow Curry with Duck

Shrimp & Egg Pancakes

Shrimp & Egg Pancakes

Crispy Spicy Trout

Crispy Spicy Trout

Sri Siam Cafe – 12843 Vanowen St (at Coldwater Cyn) North Hollywood, CA 91605
(818) 982-6262

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UPDATE Saturday March 26, 2016:

Dinner at Sri Siam Cafe last night was terrific! The food was great, we’ve been back a few times now, and this time I brought a friend.

ON THE MENU: Thai food! Chicken satay with peanut sauce and cucumber salad, crispy fried rice salad, fried calamari and a Thai ice tea (no cream)

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UPDATED Sunday February 19, 2017

We had a very nice dinner party at Sri Siam Cafe on Friday night:

On The Menu: Crispy rice with pork, beef panang and steamed rice, chicken satay with cucumber salad and toast, pad Thai noodles with chicken, green curry chicken, tom kai soup and a Thai iced tea (no cream). There were three other dishes that I didn’t eat and we cancelled two other dishes that they didn’t bring. So much food, so full.

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Lunch at Krua Thai Restaurant in North Hollywood

LUNCH at Krua Thai Restaurant in North Hollywood!

Saturday Afternoon in the beautiful San Fernando Valley.

ON THE MENU: Thai Food at Krua Thai Restaurant in North Hollywood!

Chicken satay with toast, peanut sauce and cucumber salad, Tom ko soup with chicken & mushrooms, beef panang, pad thai with meat, roasted duck salad, steamed rice and a Thai iced tea (no cream).

Lunch at Krua Thai Restaurant in North Hollywood

Lunch at Krua Thai Restaurant in North Hollywood

Recommend! The chicken satay with peanut sauce, toast and cucumber salad:

Lunch at Krua Thai Restaurant in North Hollywood

Lunch at Krua Thai Restaurant in North Hollywood – Chicken Satay w/peanut sauce

Lunch at Krua Thai Restaurant in North Hollywood

Lunch at Krua Thai Restaurant in North Hollywood – Tom Ko Soup

Lunch at Krua Thai Restaurant in North Hollywood

Lunch at Krua Thai Restaurant in North Hollywood – Roasted Duck Salad

Recommend! Krua Pad Thai with meat, egg and shrimp:

Lunch at Krua Thai Restaurant in North Hollywood

Lunch at Krua Thai Restaurant in North Hollywood – Krua Pad Thai

Lunch at Krua Thai Restaurant in North Hollywood

Lunch at Krua Thai Restaurant in North Hollywood – Beef Panang

Everything is delicious and savory! They give you a lot of food for a decent price (actually a real value). There’s an extensive menu of authentic Thai dishes. They have Boba drinks too. And they’re open very late for you night owls!

 Krua Thai Restaurant13130 Sherman Way, North Hollywood, CA 91605

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Dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India in Encino

Dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India in Encino 

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Upstairs in one of the weirdest “strip malls” in the San Fernando valley, is the Taj Mahal Cuisine of India restaurant. Climb the stairs (or ride the elevator) to this fantastic dining establishment and enjoy a wonderful culinary experience!

There’s usually street parking (metered 8am-8pm) available on Ventura Blvd. There are a few spaces in the small parking area in front, and many spaces in a very large underground garage below the mall…and it’s FREE. No valet parking surcharge!

The restaurant is a “mom and pop operation”: mom manages the restaurant and pop runs the deliveries and catering. The space has a sterile, modern design with big windows and lots of light during the day and it is always clean. When you enter, you’ll be greeted by the wonderful aromas of fragrant and exotic food cooking in the kitchen. They also have an outside patio dining area with a nice view of Ventura Boulevard and the Ralph’s parking lot across the street. (yes, it’s the valley)

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Dine In, Take Out or Call for Delivery! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Amazing Indian Food!

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Menu and a Mango Lassi smoothie (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

ON THE MENU: Crispy flatbread crackers served with spicy sauces, Chicken Coconut Curry, Chicken Tikka (Tandoori style), Bangin Bharta (eggplant), Basmati Rice, Peshwari Naan (warm flatbread with fruit and nuts), Raita (yogurt), Mango Chutney, and a Mango Lassi (smoothie).

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – crispy flatbread cracker w/spicy sauces (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

For starters, there’s a crispy flatbread cracker served with spicy sauces and pickled root veggies. We like to order their mango chutney, which is sweet, tangy and delicious.

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Mango Chutney (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Starter (“bread”) plate (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They have a wonderful selection of fresh baked naans and kulchas (seasoned breads) served warm out of the oven. I really like the garlic naan and onion kulcha, and they have a fantastic Peshwari naan with fruit and nuts baked in. Have it as an appetizer or with dinner.

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Peshwari Naan, flatbread w/fruit & nuts (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal - Onion Kulcha and Mango Chutney (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Onion Kulcha and Mango Chutney (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They have terrific appetizers. I like the Samosas.

Dinner at Taj Mahal - Samosa Appetizer (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Samosa Appetizer (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

They have a great menu! There’s a good variety of chicken, lamb, fish and vegetarian dishes (no beef, of course). In addition to the tasty appetizers, they have wonderful soups and a unique dessert list.

Each flavorful entree is served with tasty basmati rice and raita (seasoned yogurt). My favorite dish is the chicken coconut curry, which can also be done with lamb. The Tandoori chicken is also a good choice, and is served sizzling on a skillet with grilled onions. Have it on the bone or served without bones as chicken tikka.

All of the food is constructed with a mix of spices that delivers a real taste of Indian home cooking. I’ve tried some of their other dishes on previous visits and without exception they have all been excellent. They use a wide range of ingredients and there’s something on the menu for every taste. The cooking is traditional Indian style, but the taste is extraordinary!

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Bangin Bharta (Eggplant), Chicken Coconut Curry, and Chicken Tikka Tandoori Style (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

The Bangin Bharta is a spicy vegetarian dish made with eggplant and peas, and like all the main dishes you can request it “mild, medium, or hot”.

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Raita, seasoned yogurt (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Chicken Coconut Curry, Chicken Tikka (Tandoori style), Bangin Bharta (eggplant), Raita and Basmati Rice  (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

I love this restaurant and we come here often for dinner and sometimes have it delivered. They’ve also catered several large parties for us at our home. The food was excellent and it’s easy to serve buffet style (they’ll even provide the chafing dishes).

They also have the classic “all you can eat” lunch buffet and a champagne Sunday brunch at a great price! They advertise in local “coupon mailers” and offer discounts on the buffet and brunch as well as 2-for-1 entrees ($10 off) when you dine in with coupon. There’s also a nice selection of beer and wine available, again at very reasonable prices!

NOTE: the only thing that I’ve found to be annoying at Taj Mahal is the service. My advice is to request anything you need or want when there is someone at your table. If you ASK for ice, extra napkins, additional beverages, water refill, and the check, rather than waiting for service or someone to ask, you will have a much better experience!

There’s also one more thing I don’t like (this is my own personal opinion) and that’s that they’ll plate your food at the table for you, as part of the service. Some people enjoy being served this way, but I prefer to serve myself and determine my own portions and placement of food on the plate. So, I usually tell them “thanks, I’ll just serve myself.”

Dinner at Taj Mahal (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Cooking in the Kitchen! (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

 Taj Mahal Cuisine of India17815 Ventura Blvd, Ste 201, Encino, California 91316 818-345-2244 http://www.tajmahaldining.com

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Dinner at Taj Mahal - Mango Lassi, pickled veggies & crispy flatbread cracker (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)

Dinner at Taj Mahal – Mango Lassi, pickled root veggies, spicy sauces & crispy flatbread cracker (copyright 2014 JoshWillTravel)


UPDATE December 17, 2016:
We enjoyed “take out” from Taj Mahal last night and it was great!
This is, in my opinion, the best Indian food in the San Fernando Valley!

On the Menu: chicken coconut curry, chicken tikka masala, banging bharta (eggplant puree with peas), basmati rice, raita (yogurt with cucumber and dill), mango chutney and Peshwari naan (flatbread with dried fruit & nuts).

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UPDATED Friday April 7, 2017

We enjoyed another fantastic dinner at Taj Mahal Cuisine of India tonight!

On The Menu: Chicken coconut curry, boneless tandoori chicken, banging bharta (eggplant dish), basmati rice, onion kulcha (flatbread), mango chutney, raita (yogurt), crispy cracker bread with spicy sauces and a mango lassi