Cultural Tastes at President Thai
Though Los Angeles boasts an impressive selection of Asian restaurants, youâ€™d be hard-pressed to find a casual Thai restaurant as established as President Thai in the community. Since 1994, President Thai has been reproducing Southeast Asian flavors in America with authenticity, letting the flavors speak for themselves.
I was surprised by the intricacy of the restaurantâ€™s decor when I walked in. While admiring the gold and beige color scheme, I was invited in by a waiter wearing what looked like expensive, traditional garb. While I was seated at a large table I noticed there were only a few other customers, but the atmosphere was pleasant as people conversed quietly. Oriental string music played in the background, giving the restaurant a cultural touch. I took a while to sift through the large menu, but ultimately decided on a papaya salad with seafood and a chicken red curry.
If youâ€™ve never had papaya salad like me, youâ€™ll be surprised to find out that the fruit is practically flavorless. Shredded, unripe papaya that tastes like cucumber is mixed with spices and sauces to infuse a tangy flavor. The result is a chilled, crunchy salad. Though the salad was spicier than Iâ€™d prefer, the tartness was a perfect complement to the red curry, which had a sweet taste. The curry was a sunset color, with spots of white coconut milk that made the broth creamy. Roasted herbs and spices added a distinct taste and fragrance. The curry was well balanced with the side of long grain rice. As someone who dislikes bland food, the ability to taste specific herbs and ingredients was a pleasant surprise. Each of the dishes had subtle differences that I could taste with each bite.
President Thai doesnâ€™t try to pass itself off as more than it is. The menu is straightforward, the prices are modest and the portions are generous. Itâ€™s a restaurant I would recommend for a meal with family and friends again and again.
By: Jamie Chen, Scene Editor
Photo by Jamie Chen