That Thai Joint Next to Jumbo’s
So like I said up there, Kruang Tedd is that Thai joint next door to Jumbo’s, the strip mall juxtaposition of the two establishments bringing to life the shared etymology of all things carnal/carnivorous, with the attendant matters of satisfaction of primal cravings. One will tease you and leave you high and dry; the other will fill your belly with savory carbohydrates; though I can’t remember which is which. Apparently K.T. is a jumping late dinner spot for young locals for it’s live music. The homemade business cards specify “music & thai cuisine” in that order in that early-90’s minimalist 4AD-style graphic design. On a midweek night around 8, the joint was empty. Granted, there might’ve been a new episode of Joey that night. Our pleasant but not-the-least-bit-demure hostess (Chinese, I’m guessing) is happy to see us and gets us set up at the lacquered dark wood table (sliding into 80’s style with the furniture–love the homey mashup of decor) of our choice. I caught a glint off the steel of the house musical gear lying in repose in a dark corner of the dining room and pondered the K.T.’s potential to host some serious jamming on the Coldplay songbook. For now, though, some piped-in XM set to easy listening KCRWtronica (what female singer does this acoustic samba version of “Love Will Tear Us Apart Again”? Anyone?) and muted flatscreen for some reason turned to Emeril were the A/V in the L-shaped dining room.
We opened the bidding with some platters from the deep yum yum (appetizers, finger foods, tapas, basically) menu. A deep-fried chicken skin platter and a jerky-style beef twigs/sticky rice combo were settled on, getting us halfway on our mission to consume no less than four (4) distinct species of animal flesh. Singha and iced coffee were chugged, but both were weak in their desired, respective chemical kicks. The chicken skin feels like a lighter, fresher version of Mexican standard chicharrones. Fatty, but not really greasy to the touch, this is about as savory a dish I’ve had in a while. Real nice, plus there’s something satisfyingly decadent about chucking the meat and just eating the skin. The beef jerky was merely alright, with some kind of shrimp sauce on the side, but was too soft for a true jerky lover’s jaw workout and too tough for a fresh beef experience. This sort of ambivalence between two states of being he recognized well in himself and detested even more in others and the food he ate, he said, upshifting awkwardly into 3rd person narrator for no apparent reason.
The main dishes (no names here, sorry) were a catfish nugget in mint leaves plate, a “salty” beef fried rice and a wide flat noodle with brocolini and pork dish. The standout was the fish, which was an airily fried (possibly baked) version with a citrus-based, spicy coating. Real nice treatment for this cheap cut of fish. Plus, you get to sift through a mound of mint leaves looking for the last few nuggets, which is a bonus. The other plates pretty much felt like your standard take-out quality. I get the idea that the chef was bored with our ordinary selections so he cranked out passable versions in a hurry. Someone can fill me in I’m sure on what specialties to try next time.
All in all, a respectable meal but I probably made some wrong menu selections. Check it out. Or don’t. I don’t care.
Next to Jumbo’s
All major credit cards accepted (I think)