The Skinny: So after watching the Noodlewhore make an appearance on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservation in Los Angele,s I’ve been meaning to try the Thai Boat Noodles they had. I’m not a big fan of Thai food in general and the only thing I ever really get at a Thai restaurant is the Pad Thai. However, I am a fan of Soupy Noodles, and the Thai Boat Noodles would be something new for me. So after 3 years had gone by since I first saw that No Reservation episode, in 2011 I finally became proactive and found a place with those bowls of Noodles. The restaurant I went to is called Pa-Ord Thai and it’s in Hollywood and next to a dozen other Thai places.
Pa-Ord’s restaurant space is pretty tight and with limited seating, which is the reason why there was a line out the door during lunchtime. I did notice though that everyone eating there was Thai themselves and that’s always a good thing. Their menu offers all types of Thai dishes, like Curry Catfish, Crispy Pork Belly, and Roast Duck with Gravy; and all at a very affordable price.
Since I was there for the Thai Boat Noodle, I got Tom Yum (no.1), which has Pork Balls, Ground Pork, Pork Liver, Dehydrated Baby Shrimps, Bean Sprouts, Ground Peanuts and Pork Skin Cracklings. With it you get a choice of either Egg Noodles or different sized Rice ones. I got the Rice Noodles that are similar to what you find in a bowl Pho. There are also different levels of heat you can have in your soup. I did ask for “very spicy” but the waitress stopped me and said medium was enough for me, so I listened. I also ordered some Thai Iced Coffee.
The Good: My bowl of hot Thai Boat Noodles was simply delicious. The soup felt lighter than eating a bowl of Pho, and it had a nice component of being a little sweet, salty, and sour. The Bean Sprouts gave the dish the texture of crispness and the different assortments of proteins kept me satisfied as a carnivore, especially the Pork Skin Cracklings. However, the “medium heat” was melting my face off and I had to keep on wiping away streams of sweat. Despite the searing pain of spiciness in my mouth, I just couldn’t stop sipping the soup after I had ate everything in the bowl.
The Bad: The Noodle portion size is pretty small, but for a large bowl that costs 5.50, I guess it’s okay. Also, I hate pork liver, it just tastes like funky bad breath.
Would you come back again? Yup! It’s cheap and very good eating, plus the people working there are very nice and helpful.