There's been a whirlwind of hype surrounding Luv2eat Thai Bistro, a newcomer to LA's thriving Thai culinary landscape. Located in a rundown strip mall that houses a Domino's and 7-11, the tiny Hollywood restaurant found itself unable to accommodate the demand that followed the much deserved praise that came from the food blogging community.
A little over one year after opening its doors, Luv2eat closed earlier this month to revamp its homely digs and annex neighboring space to increase the restaurant's seated capacity to 57. Now blonde wood tables and accents, sleek grey walls, and exposed bulbs make the the once hole-in-the-wall restaurant feel wholly reflective of its time and place: a much-hyped Los Angeles eatery, but with food to match.
The specialties here are the Southern Thai dishes that are fiery enough to put the strongest of palates to shame. Order the Phuket-style crab curry, so full of chili and pepper that the shrimp paste-laden base turns black with radioactive heat. Other popular dishes include the jade noodles and Hat Yai fried chicken that's accented with fried shallots and a sweet chili sauce.
Friends from Phuket, located in Southern Thailand, chefs Noree Pla and Fern Kaewtathip moved to Los Angeles in 2006. After Pla went to work at a Thai bakery and Kaewtathip worked the line at the Beverly Hills Hotel, the two moved on to become silent partners of Hoy Ka. Dreaming of one day opening their own Thai restaurant, the duo set up shop in Hollywood in September 2014.
Up next for the little eatery is a menu update that will take the cuisine far beyond the South. Thai food fanatics and Luv2eat loyalists can eagerly await for upcoming Northern Thai dishes that include khao soi and sai ua, an herbaceous pork sausage.