Poom Thai

Shrimp Fried Rice
Poom Thai
2204 Lincoln Blvd
Santa Monica, CA 90405

Type: Restaurant, To-Go
Category: Lunch, Dinner
Company: Neighborhood folk
Cost: Entrees ~$7.95/plate

OTC Tip: The dinner special includes a choice of main, shrimp fried rice, a nice little salad, a mini egg roll, and your choice of soup (opt for Wonton) for only $10.95 and good enough for dinner with leftovers for lunch the next day

The hardest part about eating at Poom Thai is the moment when you walk in the front door.

OTC Tip: Ignore any thought, inclination, or cringe upon first sight.

As an establishment, the Poom Thai experience is much like the analogy of a cast-iron skillet. The older it is and more you use it, the most flavor it imparts on that which leaves the surface and slides on to your plate. It might not shine and it may have a few dents and scrapes, but just like the human soul and spirit - what doesn't kill you makes it that much better.

So, enter Poom Thai. Slay any dragonous thoughts about the graffiti tacked walls, the grease-bogged air, and the "we don't give a sh*t about you, we only care about your stomach and dollar" staff attitude and stash your negative "ambiance" yelp comment because once you start eating, there won't be any room for that.

And since I've been several times, here is what I recommend:

1. Shrimp Fried Rice: Coming from a gal who usually finds rice boring enough to skip, that I believe Poom's recipe is a must-go-to for every single visit speaks for itself. Buttery rice, tangles of egg and grilled shrimp- if you get a full order, enjoy it as dinner in of itself.

2. Pad See Ew: Yes, the name, but contrary to that this flat rice-noodle dish with broccoli, egg, sweet soy sauce and meat of your choices is benign enough for Thai newbies while still being crave-worthy by the most advanced palate.
Eggplant with Beef

3. Eggplant: With tofu makes it vegetarian, with a meat of your choice turns it in to a bowl of silken heaven. Claimed as stir-fried eggplant with basil and black bean sauce, another way to put it is chunks of creamy-like-it-was-roasted eggplant flavored with a thick soy-like garlic-infused sauce. I could eat this for days.

4. Wonton Soup: Swathed in a flavor of wonderful broth, veggies, and meat if you want it, the bite-size dumplings wrapped in tiny knots of noodle dough are some of the best I've had in years.

5. Get it to-go. Your couch is probably more comfortable than any seat in the Poom's house.

There are other ways to go at Poom that are just as delicious - the warm chicken salad, the Pra Ram (spinach with garlic and peanut sauce), and any of the curries (minus the one with duck). Open 7 days a week (11am-11pm, Mon-Sat and 1pm-11pm Sunday) aside from now knowing what to get, you know that Poom is there for you practically every day at almost any time.

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