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remember was the feeling that swelled in my chest whenever I was engrossed by the book. Today, I visited another Natalee, a Thai restaurant on the Palms side of Venice Boulevard.
Today was my weekly get-together with "PA", an old pastor and friend from way back. We met at his house right before noon and we headed over to Natalee Thai.
Upon arrival, I was immediately impressed by the sleek architecture of the restaurant - it's an eyecatcher. It reminded me of Frank Gehry's work at the Disney Concert Hall miles away in Downtown. Indoors, the decor was modern, reflecting the outdoor sensibility. I was surprised to see a sushi bar at one end of the restaurant. Thai sushi? I'll believe it when I see it.
What I ate:
"PA" and I shared ...
1. Complimentary salad. This salad comes with any lunch special. I thought the dressing was interesting. It wasn't a typical vinaigrette or peanut sauce. There was definitely some cooked egg yolk in it. The greens needed to be picked through for freshness: there was more than one bad leaf.
"PA" had the ...
2. Hot Stuff Chicken (lunch special, 8.75 USD): Sliced spicy chicken with chili, garlic, bell peppers, onion, and mint leaves. I tasted the Hot Stuff Chicken and I liked it - not too spicy, nice mint flavor. Basically, it was a hot larb served with jasmine rice, except that the chicken wasn't ground up.
I ate the ...
3. Panang (10.50 USD): Beef, curry paste, coconut milk. I liked this version of the Thai classic. The beef was done to my liking: it retained its texture, but the beef was cooked long enough to begin falling apart. Tastewise, the curry was thick and rich and I liked the forward flavor of the coconut milk. The serving of Panang was huge, too. When "PA" asked me what I thought of it on a scale of ten (where ten is the best score), I answered without hesitation, "Eight."
I thought the service was decent. Our server could have done a couple of minor things better, nevertheless, she was friendly and remembered how "PA" liked his drink when she brought him a refill.
Parking: There are a handful of parking spaces behind the restaurant: far from enough for all of Natalee's patrons. Other options: metered street parking on Venice Boulevard and Clarington Avenue or try your luck at the big lot in front of the Smart & Final Extra! next door.
The Bill: 22.02 USD for two. Thanks for lunch, "PA"!
My Rating: out of four stars (good). Open Sunday to Thursday, 11:15 AM to 10:30 PM, and Friday and Saturday, 11:15 AM to 11 PM. Credit cards accepted. www.nataleethai.com
Last Word: Maybe I'm too old for crushes: I don't find myself losing my head over Natalee Thai :o
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