Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bhan Kanom Thai: Crisp the Fluff and Sweet the Thai (Tasting Thai Town Pt. 2)

After our meal at Jitlada, we headed out to grab the necessity of life – the after-dinner sweets. Pressure was definitely on since this would be Alyssa’s first encounter with Southeast Asian desserts. We swooped down to Hollywood Blvd. towards Bhan Kanom Thai – the famous Thai bakery and candy shop.

The store was filled with packaged Asian snacks and candies but my eyes were na
turally diverted to a single point of interest – the Thai sweets counter. Colorful blobs of rice flour concoctions and tapioca-esque sweets lined the shelves. I perused the labels and knew I was in my own personal heaven when I saw them marked with words like “coconut,” “taro,” and “pumpkin.” Choosing would be quite difficult.

Luckily (or, rather, unluckily) for me, choosing wasn’t AS difficult as I thought sinc
e a lot of stuff was already sold out by the time we got there. Boo. I was dying to try the kanom tom (coconut balls), sai sai (coconut stuffed in cream) and, most of all, the kanom krok (which, as you can probably guess, also contains coconut). Oh well, next time.

(Coconut and Pandan Pudding)

I was deeply attracted to the Panchi ($2.50/6) – a small sweet round of taro, corn and shredded coconut. Just hearing the ingredients alone, I was tempted to order 4 crates of that stuff. But before I did, the guy at the counter offered us a sample and while I loved the soft chewy texture, I wasn’t feeling the fact that it was warm. It threw me off completely and I didn’t end up getting any. Now, thinking about it though, I probably will next time and just leave it out to cool. What I DID get though, was a bag of crispy pancakes filled with foi thong/egg yolk ($3.00/8) and a small box of coconut and pandan puddings ($3.00/6). The pudding was alright** – it tried to combine two flavors in one small bite and what ended up happening was that neither flavor really shone through. But the smell and the silky texture made up for it and it reminded me of home :)

But let me get to the good stuff – the crispy pancakes. Oooo…I had purchased a bag of goodness. A thin and crispy “shell” is spread with a sweet and fluffy, marshmallowy-like layer and then sprinkled with shreds of yellow “foi thong” – a sweet made from egg yolk. It’s soooo good…and tastes so light that I could easily picture myself popping them into my mouth like peanuts. I only got the yellow/sweet stuffing ones but I know they also have a salty/orange stuffing which I am determined to try (I LOVE sweet + salty flavor combos!)

(Crispy Pancakes: Good Bites)

Alyssa got the coconut milk ice cream ($2.50/a scoop bigger than my fist) which was amazing and redeemed Thai cuisine significantly in her eyes. There were chunks of young coconut and that’s definitely a happy thing. On top of that, they threw in a random piece of sweet butter toast in my bag of pancakes. I was really confused at first but my confusion quickly melted into happiness when I broke off a small piece to try. It was pretty damn good – crispy and crunchy with a teasing hint of addictive sweetness. I guess good things DO happen when you don’t expect it!

(Sweet Butter Toast: Surprisingly good surprise)

Oh right, and I LOVE how cheap this place is :D

FOOD: 4/5
SERVICE: 4.5/5


5271 Hollywood Blvd.

Los Angeles, CA 90027

(323) 871-8030


I had another one of the coconut puddings this morning after sticking them in the fridge to chill up overnight. Mannnn...a little bit o' refrigeration and the tiny pudding got 5 times better!! The coconut flavor really came through. I officially retract my "the pudding was alright" statement - it ROCKED!

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