Review Siam Best at 2533 Lincoln Blvd in Venice, CA
If you like good, inexpensive Thai food in a pleasant surrounding, with enough left over for another small meal then go to Siam Best on Lincoln Blvd. in Venice, Ca. I am a fan of spicy food and I do like my taste buds to tingle, especially when the dish is marked as spicy. Many restaurants mark food as spicy when it is barely warm. Siam Best seems to believe that when food is marked spicy it should be, but not enough to corrode the silverware. Another point is that they serve rice with all dishes, even noodle ones and they offer chop sticks. The menu is broad and includes several non-Thai dishes as well as some vegetarian selections.
A group of five of us ventured into Siam Best for their lunch special which ranges from $5.95 to $7.95. The special includes a very hot, both meanings, soup which today was Tom Yum Kai, a lemon grass chicken soup with real pieces of chicken and mushrooms. Three of us ordered the Spicy Mint Noodles with Chicken ($7.75) which is also known asPad Kee Mow or Drunkards Noodles, a Kung Pao Chicken which was $6.95, and the House Special Chow Mein which has both Chicken and shrimp in it for $6.95. Not a complaint from the bunch. Drinks, tax and tip about $11.00 each.
I've added two dishes to our normal fare, one is a cranberry chutney with apples and the other is yam casserole. Neither one is traditional but both seem to be appreciated. I also added and original appetizer which I call Paneer Cups. It is amazing what you can do with Indian cooking.
Danny’s Deli Restaurant in the heart of Venice Beach at 23 Windward Ave.
“If only the food was as good as the ambiance” would be my refrain. Unfortunately Danny’s doesn’t believe in serving hot soup. If that was the only complaint it might be attributed to my liking my soup hot, hot enough to burn the roof of my mouth. But alas, Danny’s likes their soups definitely on the cool side, barely north of warm and their chili very salty. We both tried the chili and quickly determined it was inedible and sent it back. This was the first time in over 5 years that I sent something back to the kitchen.
They asked what else they might bring us. I selected a bowl of the grilled vegetable soup while my friend Walter selected the half salami sandwich with soup. His sandwich was served on "white bread" (in a deli?) with a cup of the grilled vegetable soup. Again, the soup was lukewarm, but at least not salty, in fact, not much of anything. They must be adhering to the “Bland is Grand” motto. Good grilled vegetable soup is usually a mixture of pureed grilled vegetables in a tasty broth with small chunks of the same grilled vegetables floating around. This soup could easily have been bland pureed pea soup.
To add several insults to injury, when I asked for bread with the soup, it took a while. And when it arrived, no butter was offered. Even worse, while the bread was hand sliced, and not from a store bought loaf of sandwich bread, it was mushy and soft. It made Wonderbread look good. And then there came the bill problem. The waitress, although very pleasant and semi-efficient, forgot to remove the charges for the returned bowls of chili.
Danny, the owner manager who happened to be sitting in the booth next to us with an LA Times photographer, quickly pointed out that he was changing bread vendors. He said that the new bread would be crusty as one would hope and expect. He did not comment on the soup. The final bill with tip came to $14.00 each, money not very well spent.
I've used a similar recipe and it works fairly well. I would add a little bit of turmeric, primarily for color. The chicken once it is baked is a good starting point for making Chicken Tikka Masala.
There is a great Basic Indian Cooking course at Beverly Hills Adult night school starting next week if your are interested in Indian cooking.