Original Thai Dishes

Nice Thai: Pad kee mow, made to order

Nice Thai: Pad kee mow, made to order

Red state: Kang ped

Red state: Kang ped

Latest scoop: Coconut ice cream

Latest scoop: Coconut ice cream

Staying close to home again, we headed to Original Thai Dishes in Santa Monica (1910 Wilshire Blvd., near 19th St.), a longtime favorite. Though we might have kicked off the meal with the greasy-good spring rolls, we kept it light this time and went straight to our entrées, pad kee mow and kang ped. Through trial and error, we have developed our own optimal formulation of the former, a normally spicy dish with mint and green chili, asking for mild (no chili) and substituting vegetables for tofu. The result tonight was a savory, satisfying dish with broad, flat rice noodles in a light brown sauce tossed with broccoli, red and green bell peppers, carrots, onions, scallions, and cabbage, all perfectly cooked, neither mushy nor hard. The kang ped, meanwhile, a slightly funky red coconut-based curry, had just enough heat to warm without burning (we requested mild here too). As with the pad kee mow, we substituted vegetables for tofu and were rewarded with a slightly sweet combination of broccoli, bamboo shoots, peas, carrots, string beans, and mint. We finished with a light, refreshing coconut ice cream (imported from Thailand), in which the coconut did most of the work in flavor and texture, though dairy helped it along. All of this excellent food was ready in a jiffy, astonishingly inexpensive, and served with Buddhist good cheer, bringing to mind a place long ago and far away, NYC’s East Village Thai. Fortunately for us, Thai Dishes is just around the corner, and, for Thai food in this city, we have not yet found a better place to go.

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