Always on the lookout for a westside Thai fix similar to what we find in Thai Town, we visited Tuk Tuk Thai and were pleasantly surprised. Located on Pico near Robertson, the small eatery has been in business for 15 years and continues to innovate with a mix of traditional Thai and health conscious leanings.
The dining room is a bright and pleasant respite from the daily grind and LA traffic.
Starters include a crab roll which incorporates a melange of ground chicken, crab meat, carrot, cabbage and black mushroom into a won ton skin before deep frying to a crisp golden hue.
On the plate are lettuce leaves, carrot and mint which can be used to wrap the egg roll prior to dipping in the sweet accompanying sauce. This results in an exciting mix of cool against warm, sweet against savory and smooth interior against crunchy exterior.
The Thai curry dumplings are steamed and filled with scallop and shrimp that float in a luxurious green curry sauce.
These luscious bundles of well balanced ingredients provide an etherial experience.
One of our favorite dishes is the pula goong. The quintessential refreshing salad dresses grilled shrimp, grape tomatoes, dark greens, red and green onion, lemongrass, mint and kaffir lime leaves in a high-spirited, garlic and chili laced dressing that satisfies completely.
Don’t forget to check out the wall board of daily specials that list standouts as well as seasonal specialties. We are looking forward to their Valentines and Songkran (Thai New Year’s) offerings.
No Thai meal feels complete to us without a curry, and Tuk Tuk’s gaeng keow wan green curry is made with the protein of customers choice. We went with the tender white meat chicken, which basks in its curry bath alongside thai eggplant and an abundance of fragrant basil for a spicy, slightly sweet, creamy dish that is ideal over rice.
Health conscious guests will want to take a look at the seafood specialty section of the menu.
The pla rad prik is a crispy whole fish in a spicy, tomatoey, curry sauce topped with fresh chili and crispy thai basil.
Vibrant heat and a profusion of herbs complements the mild, white flesh of the pomfret.
They are more than happy to help dissect fish from bone or customers can have a go at it themselves. For those not wanting to fuss with their seafood, the pad ped tally sautés shrimp, scallops, calamari and white fish with fresh chili, lesser ginger, lime leaf, green peppercorn and thai basil for an ocean extravaganza that is both healthy and delicious.
A beer and wine license means Thai beer and soju based cocktails abound.
We prefer to end all our Thai dinners with the famous seasonal dessert, mango sticky rice. But when mango is out of season, our sweet tooth is quenched by an ultra creamy, coconut ice cream served atop sweet red bean and sprinkled with crushed roasted peanuts for a cool, smooth finish to the meal.
For westside Thai that stays true to the flavors, herbs and spice of the cuisine, a visit to Tuk Tuk Thai satisfies and saves time by relieving us of a rush hour trek to Hollywood’s Thai Town.
Tuk Tuk Thai, 8875 West Pico Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone – 310-860-1872 web site – tuktukthaila.com