Sunday, February 27, 2005

Taste test: Prael

Another Chowhound poster alerted me to Prael, a new Thai restaurant on Melrose, one block west of Normandie. I wanted to check it out because it's one of the few local Thai restaurants to offer crispy rice salad with pork, which is similar to an amazing dish at Lotus of Siam in Las Vegas. But where LOS uses rice puffed up into rice-krispy-like puffs, Prael seems to maybe just dump some white rice in the deep fryer and then scoop it out and garnish it with a large quantity of cilantro, peanuts and a type of Thai spam-like cold cut.

Crispy rice salad
It's not the transcendent experience the puffed rice becomes when artfully combined with the spices and dressing at LOS, but I tend to like just about anything fried, and it makes a nice appetizer scooped up in a romaine leaf. The red curry beef was richly flavored, but the pad kee mow (spicy mint leaf noodles) were not as crispy as the recent excellent ones I had at Nadbob in Silver Lake. Other unusual dishes on their menu include Thai boat noodles, wild boar, Thai omelet, and fish hoe mook (curried fish wrapped in small cup and steamed) and ka nam pak kard (radish rice biscuit with green onion, bean sprouts and egg). Definitely authentic, but perhaps not for everyone. Cash only, no delivery, open every day 10:30 am to 9:30 pm.
Prael Thai
4620 Melrose
(323) 663-7122

32 comments:

Jessica said...

Damn, I got so excited at the mere prospect of finding something close here to the Lotus of Siam crispy rice with pork sausage dish! This doesn't sound like going out of your way for, unlike say, driving to Vegas to hit up some LOS.

Pat Saperstein said...

No, not worth going far out of your way for -- but maybe worth a try if you were going to pick up some Thai food somewhere in the area anyway. The Thai spam is kind of an acquired taste, though.

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