Thursday, May 6, 2010

Nakkara On Beverly - Thai, Made Right (Los Angeles)


Nakkara on Beverly

A Thai blogger dinner on a Wednesday night on Beverly? Coming from Pasadena, I always dread hitting traffic on the 110 or the 101, but since I haven't sat down with a group of bloggers for dinner in awhile, Thai sounded great! Joining me at Nakkara were: Kevin of kevinEats who received the invitation from the owners of Nakkara, Diana of DianaTakesaBite, Felicia of TheFoodLedger, Amy of The Roaming Belly, and Christina of Food, Je T'Aime.

Nakkara Mieng KhamNakkara Mieng Kham

Nakkara Mieng Kham

We first started off with an "amuse buche" of sort, and in this case, you have toasted coconut, cashew, dried shrimp, lime, ginger, Thai chili, and red onions wrapped in a leaf of lettuce, finished off in a flavorful sweet mieng sauce. You take this dish down in one bite and the complex of flavors hits your mouth, but in a good way. Quite a nice start to the dinner.

Spicy Filet Mignon Skewer

Spicy Filet Mignon Skewer

Here, we're presented with a simple skewer of wonderfully cooked filet mignon and bell pepper dunked in a green curry sauce. I heard the word "one bite" so I took the whole thing down again. Worried about being tough? Worry not. The meat was juicy and tender, and I loved the green curry sauce. I loved it enough to shoot the rest of the sauce and finish this dish clean. Yum!

Garlic Lamb ChopGarlic Lamb Chop

Garlic Lamb Chop

Next, we have one of my favorite eat, lamb. I started to eat this with a knife and fork, but ended up gnawing the bones with my hands in the end. I probably didn't need the accompanied bell peppers and fried garlic bits and it'll still be good. For those afraid of the lamb's unique flavors, it wasn't that strong, so try it out.

Peking Duck Rolls

Peking Duck Rolls

I think most in my group agreed, we weren't sure what part of this dish was "Peking." It was similar to a Vietnamese Goi Cuon, but with duck instead of shrimp and grilled pork. The dish itself was fine, as I enjoy the duck within the dish, but I probably would have preferred a more peanut based sauce instead of the hoisin & Sriracha sauce provided.

Big Surprise!Big Surprise!

Big Surprise!

Here, we have one of my favorites of the night, the Big Surprise. In the metal cookware we have a mix of crab, calamari, and some other seafood I can't quite recall cooked in a red coconut based curry broth. The result? Fantastic! I probably could have ate the whole thing by myself. It's no wonder the Big Surprise is one of Nakkara's most ordered items. Just as a side note, the metal cookware was meant to be used for a Thai dessert, but Chef Kevin changed it up and start using it for the Big Surprise.

Shrimp Tom Yum

Shrimp Tom Yum

Chicken Tom Kha

Chicken Tom Kha

Next we had the choice of either a Shrimp Tom Yum or a Chicken Tom Kha, so I paired up with D Takes a B and shared the two choices. The former, we have a hot and sour broth made from herbs, lemon grass, chili, and other Thai herbs, and the flavor of the soup was great. The latter, we have a similar base broth, but the addition of coconut milk made it much creamier and heavier. Which one did I prefer? Normally I'd prefer a cream based broth, but surprisingly, I'd go with the lighter Shrimp Tom Yum if I had to choose.

Green Papaya Salad

Green Papaya Salad

Here, we have a palate cleanser and one of the most famous Thai dish out there, the green papaya salad. Found almost at every Thai Restaurant to even the night markets in Taiwan, it's one dish I'm quite familiar with. Maybe I'm being slightly picky about this one since being a lover of spicy food, I'd prefer a spicy version, though I can see why they limited the use of spice. It's all about the client base, and I'm not sure if the normal diners there would appreciate "Thai Spice" like me. Other than that, a very well made version of the papaya salad!

Soft Shell Crab Panaeng

Soft Shell Crab Panaeng

Soft shell crab? Yum! Soft shell crab in a Panaeng curry sauce? It sounded like double trouble to me since I love both. Though I really liked the dish, part of me thought the curry sauce was slightly strong to be use as a compliment to the deep fried soft shell crabs. I do enjoy the crispy basil leaves, as it reminds me of some of my favorite Taiwanese dishes.

Crying Tiger

Crying Tiger

What can beat tender, well cooked rib eye steak in a tangy and spicy sauce? Well, I think this was our table favorite (along with Big Surprise!) of the night. Not much to add other than saying it's delicious!

911 Catfish

911 Catfish

Fried catfish, one of the fishes I rarely consume these days, flavored with a sauce made from young peppercorn, and red chili paste. Despite its name, it wasn't too spicy, though it had great flavors. This would be a perfect pairing with some jasmine rice! Like with a well prepared steak, it's hard to go wrong with fried fish.

Seafood Pad Thai

Seafood Pad Thai

Another one of the more known Thai dishes, the Pad Thai. Even though it's well known, it's something I'd rarely order at a Thai restaurant. Chef Sukcharoen definitely didn't skimp on the ingredients, as our dish was filled with shrimp, calamari, mussels, etc in a "chow fun" like noodles. I'm didn't enjoy the texture of the noodles, as it's quite mushy, but the flavors are definitely there, albeit sweeter than I'd normally like.

Surf & Turf Fried Rice

Surf & Turf Fried Rice

Between the two carb component part of our meal, I much preferred the fried rice, though I normally love a good bowl of fried rice. The ginger based fried rice was topped with succulent filet mignon and shrimp. A very nice ending to our savory portion of the menu.

Mango & Sweet Sticky Rice

Mango & Sweet Sticky Rice

Last, but not least, my favorite part of any meal: dessert. In this case, one of my favorite desserts out there, the mango and sweet sticky rice. A few years back, at the much hyped, yet pretty disappointing Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas, their mango and sweet coconut rice dessert was the ONLY reason that dinner was deemed a failure (though the place still sucks. Don't go!). So I digress.....sticky rice flavored with coconut milk and mango, accompanied by some awesome ripened mangos. I might be biased, but it was probably my favorite dish of the night! What a way to close out the meal for me!


All in all, what a fun night! Thanks again for inviting us: Paul Burachati, Toon and Amy Vinyuwonge, and Chef Kevin Sukcharoen, it was truly a wonderful meal! Again, thanks for the invite Kevin, and great meeting and seeing the fellow bloggers that night. The meal was honestly better than I had expected and it's a place I'd definitely return to eat (Maybe with D Takes a B? Since it's in her neck of the woods). Worthy of a drive from Pasadena or West LA, and just a few steps away from the famed Animal and Angelini Osteria, it's nice to know there are more dinner options in the area.

7669 Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 937-3100
Official Website

Nakkara in Los Angeles on Fooddigger


LIMER35 said...

Nice post D. Great pictures - they spoke for themselves. Can't wait to try this place out. I want that metal cookware.

Diana said...

YES! Definitely come out and we'll chow at Nakkara again! Maybe you can even drag the Gastronomer and Astronmer with you! ;)

weezermonkey said...

There is so much on Beverly. Diana is lucky!

food je t'aime said...

Yay you got the post up! Great pictures. It was great eating with you :) I agree that everyone had pretty similar reactions to the dishes.

Did you have jasmine rice with your catfish?...because I wasn't aware there was even rice on the table haha

Nomsnotbombs said...

Beautiful pictures! Can't wait to try Nakkara for myself!!

Kathleen said...

This restaurant looks amazing. We don't have any good thai in orange county! :(

kevinEats said...

Thanks for coming out Danny!

Kathleen: What about Thai Nakorn?

bagnatic said...

your pics are gorgeous! nice meeting you danny!

Anna A. said...

Did I ever tell you you're an amazing photographer.. just sayin, in case banking doesn't work out for ya ;) See you Friday!!

Andrew said...

Do you forget the pad thai from Lotus of Siam? "What could have been the best..."

Pandalicious said...

oh wow, everything looks amazing!! catfish is yum.

Kung Food Panda said...

Remil: Thanks Remil. Not sure if you can find that cookware in the States though...

Diana: Good to hear you went back and had a great time. We'll see if we can drag Cathy and Vern out!

Ms. Monkey: You too! With DTLA. I got SGV though!

Christina: Yup, there definitely were some hits during our dinner.

Oops, I probably should have said, it would have been nice with some jasmine rice to go with the catfish :)

Misty: Let me know what you think of Nakkara!

Kung Food Panda said...

Kathleen: You do have some awesome Vietnamese food in the OC!

Kevin: Thanks again for the invite!

Amy: Thanks! Hope we'll eat again soon!

Anna: Hahahaha! I think I'll stick with banking, but thanks! :) Glad you enjoyed Nakkara too this past weekend!

AK: Lotus of Siam sucked!

Amy: Definitely yum!

Mai@FlavorBoulevard said...

From the delicate look in the pictures, I checked their menu expecting some ridiculously high price, but it's pretty reasonable huh? Love places like this!

Kung Food Panda said...

Mai: It's quite good, especially for the area, but it's not the best Thai food I've had.