Ruen Pair (Los Angeles)
I was lucky to go back to my old stomping grounds recently and decided to get some yummy Thai food in Thai town. My old high school friend introduced me to this place years ago and I think to thank him every single time I get a chance to come back. It has to be one of the best Thai places I’ve ever been to. So go there and try it out if you can.
Whenever I go out to eat, if there is soup on the menu I must get it at all costs. It’s like a drug to me that I cannot shake. At Thai restaurants, I mostly order the Tom Kha Gai soup (coconut milk based) but the Tom Yum soup is great too. We got chicken this time but I do like to get seafood soups with coconut milk as well. There’s also lemon grass, mushrooms, cilantro, lime, galangal, Thai chili peppers, and coconut milk. The soup is so tasty I could basically eat this for the entire meal and be happy. This particular soup packs a punch with flavor and spice (if you request it) and is a little heavy so be careful. But I love it.
The green papaya salad was also good. I don’t think everyone would think it’s amazing and it seems to be an acquired taste. This one seemed to have little dried shrimp, lime juice, peanuts, tomatoes, and a little cabbage on the side. The dish was on the spicier side and we got mild. It’s quite refreshing actually even though it had a kick. There’s something about cool, spicy salads that just works for me. But as opposed to the soup where I’d be able to hook directly into a Tom Kha IV supply, the papaya salad has to be eaten in small quantities. It is a powerful salad that I’d rather get a small taste of and then move on.
Next up is the pineapple fried rice. My brother had requested a fried rice so this is what we ordered! I’ve had it served in an actual pineapple before at other restaurants but I always feel ripped because it seems like you can’t fit as much of the food in it as you can a regular plate. Luckily they have the plate version here and there was more than enough to go around for our group. You guessed it, there are pineapple chunks mixed in with cashews, onions, and chicken. It isn’t my favorite dish, but complements well when you are in a group. Rice is something I can’t live without and if there is another rice dish to accompany white rice, I welcome it with open arms. Fried rice also tastes good as leftover food. But this particular dish was well prepared, flavorful, and was more subdued than the papaya salad and soup, which was a nice change.
What’s missing you say!? A noodle dish is. Enter Rad Na. I’ve always liked to order this. Probably because it reminds me of Chinese Chow Fun. As you can see this is served wet and isn’t over salty or overdone, which is nice. It’s a pretty simple dish with gailan, noodles, and beef. This dish is on the sweeter side and there’s no spice to it at all. A welcomed change with all the previous spicy dishes we ordered. The noodles were cooked just right and weren’t at all gummy or mushy with the sauce. The crunch of the gailan also added a nice texture.
And finally the last dish is the yellow curry with chicken. Yes I know, another coconut milk based dish. But we had to get a curry! I love curry dishes as much, if not more than soup. I refuse to choose between the two and prefer to have them both. This one tastes great and I have been known to take home just the curry sauce without anything in it and pouring it over rice. So yum. The yellow curry is pretty mild in spice yet still fill in flavor with the coconut milk taste. I just love it here.
The reason why I like this place more than the average Thai restaurant is because the dishes seem perfectly balanced and seem complete. When you go out to eat there’s just something missing in the dishes at times, but Ruen Pair hits all the notes at the right time. That first bite is memorable for days, and the restaurant experience lasts forever. You will not be disappointed.
5257 Hollywood Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90027
Mon-Sun 10:30 am – 3:30 am