There is two thing I don't like about naming of the places. It's either you name of the place as the King or Master suggesting you're the best. Even worse, naming a place with a proclamation or adjective of describing the place like "Best Fish Tacos in Ensenada" or "Yummy Cupcakes".
I honestly didn't really thought much about the place. It was located across the street from Long Beach Towne Center and facing directly to a Wal Mart Center. This sleepy and pretty much dead silent of a plaza also housed a Casino School and a bartending school. Frankly, I don't know if they were teaching people to become black jack dealer or they are teaching you on how to beat the odds of winning big in a roulette table.
When I walked in, there was a gentleman who resembles Leslie Nielsen in an Ivory Merchant film. I was taken aback a bit because I wasn't expecting him to be a maitre'd. It's only when I found out later in an Elmer Dill article that have a fascinating story about him being a co-owner of this place when he was down here in Long Beach area where he was visiting his mother. One of the few places he liked was this Thai restaurant.
I could see him incorporated some of his touches into the old restaurants. The place was a little bit more remodeled into a bistro look with a finer looking silverware and a white seamless paper on top of white linen table cloth with a cloth napkin. The place still kept some of the Buddha shrine behind the maitre'd stand and some of the old decorations can be seen above the door. It's a nice mixture of things, but you can tell they are trying to mix a little of both with the dinning more towards a modern look.
The food itself is cooked in a Northeastern style Thai food that are very flavorable with herbs and spices mixed with kafffir lime leaves, coconut milk, lemon grass, and some tamarand. You can definitely tasted it in their sauce and smell the aroma of each dish.
One of the few suggestions people made to me about Thai food was that I needed to try curry. I was a fan of Indian and Chinese curry because of their thickness like gravy, but never was a fan of Thai curry because of too much spices going on that burned my tongue with overdoes of spiciness.
What that in mind, I decided to give Duck Curry a shot. Even though it's not listed in the menu I got, our man Jim Brewster (the maitre'd I had mentioned) memorizes everything on the menu and can suggested to me on which dish would suite well on what I had in mind. The curry duck definitely has the chili to show for the spice to go along with thick rich flavors the curry have going for. If I ever had a doubt about what Thai curry can do, it was smashing gone by the time I finished this delicious Curry Duck.
One of the Chef's specialty on the menu was their seafood sections. I was dying to try out their tamarand prawns was because of the added spice of tamarand which is part of the Northeastern Thai specialties. The portion on these suckers were huge. Not the baby shrimp you would expect from most places.
The Pad Prik King are always a dish I like to try at many of the Thai restaurants was because of the simple curry paste with a dash of string beans to go along with either pork or beef. At this case, it would be the pork as the mild chili paste sauce complimented the pork very well with their savory taste.
I didn't expected the place to do well with their savory taste and excellent blend of spice in their ingredients on their dishes. However, after a few of the dishes I am happy to discover a place like this nearby that incorporated well with many of the dishes that left me happy to try out more.
Even though the place probably catered more to the local neighborhoods of Long Beach and Lakewood, I have to say that this Thai restaurant had supplanted Thai Corner or any of the nearby Thai restaurants as my go-to place with Thai food. More importantly, there's another place nearby where I don't have to go to Hollywood for Thai food as it is far.
Good to know a place like this exist. Hurray for the Curry Duck!
11401 Carson St Ste A
Lakewood, CA 90715