Friday, June 17, 2005

Sunshine Thai

I don't know why there are so many Thai folks in L.A., but such is our good fortune that mediocre Thai restaurants here would be a destination in 99% of American cities. Nevertheless, as chowhounds it remains our duty to seek out the creme de la creme, and guided by a tip from a Thai student in a next door lab I headed out to Sunshine (13212 Sherman Way, North Hollywood 818-764-6989) tonight. Apparently the Thai name sounds a bit like "sunshine" and on a balmy summers night the airbrushed papaya "tree", fake flowers and extremely lightweight plastic balustrades inside provided a ersatz paradise for some killing Thai food as the sun set outside:

Ground pork and crispy rice salad with pig's ears: I neglected to note the Thai name for this outrageously tasty dish. The classic fish sauce, red onion and cabbage are served with ground pork and crispy rice like a familiar larb-style salad but the thinly sliced pig's ears add a novel touch. Fresh mint and purple thin-leaf Thai basil to shred on top add a wonderful freshness to the dish that equals the terrific salads I've had at Yai, Ruen Pair and the Wat Thai temple. Dried red chillies are included whole, allowing sensible diners to adjust their level of spiciness by picking 'em out. I ground them into the salad for an extra-spicy version - goodnight nurse!

Shallow Sea: Cryptic name - is it the same in Thai??? - for a delicious dish. Perfectly fried fish fillets with tender splayed-out squid and shrimp in a fish-sauce rich mixture, livened up with kaffir lime leaves and sliced fresh green chillies. The immaculately cooked seafood and tasty sauce made this a great choice. It has been brought to work as prizewinning leftovers but is even better served fresh.

Pork "jerky": Off menu deep fried pork slices, not exactly as dry as the jerky term would imply but with a crispy fried coating encasing moist meat. Served with a vinegary dried-red chilli sauce, a nice contrast with the other dishes we tried that had added some of the classic South-East Asian grilled/fried meat flair to the meal.

Sunshine is a Los Angeles peoples restaurant in the classic mould. Dirt-cheap prices, auto repair shops and storefront church for local colour, and best of all food that's tailored for Thai folks. I look forward to exploring further menu items.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sunshine simply makes the best Thai food in Los Angeles. End of discussion.

2:51 AM  
Blogger sara leib said...

Do we know, by any chance, if this valley "sunshine" is a relation to my very favorite "sunshine cafe" in LA on western, between santa monica blvd. and melrose?

1:26 AM  
Anonymous kk said...

Answer for sara leib... The answer is YES. Sunshine and Sunshine Cafe is related. I believe they are either brother and sister or cousins. :)

10:03 AM  

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