but in all seriousness, an invitation to a blogger's dinner? of course! i was more than happy to flex my strong fingers to meet fellow food fanatics and eat some good thai food to boot.
nakkara on beverly is a cute, cozy little place with the hugest floral arrangement in the center of the room. the good ambience lends itself to being a good date place especially if you need to crank up the spice level with the one you are wooing.
being the good host that he is, kevin brought libations for us to wet our lips as we stuffed face. nothing like yummy alcohol to bring out the asian glow peoples. love it!
we quickly commenced on our 13 course tasting menu which began with one of my favorites items of the night, the nakkara mieng kham. think of it like a lettuce wrap stuffed with toasted coconut shavings, cashew, dried shrimp, and a small piece of lime, skin and all. you might feel a tiny urge to pick the lime out and squeeze it, or even worse, to toss it out altogether due to the skin, but DON'T. that burst of limey-ness is the best part of this tiny package. i also recommend that you take it in one bite or you will miss the complexity of this divine little starter. and why should you believe me? i know cuz i use to eat this stuff at my thai friend's house all the time and only stopped when my belly ached! in fact, i thought of them as the familiar flavors exploded in my mouth once again. however, if you're not a coconut fan, i warn you that the sweet mieng sauce is entirely muddled with it. delicious though, delicous.
the spicy filet mignon skewer was small and compact. if you don't have a gag reflex when stuffing long things down your throat..ahem..then you can possibly take this whole skewer at once. not to name names, BUT i saw one person that was able to do that. i won't reveal who, but i was sure impressed! the green curry sauce that accompanied it was rich and thick. i would have loved some rice for that yummy curry.
garlic lamb chop with deep fried crispy garlic bits. i don't eat lamb often, but this one was nicely executed and lacked the gamey smell. i also enjoyed the lamb fat, now who would have thunk...no, yes, it makes sense. i like fat PERIOD.
peking duck rolls. i LOVE duck, but this particular duck roll did not have enough duck presence...a lackluster quack if you will.
oh boy, the BIG SUPRISE! first off, i love suprises (as long as they're good of course and there's no dick hiding inside http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W9HloS9Ukto). just love the name for the dish! it came undercover like alien technology....
and then suprise! little portions of steamed calamari and shredded crab meat in coconut milk and red curry paste. i really enjoyed this as well and and totally worth it for you to drop by nakkara for a taste. superb.
a duo of soups, the shrimp tom yum or the chicken tom kha. i preferred the tom yum because the tom kha was very rich and thick in coconut milk. especially at this point in the night, it behooved me to go a little lighter.
green papaya salad dressed with chili lime juice. this papaya salad definitely reminded me of the vietnamese version but without the liver jerkey that usually accompanies it. this salad had a great heat too which was spicy, lingering, but not overpowering. now THAT is my kind of spice. i never understood spicy till you sweat and cry, i really don't. go ahead, you can call me a crybaby.
the soft shell crab panaeng was lightly battered and deep fried with deep fried basil leaves and a panaeng curry paste. i thought the soft shell crab was a little too delicate for this strong curry abuse. perhaps the curry could have been served on the side as a dipping sauce.
the crying tiger was another rather delicious dish. the flame grilled rib-eye steak had a chili pepper sauce to it. i really loved the limey presence in the sauce.
911 catfish was also quite delicious. i love how a deep fried fish can still retain such moistness!
seafood pad thai which was a bit TOO MOIST for me. the seafood on top was wonderfully cooked though and snazzed up your typical pad thai dish.
another delicious dish, the surf and turf fried rice. first off, fried is just plain popular as a food item, but pair it up with some well cooked filet mignon and shrimp, then you get a winner's winner.
the fabulous dinner was rounded out with an iconic thai dessert, mango and sticky rice. i thought the flavors of the sticky rice were coconutty and sweet ,but not overpowering, a thankful departure from some super sweet ones i've had in the past. and riped mangos...you just gotta love them.
kob kun kaa (hope i spelled that right) to chef kevin sukcharoen and sous chef supannee noochoo at nakkara on beverly for a delicious dinner and OF COURSE kevin for the invite. and also thanks to all my fellow food fanatics, food je t'aime, diana takes a bite, kung food panda, and the food ledger for a night of good laughs and inside foodie info. without you guys, i would not have gained another 5 pounds. damn yous!
Nakkara on Beverly
7669 Beverly Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
verdict: tasty, try it!
verdict: tasty, try it!