I joined a friend at Grub for lunch a couple of weeks ago- it's one of his favorite spots in LA. It's a lovely garden spot. Walking in through the gate, I felt like I was being led into someone's private hideaway. I forgot there was a street out there. There were morning glories or some similar sort of vining flower draped all over the trellises and walls and the umbrella-d tables offered cool rest from the sun. Though all the tables outside were filled, it was quiet and conversation was easily audible. Service was amazing prompt and friendly for LA.
We were advised to try the big icey glasses of the blueberry lemonade. Delicious! I think the phrase "nectar of the gods" might have been thrown about. Sometimes the simplest things are the best. I had a heavenly tomato cream soup to start and a yummy Mama Mia home-made veggie burger. Both were full of flavor and served right off the stove- nice and hot! I wish more LA kitchens would take notes on how to accomplish that. My omnivore friends enjoyed their turkey and chicken sandwiches, both of which appeared to be really nicely dressed. My pal's roasted new potatoes were totally yummy and nearly made me regret my choice of the side salad with my sandwich. (The dressing was pretty awesome though, so it was a tie!)
There were ample vegetarian choices on the lunch menu at this little Hollywood oasis and I'll certainly stop back on my next visit to LA to try some more!
I am not all that surprised that Sabai Thai closed. When it opened, I had such hopes for a Thai spot so close to work and home. Despite several dinner visits, we never got anything more than a mediocre meal there. After those disappointing meals, I'd only venture in for the occasional lunch when my coworkers and I didn't have enough time to drive anywhere else. My green mango salad and red curry dreams were dashed. I was worried that I'd be stuck driving to Ardmore and Frazier to satisfy my Thai cravings and those were only marginal choices to start with.
But the story ends quite happilyl! The best Thai in the area, IMHO- including Philadelphia itself- is just a ten minute drive up the road to Berwyn- The Thai Orchid on Lancaster Avenue. It's in Berwyn Shopping Center- just down from the Berwyn train station. There is always ample parking. It's charming little BYOB- there's less than 10 tables, so a reservation is a good idea on the weekend (or during the Devon Horse Show). The dining room is decked out tastefully with Thai wall hangings and the table linens are always fresh. It's a cheery place to enjoy a meal.
They offer an impressive range of Thai dishes, from the spiciest of curry dishes, to those topped with milder but no less vibrant sauces for the less daring. Their ingredients have always been really fresh and the dishes seem particularly well-balanced, with the different elements always harmonizing beautifully. The appetizers are perfectly sized to whet the appetite and my father often enjoys their soups to kick off his meals. For vegetarians there is a whole section of the menu dedicated to animal-friendly appetizers and entrees. One can eat there every week and never repeat a veg meal for a month- which is rare on the Main Line! The desserts are delightful and the service is always friendly and attentive. My family has eaten there many times in the past couple of years and this restaurant never disappoints.