Within the last 10 years, there has been a veritable explosion in the numbers of restaurants in the Los Angeles area, serving foods from Thailand. This Asian cuisine delights the American palate, because of the vast variety it offers.
Appetizers are most always a large, diverse selection. They inspire with small, but incredibly good tastes. They are so creative that one wants to order them all. There is usually Sate. These are prepared with small cubes of chicken or beef, which have been marinated in Thai fish sauce (similar to soy sauce), garlic, ginger, a little sugar and pepper, until they becomes super tender.
These meats are then threaded onto bamboo skewers and grilled until they are cooked just right. These are traditionally served with a sauce made of ground peanuts and spices, along with another small dish of sliced cucumbers and red onions, which have been marinated in rice vinegar, sugar, and a bit of red pepper flakes.
If one wishes to have soup, many choices are available. Thai Hot and Sour Chicken Soup with coconut is a real stand out. This is comfort food, direct from Thailand. The velvety consistency, scented with lemon and Thai basil leaves might be the very best cure for the common cold.
Salads are offered with unusual ingredients, not normally found in salad, like steak, or green papaya. All are hardier than most American salads.
Entrees, such as Pad Thai, it would seem, is the most universally offered dish on most Thai restaurant menus. It is a recipe using rice noodles, onions, egg an bean sprouts, tossed in a slightly sweet, sticky sauce with notes of ginger and tamarind. It usually comes with both shrimp and chicken, but you may be offered your choice.
Just imagine what a terrific way to enjoy a balanced, healthy diet and still get your daily allowance of fruits and vegetables.