After Karen Palmer’s three-article stint at LA Weekly following Besha Rodell’s departure, it looks like the publication is giving a new food writer the opportunity to review a Los Angeles-area restaurant. That writer just happens to be Javier Cabral, who very publicly denounced the alt-weekly’s publication of Palmer’s one-star Tintorera review just over a month ago. He griped, “As a Mexican-American LA native who has contributed dozens of stories to your publication and fan of your food coverage, I was disheartened to see that you published a review written by a New Yorker about a coastal, modern Mexican restaurant."
Ironically, Cabral selects Thai restaurant Crying Tiger as his subject, and begins by making it very clear that unlike New York transplant Palmer, he is “a proud native of Los Angeles” who has had “the privilege of getting faded within the vicinity of Thai Town.” The Thai takeout window and restaurant located inside Black Rabbit Rose, Jonnie and Mark Houston’s magic-themed lounge, is operated by the duo of chefs that are becoming well known in the Thai community, Luv2eat’s Noree Pla and Fern Kaewtathip.
The writer clearly digs the “esoteric ambiance” of the place, and is charmed enough by the tamarind chicken:
If you're a human who loves food, you will immediately gravitate to the tamarind orange chicken. And, yes, you should order it, because unlike its cloying mainstream cousin it's not too sweet. [LAW]
While the cocktails get the nod of approval, Cabral notes that beer may be the best choice to balance out the rather sweet meal:
I would suggest ordering only a single cocktail and washing down the rest of the meal with an ice-cold Singha. Most dishes do swerve to the sweeter side and would benefit from a few big squeezes of lime and generous dashes of fish sauce. Thus, everything goes down easier with a beer. [LAW]
Ultimately the writer doesn’t seem all too jazzed about the restaurant, but does conclude by saying “I could still see myself making a pit stop here for some tamarind orange chicken and crispy rice after an Anti-Flag show at the Troubadour.”
Crying Tiger scores two stars.