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

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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 & Show: Thai Food at Chan Dara & “Dreamgirls” @ the Met Theater in Hollywood

Friday 12-April-2013

Drove the 101 Freeway into Hollywood (no traffic!) and picked up my friend Jessica on a warm Friday evening for dinner and a show.  Reservation for 6:45pm at House of Chan Dara (Larchmont) and a lovely Thai food meal ahead.

A quick car ride and a short walk after self parking on Larchmont, we arrived at our destination:

House of Chan Dara - 310 North Larchmont, Hollywood

House of Chan Dara – 310 North Larchmont, Hollywood

ChandaraPIC

We were both hungry, and I didn’t take the food pics until after we had both eaten, so apologies (or not, because it was delicious) and imagine the plates with even more food!

We shared a tasty chicken satay with peanut sauce appetizer (4 skewers),

Chicken satay with peanut sauce  appetizer (4 skewers)

Chicken satay with peanut sauce appetizer (4 skewers)

a spicy beef panang which was delicious but the meat was just a little overcooked,

Spicy Beef Panang

Spicy Beef Panang

a great plate of chicken and shrimp pad thai noodles,

Chicken and Shrimp Pad Thai Noodles

Chicken and Shrimp Pad Thai Noodles

and an order of yummy sweet and crispy mee krob.

Crispy and Sweet Mee Krob

Sweet and Crispy Mee Krob

I had a Thai iced tea with no cream and Jessica had a glass of red wine.

My friend Jessica Jolly is a very talented actor/standup comedian/writer/producer/director and currently be seen in “The Broad Casters – Football for Girls Who Like Football” on Funny or Die: http://www.funnyordie.com/videos/cd317b2861/the-broadcasters (NSFW)

Jessica enjoying the sweet and crispy Mee Krob

Jessica enjoying the sweet and crispy Mee Krob for the camera and making me laugh!

The food was fantastic, and it is every time I eat here or at the other Chan Dara (at Cahuenga and Sunset in Hollywood proper) and the price is very reasonable.  Dinner for two (or four if you count the leftovers) with drinks and tip ~$75.  The service is very good, and the portions are big, so we had a lot of leftovers to take home.  But, it wasn’t time to go home yet…

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My friend Keith Arthur Bolden is starring in “Dreamgirls” at the Met Theater in Hollywood presented by the Doma Theatre Company http://www.domatheatre.com.  He’s a great actor and he absolutely brings it as Jimmy “Thunder” Early along with a very talented cast and chorus.  The LIVE BAND did a fantastic job and rocked the house, with a special shout out to the keyboard player and conductor!  The show is getting rave reviews and has been extended through May 5th.155602_10152737492845584_1320352895_n

View Keith’s IMDB pagehttp://www.imdb.com/name/nm1080768/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

The Met Theater is in East Hollywood, on Oxford, just east of Western, and just north of Santa Monica. Parking is tight but there are two lots that are available for the theater, stack park at Earl Scheib, or park at Catalina Marketplace (enter alley just east of Western off Santa Monica) for $5.

The Met Theater - up the stairs to the Lobby

The Met Theater – up the stairs to the Lobby

The Lobby at the Met is too small for the house and the Box Office is inside and on the far side of the Lobby.  The show was full but not sold out and the lobby was hot and crowded.  Because of some technical difficulties the show started about a half hour late, and the show producers offered free drinks at the bar while we waited.  BRAVO!!!

Technical Difficulties = Free drinks at the bar!

Technical Difficulties = Free drinks at the bar!

Jessica had a glass of red wine and I had a Heineken and we continued talking while we waited.  We went down the stairs to the landing where it wasn’t crowded and hot and it didn’t take very long before they solved the problems and opened the house.

Dreamgirls "Stage" Set at the Met- preshow

Dreamgirls split-level “Stage” Set at the Met – preshow

The show was worth the wait!  It was well staged and wonderfully choreographed.  The music was performed live and the band rocked the house.  The lead actors were extremely talented and gave strong performances. The large chorus did a great job acting as supporting characters and executing the large musical numbers.  The singing and dancing was very well executed, and the staging was creative and entertaining.  The production value was amazing!  The set and lighting design was very effective.  The period wigs were hilarious!  And the costumes were absolutely fantastic!  Special congratulations go to the costume designer  and director for a job well done.

My friend Keith was terrific!  I had only seen him do heavy, dramatic material prior to this show and was pleasantly suprised to see him sing and dance as well as act.  He had the  entire audience cheering as he sang “Jimmy Wants More!” so it’s not just a biased opinion.  I was again reminded of how many talented people there are in Los Angeles, who perform in smaller theaters every weekend while chasing the Hollywood dream.  The show was fun but wasn’t perfect.  The performances were mixed,  with some actors not as strong as the leads.  And the show was long, with the first act running 90 minutes and the second act running almost an hour with a brief intermission.  Overall it was an entertaining and exciting piece of musical theater with a very talented cast, and at a caliber not often seen in a smaller theater space. Check out the reviews and go see it!

Watch a preview  of “Dreamgirls” at the Met on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QyA7MqoogTw

We waited for Keith after the show, thanked him for the tickets and congratulated him and other members of the cast.  It’s always good when you see someone you know perform and it’s great (not so good when it’s not good).  We talked for awhile and after saying goodnight and a fast walk to the car, I drove Jessica home and then headed back to the valley.  It was a very fun night!