If You're in the Cahuenga Pass: Gala Thai

I first discovered Gala Thai late one night when I wanted to order in. They had pretty good reviews on Eat24, only a $15 delivery minimum (those minimums are a bitch when you're single), and free delivery! So I gave it a shot and the food was DELICIOUS.

Then, stuck in traffic on Barham Blvd. one evening, I happened to look over and see a cute little restaurant at the top of that hill between the 101 and Toluca Lake. Wouldn't you know it--it was Gala Thai! They have a small little dining room that's mostly tables against the window so you can watch the traffic fly (okay crawl) by, and also an adorable little patio. There's not much in the way of restaurants in this particular corner of Los Angeles, so it's pretty great that the lone establishment on this stretch of Barham is a good one. (Turns out there is another location at 11040 Magnolia Blvd. in North Hollywood but I haven't been to that one!)

Marti Matulis!

Marti Matulis!

I went there with my neighbor Marti Matulis, who is an excellent photographer and is trying to help me up my photography skills.

He ordered the fresh rolls (vegetables and shrimp wrapped with rice paper), and I had my usual--the chicken satay appetizer and tom yum soup (medium-level spiciness). Marti says the rolls were delicious--crisp and, true to the name, very fresh. The satay is always tender and juicy (never stringy), flavorful, and the sauce isn't too spicy or oily. The tom yum soup is OUTSTANDING. The spicy level seems to vary based on the day, so if you like a very specific level of hot, don't hesitate to be pretty descriptive. You can have it with chicken, shrimp, or just vegetables--I usually get it with chicken, sometimes just plain vegetables. They always give you a lot of mushrooms (basically one of my favorite foods), and the chicken pieces are tender white meat. I usually also order a side of brown rice--they brown rice they serve is some outstanding wild-rice variety, with an addictive nutty flavor.

Fresh rolls

Chicken satay appetizer

When I order takeout, I usually order a small soup, the satay, and a side of rice, and I end up with two meals. The soup can get a little fishy the next day, so I usually try to finish it up the night I get it. If you're in the delivery area, you won't be disappointed if you order this next time you're perusing Eat24. Alternatively, I just got a mailer from them that's advertising 10% all delivery orders within a 3-mile radius! And I would recommend you try the actual restaurant next time you're in the area looking for a place to get dinner. It would be PERFECT if you want a pre-Hollywood-Bowl spot and you're coming in from the valley, or if you're heading to a movie at Universal CityWalk and you don't want to eat at any of the HORRIBLE dining options they've got there.

Bon appétit!

Do you have a favorite dish at Gala Thai? Or is there another Thai restaurant in LA that you swear by? Leave us a note in the comments or head over to the Taking Fountain Community page and let us know there!