Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Sapp Coffee Shop - Thai Town

Again I'm back on Hollywood Blvd. whoring for the perfect bowl of Thai Boat Noodles in Thai Town. My last 2 experiences at Yai and Red Corner Asia were satisfactory, with Yai reigning supreme over RCA. RCA really didn't do it for me.

J and I were headed to a wine tasting at Silverlake Wine and craved a bowl of noodles before we got liquored up. I was craving Thai Boat while she was in pursuit of a good bowl of roasted/bbq duck noodles. After a year of corresponding with Yoony of Immaeatchu through the food blog, we felt it was time to finally meet the young lady behind the delicious cooking. She and Santos of Meet Me At the Corner of Third & Fairfax got us hyped on this current Thai food spree.

A friend of mine recommended Sapp Coffee Shop because she knows how much i love Thai Boat Noodles. For those that haven't had this, it's almost like pho with the beef parts, but the soup is brown and much thicker. Why is it thicker? It's because authentic TBN's are made with beef and pork blood. Don't close this window just yet - it's tastier than you think. The result of incorporating blood is a nice gravy-like soup that is packed with flavor.

Sapp Coffee Shop is a favorite of young people because it's known as a diner, with rice and noodle dishes and a list of delectable Thai drinks. Although Sapp Coffee Shop is a Thai restaurant, the word 'sapp' is Laotian for 'tasty, delicious'. And rightfully so.

J, Yoony and I met at 7 pm and piled into this hole-in-wall restaurant marked with a "C". But don't mind the "C", it really means 'clean enough'. If you're a prude, ambiance-seeking eater, you probably shouldn't be frequenting Asian restaurants PERIOD. After all, Asian restaurants are all about the food. After about 10 minutes of chatting, we picked up the menu to order food. The girls both got the dry roasted duck noodles which they fell in love with at Yai. I, of course, got the TBN's. Here's what we thought.

BBQ Duck Noodles (Dry)
J and Yoony overall liked this dish at Yai more because there was duck sauce on the bottom of the bowl. The duck is served warm here, while Yai's is cold-cut style. The noodles were cooked too long - giving it a mushy texture. If you look closely at the photo, you can see the sugar UNMIXED into the dish. If there was any sauce at all, it would've dissolved the sugar. Presentation wise - Sapp Coffee Shop loses points. No one wants to see unmixed ingredients in the dish. But after they mixed up the contents of the dish, they both quietly enjoyed the noodles. $4.75

Thai Boat Noodles (kũay tĩaw reua néua thúk yàang)
As soon as I saw the server with my bowl of TBN's, I rubbed my hands together. I always do that. She set the bowl down and my eyes lit up. My nostrils enlarged. Man, this smelled so good. I didn't even have to dip my spoon into the broth to know how thick and savory it was. I could see small chunks of beef and boiled blood pieces inside the broth - a sign that this was true beef broth. I could smell soy sauce, sugar, vinegar, cilantro and green onions. Very nice. I didn't get the works which includes liver and tripe - instead I stuck with beef slices, beef balls, beef tendon and fried pork skins (chicharrones). $4.75

Thai Boat Noodles (kũay tĩaw reua néua thúk yàang)
I lifted up the noodles from the broth and noticed that the noodles stuck together. Another sign that the broth was thick - yum. If you look closely a the noodles, you can see the beef and boiled blood bits. I was going to get the beef taste in every bite. I let J and Yoony try some and they both liked it. J agreed that it was better than Yai and RCA's. I devoured this bowl in about 10 minutes and actually thought about getting another bowl. If you're into full flavored noodles, I highly recommend the TBN's here at Sapp. There are afew TBN options and Sapp doesn't mind you customizing your own bowl of beef with different beef parts. You can also choose pork instead of beef. If you want roasted/bbq duck noodles, go over to Yai, which is down the street. $5.50

Nevermind the 'C' rating here, I give Sapp Coffee Shop an 'A'. Hurry on over here, they close at 8:30 every night and rest on Wednesdays. Here is another review by a Sapp fan from the LTH Forum.

Sapp Coffee Shop
5183 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90027
(323) 665-1035